RIM delays BlackBerry 10 launch, bins 5000 bods
What's that smell? Yes, it's death
RIM has reported disastrous quarterly results and is delaying the launch of the new BlackBerry 10 operating system until next year. The company will also shed 5,000 staff.
In its latest earnings call the company reported revenues fell 33 per cent to $2.8bn in the last quarter, leaving them down 43 per cent on this time last year. RIM made a net loss last quarter of $518m, compared to a profit of $695m over the same period last year.
The company shifted 7.8 million handsets over the last three months, and 260,000 Playbook tablets, although in the latter case this had more to do with massive discounting than any strong consumer demand.
"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," said RIM's CEO Thorsten Heins in a statement. "Our top priority going forward is the successful launch of our first BlackBerry 10 device, which we now anticipate will occur in the first quarter of calendar 2013."
Holding back BlackBerry 10 could be the final nail in RIM's coffin. The three months before Christmas are the busiest time of the year for mobile vendors, with some logging a third of their annual sales in the holiday season. The delay will mean RIM loses a shot at some of these sales, as punters are unlikely to buy handsets with an operating system that will be dumped next year.
RIM's development team have been making good progress with BlackBerry 10 Heins said, but the problems of integrating new code and applications was taking up more time than had been anticipated. The company wasn't going to start selling handsets with the operating system until it was working properly he explained, but RIM is still adding customers in all world regions except in its core US market.
On light of the delay Heins said that RIM would be accelerating and expanding its efforts to cut costs, with 5,000 jobs being cut in a move that will cost a one-time charge of $350m. The company has however hired a new chief legal officer to replace Karima Bawa, who jumped ship in May, with Steve Zipperstein, former general counsel of Verizon Wireless filling Bawa's stylish yet affordable shoes.
RIM stopped giving forecasts on its performance after its last quarterly results statement, but said that the next few quarters would be "very challenging," which is something of an understatement. The stock market makes its own predictions however, and RIM shares fell 17 per cent at one point before rallying. ®
I'm a BB user, but not through choice
Work supply us minions with a BB Curve, and i find it to be the most horrible, clunky, and outdated pile of junk on the planet. I only use it for reading emails, and making and receving calls, as it's useless at anything else . Thankfully i have a "real" smartphone of my own that i can do more advanced things on...like texting. Even just using it as a phone comes with mega frustrations.
Need to enter a contact into the phone book? ok, type the number in, press menu.....look for option to save number. nope, it isnt there. So then you have to press green, dial the number, and end the call. Then press green again to go to call history, highlight the number, press menu and then "add to contacts" from there.
Internet - hah...on that screen? good luck with that.
When BB's first hit the market, there was nothing else around that could provide business email like they did, and i'll admit, they were impressive. This was in an era where a lot of businesses were still running Exchange 2000, so no mobile support whatsoever, other than pop3/imap (yuck)
Then Exchange 2003 came along, with Outlook Mobile Access. You didnt need a blackberry/BES/£15 a month EXTRA on your mobile contract anymore to get push email. Fair enough, Windows Mobile 6 was garbage looking back, but the devices were much better than Blackberrys of that period, with nicer screens, storage capacity, and a better UI (Laggy as hell at times, but still fairly usable)
Blackberry carried on as they were.....basic, clunky handsets, with all the great features you'd expect from a 5 year old Nokia Symbian handset, and requiring businesses to buy a BES CAL per handset.
Then Exchange 2007/2010 came along, followed by Android/iOS and really ruined their party. Encrypted push email, on a range of devices that can be centrally managed as part of a Groupware system they've already paid for, without a requirement for per device licensing and a seperate BES application server? That sounds much better. And whats that, the user enters their email address and password and they configure themselves, without having to get the admin to create a BES user, wait 4 hours while it initialises, then spend another hour trying to get the handset to activate? WOW!
What have Blackberry done? Nothing. Still the same tired old BES (now with web UI) and substandard handsets, though now you don't need to licence it per device, and most companies get away with BES Express without the need for the BES Enterprise data plans on their devices. Big whoop. New versions of their OS just seem to be the same horrible UI with a new skin on. I had a "Torch" briefly, WTF is with the touch screen. I think they borrowed it from an iPaq circa 2002, you need to mash your entire face against it to make it do anything.
Go buy a £60 Android from Tesco and connect it to your exchange server, you'll get a better experience from a user side, traffic is encrypted and you can still remote wipe the thing when a user leaves it in the pub.
Bye bye Blackberry, you won't be missed
I have a golden rule.
Any of the suits that use the phrase "going forward" are not to be taken seriously.
'Not saying that restructuring is going to defineatlly save them but how does a company that turns $2.8 billion revenue in a single quarter just fail?'
By spending more than $2.8 billion every quarter.