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RIM warns investors, greets developers

Blames slowed development cycle

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Last week RIM slipped out a profit warning to investors, letting them know that its previous forecasts were on the optimistic side and delays in device launches were hurting.

RIM has told its investors that sales for the last quarter will be "slightly below" the $5.2bn it had predicted, and that profits will drop more than 11 per cent from the predictions made last month. Investors took the news badly, with RIM's shares dropping by a similar amount in after-hours trading, as the Financial Times notes.

The warning came while a significant proportion of the world was preparing to sit down and watch the royal wedding, and RIM's developer community was looking forward to the BlackBerry World event which is now underway. That event has already seen the launch of two new handsets and an updated handset OS, as well as integrated support for companies deploying a mix of BlackBerry and iPhone devices.

But it is the delayed launch of those handsets that RIM blames for the profit warning. Apparently sales of the old kit have been disappointing, and Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of RIM, admitted the company had hoped to have the new devices on the shelves by now.

Making the announcement directly before the BlackBerry World event might help obscure a decline in sales, as long as it can be turned around before it becomes too obvious to hide. ®

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