Research In Motion investors thought this would be a make-or break year for the BlackBerry maker. Turns out they were a year off.
Two weeks before 2012 started, RIM ( announced that the BlackBerry 10 operating system -- scheduled to debut in early 2012 -- would be )delayed until later in the year. Shares plummeted. Meanwhile, Apple was enjoying record success with the iPhone 4S and Google passed everyone by with its Android smartphone operating system.
Under pressure, RIM's co-CEOs stepped down in January. But 2012 would only get worse.
The company delayed BlackBerry 10 once more in June, saying it wouldn't be ready for the holiday season. Customers would have to wait until early 2013 to get the new devices. By September, RIM shares had fallen to a nine-year low, and its once-leading smartphone market share eroded to almost nothing in North America.
The situation got so dire that once RIM finally announced that BlackBerry 10 was on track to go on sale in January without further delays, shares skyrocketed.
There are some faint hopes that RIM can succeed with BlackBerry 10, but the company ended the year on another tenuous note: It lost subscribers over the past three months. CEO Thorsten Heins said that RIM is consider lowering prices on existing BlackBerry 7 devices (as well as the service fees it charges carriers) in order to keep its current subscriber numbers up. That sent shares plunging once again.