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RIM's workforce has shrunk by over a quarter in the past three years

Waterloo, Ontario based Research in Motion, Ltd. (TSE:RIM) used to be the darling of the smartphone industry.  For a time "BlackBerry" was almost synonymous with "smartphone", but today RIM has fallen on hard times.  It can hardly convince customers to buy its smartphones, let alone its flopped tablet, despite the price being slashed from $500 USD to around $200 USD.

Desparate times call for desparate measures, and a report in top Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail indicated this week that RIM would be axing 2,000 jobs worldwide, from its roughly 16,500 workers.  That 12 percent reduction in workforce is a sign of just how dire things are for the phonemaker, who is facing the prospect of a sale or bankruptcy.

An anonymous executive told The Globe and Mail, "They’ve been axing people on the sly for months.  Lots of guys are being packaged out right now." an executive is quoted as saying."

At its pinnacle around 2009, RIM employed over 20,000.  With the latest cuts, RIM's global workforce will have shrunk by almost 28 percent.

The layoffs are expected to begin June 1, a day before RIM announces its latest fiscal quarterly results -- which some fear will be another loss.  Some employees are expected to be pressured to take early retirements and buyout incentives, others will be directly laid off.

The cuts could save RIM $1B USD, but that could be a short term solution, given that the company lost $125M USD (an eighth of a billion) in Q1 2012, and many expect those losses to accelerate as sales shrink.

RIMdenberg
Some fear the cuts won't be enough to save RIM. [Image Source: Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC]

Worldwide the BlackBerry accounts for only 7 percent of smartphone shipments, according to market research firm IDC Group.  And in the U.S. RIM's market share is at about 4 percent -- indicating that a mere one in every-twenty-five devices sold is a BlackBerry.

New CEO Thorsten Heins compares recent layoffs and executive departures to throwing out pieces of a puzzle -- pieces he says you "don't need".  He comments, "[Reviews] kind of allowed me to get a clearer view of what fits, and what doesn’t fit.  Think of it like a jigsaw puzzle. I kind of figured out a few pieces that I don’t need in my puzzle to be successful."

Analysts widely believe RIM's only hope at survivial is its upcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system, but many are pessimistic regarding whether BB10 will be enough to save the sinking devicemaker.

Source: The Globe and Mail



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The customer is always right.
By drycrust3 on 5/26/2012 2:58:55 PM , Rating: 2
It seems to me that if customers aren't buying your product, then you need to know why. Blackberries weren't cheap, so price wasn't the reason they became popular, it was because customers could get something from them that other cheaper phones couldn't deliver. Now, either those same customers can get that "something" elsewhere or the Blackberry no longer delivers it.
How about actually asking dissatisfied customers as to why they are buying a competing product?




RE: The customer is always right.
By Motoman on 5/26/2012 4:04:17 PM , Rating: 2
Blackberry became popular with corporations because of it's integration into corporate email and calendaring systems, etc. It was never all that popular with the general public as the kind of device you'd go to BBY and buy on your own for your own personal cell phone.

RIM needs to get back to that core corporate customer...which has been ditching them for Android or other devices. Frankly RIM needs to not worry about the general public which has never been it's audience anyway. They need to develop new benefits for the enterprise, and reestablish themselves in their traditional stronghold.


RE: The customer is always right.
By TakinYourPoints on 5/26/12, Rating: 0
RE: The customer is always right.
By TakinYourPoints on 5/26/12, Rating: -1
RE: The customer is always right.
By TakinYourPoints on 5/27/12, Rating: 0
RE: The customer is always right.
By sprockkets on 5/27/2012 10:45:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
LOL, two well sourced and unbiased posts get downvoted, the fanboy circlejerk here is hilarious


You could have just summarized your posts into like 3 sentences. In case you haven't noticed, posting long worded "swash" posts is heavily frowned upon here. You also are quite deluded if you think those sources are "unbiased".


