It’s been a few days since RIM announced that is has hired JP Morgan Chase & CO. and RBC Capital Markets to help it evaluate “strategic business model alternatives.” The initial reaction to the revelation was predictable. Those who have been waiting for RIM’s demise took the opportunity to repeat their proclamations. Others stuck their fingers in their ears. But with the dust settled, we can see that while this is a big deal — RIM hasn’t posted an operating loss in eight years — it’s still not the end of the road. In fact, it’s probably the best thing CEO Thorsten Heins could have done. While analysts in general turn me off, I think that Matt Thornton of Avian Securities has the right idea when picking apart RIM’s statement. He writes: “They’re trying to telegraph that expectations are too high and that the next few quarters are going to be very challenging.” That’s basically the message they’ve been sending for a while now, but sometimes it takes a grim-sounding press release and announcement to let the lesson sink in. RIM has plenty of trouble. They have considerable unsold inventory, and with BlackBerry 10 around the corner chances are much of that inventory will continue to stagnate. Combine that with no new and compelling products in the North American market, and yeah, things are going to get bad. Thornton again nails it, in my opinion, when talking about RIM’s decision to hire banking advisors. “Bringing in a blue-chip bank at least gives you the seal of approval that you’re doing the correct due diligence and taking shareholder interest into account here,” he writes. Heins has mentioned due diligence many times himself, so this would seem to go along with his overall theme. Perhaps RIM really is exploring a sale. Chances are, though, they’re merely peeking down every road. That shows shareholders — accurately, I might add — that they’re willing to do whatever is best for all involved. This doesn’t mean RIM is going to emerge from this dark period. I don’t know what the future holds for them. No one does. The market is a fickle, fickle place, and there just might not be enough enthusiasm for BlackBerry 10, no matter the quality of the product. But this recent announcement is far from the end. If anything, it helps set more reasonable expectations and demonstrates to shareholders that there is no bullheadedness atop the firm. They’re doing whatever it takes to get through this.