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Company reportedly loses 4 percent of average revenue from each new handset

BlackBerry 10 gleams in new articles and slide shows put on by Waterloo, Ontario-based phonemaker Research in Motion, Ltd. (TSE:RIM).  Long a star of the phone world, RIM helped define what is today called a "smartphone".  But the company has fallen on hard times.

BlackBerry 10 -- or BB10, in shorthand -- offers seemingly everything RIM needs to recoup.  It offers a stylish new interface built on RIM's acquired QNX operating system.   And it comes on gorgeous LTE-enabled handhelds like the leaked "London".

But BB10 will not arrive until Q3 2012 at the soonest, a delay that has many wondering whether it will be too little, too late when it does finally arrive.  For now RIM is selling what it's already conceded is, in effect, a defunct operating system -- BlackBerry 7 (BB7).  After examining operating costs and inventory costs, Peter Misek, an analyst at investment banking firm Jefferies, found that RIM is spent 4 percent more per handset than it took in, in 2011.

The report is a dire sign for RIM, who is expected to perform its third inventory write-off for Q2 2012, which will be reported on September 1.  Meanwhile Mr. Misek tells Reuters in an interview that RIM is pumping increasing amounts of cash into advertising and price cuts, in a bid to get customers to buy its effectively defunct BB7 devices.  PlayBook tablets currently retail for less than half their original MSRP.
RIM PlayBook ad
RIM has spent heavily to advertise its PlayBook tablet and its BlackBerry smartphones, and to engage in aggressive price cuts. [Image Source: Photoree]

He adds, "The other key thing from this is that it's not likely to get better anytime soon, because until BB 10 devices are out they're going to have to keep cutting prices."

RIM has cancelled all future financial forecasts after posting its first loss in years in Q4 2011.  That loss led to Jim Balsillie -- longtime board chairman and co-CEO -- to be dismissed from his board position, just months after he and his fellow co-CEO Mike Lazaridis were fired from the chief executive spot.

New chief executive Thorsten Heins has said he is considering transforming RIM into a licensed services company or selling RIM's assets to allow investors to recoup a portion of their recent losses.  The Canadian government has green lit a potential sale of RIM, but any such purchase would likely have to pass the scrutiny of the U.S. Department of Defense, a heavy BlackBerry user.  

A coalition of rappers and ex-convicts including Dr. Nono Pearson and famed cocaine dealer "Freeway" Ricky Ross recently offered a bizarre offer to buy RIM for ~$1B USD.  The offer was met with skepticism, which was amplified by the coalition's Geocities-looking homepage and the fact that the coalitions recent charity drive, which aimed to raise "millions" had thus far raised only $5, according to the webpage.

Source: Reuters



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About time RIM gave up on the consumer side..
By DukeN on 4/11/12, Rating: 0
By Connoisseur on 4/11/2012 4:44:41 PM , Rating: 2
My experience with a company-provided blackberry 7 device (Torch 2):
-Despite having very few apps installed (Facebook, Foursquare, Flixster, Gmail, G Maps), it regularly slows down to a crawl leading me to perform a reboot. Leads me to believe it's a memory issue
-Animations are clunky, especially when switching from portrait to landscape (might be the aforementioned memory issue)
-SW keyboard is not nearly as good as iOS keyboard
-Browser crashes FREQUENTLY on random occasions
-GPS Sucks

When I speak with people in my company with even the latest BB phones, the vast majority of them hate it with a passion. I don't care how good their security is. If I had a choice, i'd instantly switch to an iOS/Android/Windows device. Eventually, enough pressure from enough employees does force an organization to reconsider their options.


RE: About time RIM gave up on the consumer side..
By DukeN on 4/12/2012 10:05:12 AM , Rating: 1
RIM devices suck if you rely on them as a touchscreen only one.

Should've asked for a Bold 9900/9930 - much, much nicer device.