RE: The customer is always right.
By TakinYourPoints on 5/29/2012 12:01:29 AM , Rating: 2
Most of it was cut & paste, but I'll keep that in mind.

Otherwise, how are independent studies that lay out pros and cons that everyone knows about, statistics from Google themselves, and knowing the differences between Android versions biased?

Maybe you don't like what it has to say, but it is far from biased or dishonest.


RE: The customer is always right.
By sprockkets on 5/29/2012 11:41:01 AM , Rating: 2
Well I'll give you points for that, cause you aren't like those other idiots like macdevdude. I also try not to be such a douche either.

I like android and know it isn't suited as well for the enterprise. And as backstabbing as apple has been for businesses, it still will get adopted better than android for most purposes.


By TakinYourPoints on 5/29/2012 2:57:04 PM , Rating: 2
Macdevdude is out of his mind, same as a few other commenters. That said, insanity runs high on both sides of the fence, its pretty weird.


RE: The customer is always right.
By matty123 on 5/26/2012 5:50:19 PM , Rating: 4
This may be true in the business world but is certainly not the case infor
Link: http://edition.cnn.com/2012/02/03/tech/mobile/gove...

quote:
However, the government chose to work on Android first because Google already allows people to tinker freely with its code, said those working on the project. Federal officials have met with Apple, but they were told they could not have access to the core of the company's mobile operating system, said Angelos Stavrou, an information-security director at George Mason University who is working on the government project as a contractor, in a phone interview.


Link: http://androidcommunity.com/nsa-releases-ultra-sec...

quote:
To build SE Android, you’ll need to download and compile the latest code from the Android Open Source Project, then applying the custom SE Android code on top of it. So what do the extra bells and whistles do? Basically every single file and folder that Android has access to can be locked down tight, with considerable encryption and put in place to protect them. Network security is enhanced on both WiFi and mobile networks, and the already considerable app permission system is enhanced with multi-level security.


Link: http://androidcommunity.com/us-government-claims-t...

Link: http://venturebeat.com/2012/04/12/boeing-android-p...

Link: http://thenextweb.com/us/2012/02/03/the-us-governm...

In fact android is far more likely to be adopted by governments requiring strict security measures because apple doesn't allow access to the source code.


RE: The customer is always right.
By wind79 on 5/26/2012 8:07:21 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the links. I have no idea that Android has come so far and is so close to replacing BB for secure mobile computing devices now.


By TakinYourPoints on 5/26/2012 10:03:06 PM , Rating: 2
But it actually isn't, not without massive modifications and locking it down harder than any mobile OS out there.

For agency use, certainly, and as long as the people in charge stay on top of maintaining their own centralized security updates. For enterprise use, no way, not in its current popular form.


By TakinYourPoints on 5/26/2012 9:16:13 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the links.

A forked off version of Android that is completely cut off from any marketplace and banned from being modified by the user is certainly viable for government use.

It is almost like "reverse-jailbreaking" the OS. This is a gigantic divergence from any popular version of Android though, certainly different from what anyone here uses.

quote:
Currently SE Android is only intended for emulators and the Nexus S, and son’t expect much support if you intend to expand its horizons.


As you inferred, it is still not a viable option for enterprise given that you don't want to lock the users away from installing applications, etc. Either way, Android being "far more likely" isn't quite happening yet given that iOS is actually viable in its current form and being deployed.


RE: The customer is always right.
By poi2 on 5/26/12, Rating: 0
By flyingpants1 on 5/27/2012 1:01:13 AM , Rating: 1
There shouldn't even be a reason to buy a Blackberry today, Android should have completely wiped them out.

Yet Blackberries are still used by:
-Business and Govt. clients
-People who like portrait keyboard phones
-People who can't afford the iPhone or high-end Android devices and want to buy something fairly familiar-looking

All extremely easy targets for a giant like Google.

