Research in Motion recently announced that, following its next fiscal quarter, it will no longer disclose two key metrics: The average selling price for its Blackberry products and new subscriber volume.
The Canadian tech titan has decided to withhold this information for a few reasons. First, competitors don't disclose comparable metrics. Second, forecasting customers is "increasingly difficult" due to the "growing complexity" of their business. Third, investors seemed to cling to tightly to the wrong metrics - for example, RIM beat revenue expectations in it last fiscal report, yet its share price didn't rise because people couldn't get over its under-performing, though less important, new subscriber volume.
Still, investors are grumbling - subscriber metrics tell the tale of how RIM is competing in the warzone that is the smartphone market, with the iPhone and Google Android phones gaining market share. And analysts are skeptical - when a company stops reporting data, it's naturally suspected that they have something to hide.
Investors and analysts obviously prefer greater statistical visibility and transparency, but RIM will likely not budge on this. Over-disclosing information was a competitive disadvantage for RIM, according to Co-CEO Jim Balsillie.
In two fiscal quarters, we'll know for certain.