Research In Motion on Thursday delivered its quarterly earnings report, along with news that industry watchers agree could be the end for the BlackBerry maker in its current form. Rumors have abounded that RIM would split itself in two for months.
First, RIM reported a $518 million loss against $2.8 billion in revenues. That marks a 33 percent decline in revenue compared with the previous quarter. RIM now has about $2.2 billion of cash on hand. RIM sold 7.8 million BlackBerry smartphones, a 30 percent decrease from the previous quarter. And the mobile device maker sold a mere 260,000 PlayBooks in the quarter.
"Our first-quarter results reflect the market challenges I have outlined since my appointment as CEO at the end of January," said Thorsten Heins, RIM's CEO.
"I am not satisfied with these results and continue to work aggressively with all areas of the organization and the board to implement meaningful changes to address the challenges, including a thoughtful realignment of resources and honing focus within the company on areas that have the greatest opportunities."
BlackBerry 10 Delayed
And then he dropped the bomb that really got analysts' attention. Heins said RIM's priority going forward is the successful launch of the company's first BlackBerry 10 device, which he now anticipates will occur in the first quarter of 2013.
RIM's official word is that its software development teams have made major progress over the past several weeks to develop key features for the BlackBerry 10 platform -- however. The key word is "however."
According to RIM, the integration of these features and the associated large volume of code into the platform is taking longer than expected. That means the first BlackBerry 10 smartphones won't hit the market until after the holiday shopping season.
"RIM's development teams are relentlessly focused on ensuring the quality and reliability of the platform and I will not compromise the product by delivering it before it is ready," Heins said. "I am confident that the first BlackBerry 10 smartphones will provide a ground-breaking next generation smartphone user experience."
A Sad Day
Michael Disabato, managing vice president of network and telecom at Gartner, said the BlackBerry 10 delay is painful to watch. That, he said, is because RIM had been such a respected industry brand -- the brand that triggered the notion of having mobility at your fingertips.
"BlackBerry 10 was their last chance. They had something there that I'm told would run apps from Google Play," Disabato told us. "So they probably had a chance to get something into the hands of consumers that consumers might actually like and might actually buy.
"Now they have no chance. I hate to be pessimistic about this, but I'm sad for RIM."
a BlackBerry user:
Posted: 2012-06-29 @ 1:10pm PT