Apple's market share is strictly limited by their desire to stay away from keyboards, so naturally Google should seek to capitalize on that limitation.

The Droid Pro sucked but it wasn't a bad first try to convert BB users to Android.




By Pirks on 5/27/2012 5:41:24 AM , Rating: 1
well, QNX in the new BB phones is head and shoulders above crapdroid in usability and elegance department, I noticed it immediately when I purchased my Playbook last summer. so when phone QNX is released later this year google can suck it off


By wordsworm on 5/27/2012 4:06:25 PM , Rating: 1
Not to mention that they didn't have to steal IP from other software developers in order to put out their phones.

In other news, HP is also laying of thousands of employees in an effort to improve their profit margin. Does that mean that they're in trouble? I think these layoffs are more related to improving profit rather than a do-or-die situation. They're still making tons of money. What has happened is that the number of smart phones sold are much greater than they used to be. But, they still sell millions of phones just like they did before the iPhone came along, and then Android. However, because of the great growth of smart phones, it *looks* like they're selling fewer phones, but in reality, it's not as dire as what some writers or even RIM's board seem to think it is. RIM's board is disappointed that they couldn't maintain growth rather than remaining relatively steady. Some writers never seem to understand that. But, you know, once some writers have an opinion, they don't let facts get in the way.


By sprockkets on 5/28/2012 12:27:07 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Not to mention that they didn't have to steal IP from other software developers in order to put out their phones.


What does that mean???


By flyingpants1 on 5/27/2012 11:15:46 PM , Rating: 2
Even though you are a notorious troll, I tend to agree with you, Android's UI and user experience lacks finesse


By sprockkets on 5/28/2012 12:34:45 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
well, QNX in the new BB phones is head and shoulders above crapdroid in usability and elegance department, I noticed it immediately when I purchased my Playbook last summer. so when phone QNX is released later this year google can suck it off


Yes, it's soooo very usable and elegant. I mean, it only took BB about a year to give it an email client. Who also needed a calendar and contacts app either? That's OK, since everyone loves BB you can just use it with it!


By eddieroolz on 5/29/2012 11:33:04 AM , Rating: 2
It took Apple years to get cut and paste, but I didn't see anyone complaining about iOS's elegance back in the day...


By sprockkets on 5/29/2012 4:32:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It took Apple years to get cut and paste, but I didn't see anyone complaining about iOS's elegance back in the day...


ORLY?

http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=ip...

And I'm not the only one who called out BB for a half baked, wait, that's being nice; that was the ipad without half the features until 6 months later. No, the playbook was DOA, and called out for it by anandtech.


By retrospooty on 5/26/2012 4:56:50 PM , Rating: 2
The next 2 quarters are going to be worse and then worse again. The pic is really fitting LOL. The RIMdenburg.




By Lord 666 on 5/26/2012 9:57:54 PM , Rating: 2
Cisco just cancelled Cius, BB is laying off 2000 employees. To me, those two companies would be perfect together and are in the beginning stages of coming together. Cisco would own a real mobile OS, BB OS 10, that can be rolled out to smart cable boxes and every other network facing smart device. Plus, Cisco would still retain DoD phones and possibly expand government business.

Plus, it would be great if Cisco/BB would offer a free version of MVS to differentiate from other smart phones. Not to mention having BB Fusion to augment BYOD.




RIM brings recruits outside help
By sarfralogy on 5/28/2012 10:44:18 AM , Rating: 1
Research In Motion, after a rather tepid reception of their newest Blackberry handset that was revealed at last week's Blackberry World conference, has appointed a new Chief Operations Officer and Chief Marketing Officer. "With deep experience in the mobile computing industry," the company announced in a press release, "Mr. Tear and Mr. Boulben will complement RIM’s existing executive team as the company continues to focus on expanding its global customer base and prepares for the launch of its new BlackBerry 10 platform."
source http://www.patexia.com/feed/rim-brings-recruits-ou...




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