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RIM insists it is not exiting consumer market - just 'refocusing'

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RIM has reassured shop-wrecking hoodies everywhere that it is not in fact planning to exit the consumer market - after a comment during the BlackBerry-maker's earnings call was misconstrued.

Pundits were widely anticipating the sharp exit of the Canadian firm from consumer smartphones, withdrawing from its fight against Android and Apple mobes, after RIM announced during its latest report of dismal earnings that it would be refocusing on enterprise business.

"The claim that RIM has said it will withdraw from the consumer market is wholly misleading," Patrick Spence, managing director of global sales and regional marketing, said in an emailed statement today.

"Whilst we announced plans to refocus our efforts on our core strengths, and on our enterprise customer base, we were very explicit that we will continue to build on our strengths to go after targeted consumer segments.

"We listed BBM, as well as the security and manageability of our platform, amongst our strengths," he added.

RIM also pointed out that CEO Heins talked about BlackBerry 7 devices and "creating a compelling consumer offering" during the call.

Market observers and media-types might be forgiven for jumping the gun somewhat on RIM's consumer withdrawal as the firm's ongoing poor profits are sending signals that something could change over at BlackBerry HQ.

Fourth-quarter results reported revenues down 19 per cent on the previous quarter and 25 per cent year-on-year, following on from a pretty horrible time last year. ®

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