Unless you've been living under a pretty large rock for the past couple of years, you're no doubt aware that these haven't been the best of times for once-supreme business phone maker RIM.
But just when it looks like things are bottoming out a fresh shipment of spades arrive to dig the hole still deeper – the latest case in point being a leading analyst's scathing assessment that things are “grim, and getting grimmer”.
That's the title of a new note to investors from Barclays Capital’s Jeff Kvaal, who has downgraded already gloomy projections for yet another poor quarter, saying that a big marketing push in the US has failed to have the impact RIM was hoping for.
“Our checks indicate that current demand is poor: BlackBerry 7 devices are now close to six months old, and our checks suggest that the initial enthusiasm post launch has tailed off,” Kvaal wrote.
“Management’s aggressive marketing campaign, targeted for the US, appears not to have been as effective as hoped. BlackBerry 7 devices remain expensive comparatively and the once popular 8520 is going end of life.”
If you're interested in the numbers, Kvaal is predicting sales of 11 million handsets for the quarter, and total revenues of $4.5 billion, below both Wall Street's and RIM's own estimates.
Even worse, Kvaal reckons things are only going to get worse in the short term. RIM is now putting all its eggs in one basket: its next-generation BlackBerry OS 10 platform, which is expected to roll out later this year along with a wave of new handsets.
However, this means the current crop of devices are going to have to soldier on largely as is for the best part of half a year. And given how demand is tailing off now already, that's looking like a very long time indeed.