And you just exemplified most people's attitude about security - "I don't give a shit, just give me a cool gadget". Well guess what, enterprises care about security. And it's no easy ask managing hundreds of smartphones. RIM makes that part super EASY, and in a secure manner. Which is why they are still dominant in the enterprise side (not to be confused with small business).


By Connoisseur on 4/12/2012 11:11:22 AM , Rating: 2
Yes for certain enterprises, security might be a life or death issue (metaphorically or literally). But I think for the majority of the corporate world, they make do with the Exchange security services offered on most other smartphones. I understand the Secret Service might need the level of security provided by BB's but the average corporation doesn't need it THAT badly. In those instances, i'm sure they'd cave to employee pressure.


By Connoisseur on 4/12/2012 11:16:53 AM , Rating: 2
Also keep in mind that the BB secure servers are another potential weak point in the communication chain. If it goes down, you lose service until they can fix it. Now you have to worry about TWO potential weak links (BB Server AND carrier) instead of just one. Some enterprises don't like that...


By SonofaSteve on 4/12/2012 3:22:01 PM , Rating: 1
lol BB are secure? doesn't that depend on whose interests you represent? Apple and Google could come up with similar security measures a sort of consumer vs. enterprise versioning but they don't because lets face it who in their right mind helps hte doj when they crawl up yer a$$
and Google needs app developers to generate revenue from ad placement which high-security business like doj wouldn't ever approve
RIM only had enough to stay afloat for another year last year and now they screw up moar?! good to be rid of you RIM now go sell yourselves to those rapper wannabe sellouts


By TakinYourPoints on 4/12/2012 9:28:31 PM , Rating: 2
iOS has already addressed the security issue; it uses more ActiveSync protocols than other widely used mobile OSes out there. Security is one reason why you are seeing iPads deployed in enterprise and why government agencies are starting to deploy iPhones as an alternative to Blackberries. The other reasons are strong centralized support and developers, but iOS still wouldn't fly for those sectors without security in mind.

Android is a disaster from a security and malware standpoint, but it isn't to say that a company can't fork their own version off built with security in mind.


By eddieroolz on 4/12/2012 5:23:55 PM , Rating: 2
They go down for 3 days out of 2-3 years of constant operation, and suddenly we see people whine...

Unbelievable.


By retrospooty on 4/12/2012 1:02:27 PM , Rating: 2
"RIM makes that part super EASY, and in a secure manner. Which is why they are still dominant in the enterprise side"

Yes, for companies that need security it is still the best. That is the part that will be bought out by another company when RIM is forced to sell. The service will live on, hopefully by a company that knows how to operate in the year 2012, because RIM sure cannot.


By leexgx on 4/12/2012 10:35:35 PM , Rating: 2
i really only use my blackberry for its intended use for business use only now i do want the 9900 as i have used it for an short time and i liked it (9780 > facebook, twitter and other apps the phone becomes slower bat runs down way to fast and it randomly reboots) if Rim die i will get an windows 7 phone as i only got an BB phone as an test (as i broke my old windows 6.5 mobile screen) 1 year later i found my self using it a lot, Android is not very good for what i use my phone for i found using the calendar clumsy compared to windows and blackberry

use my Android for every thing els (HTC desire not S) with an bigger battery (as i have my gmail account on the blackberry its sync up with google for contacts and calendar) its my fun phone


By euler007 on 4/17/2012 12:34:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
-SW keyboard is not nearly as good as iOS keyboard


It's been a while since I switched from a torch to a G-Nex, but to be fair you should compare the torch HW keyboard versus the android/ios SW keyboard. The HW keyboard was pretty good, even after months I still don't come close to the typing speed I had on the HW keyboard.


XD
By Motoman on 4/11/2012 3:50:27 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
which aimed to raise "millions" had thus far raised only $5, according to the webpage.


That is funny as sh1t.

Reminds me of when Jesse Ventura was the governor of MN. During his campaign, one of his promises was that he was going to refund MN's tax surplus back to the taxpayers (yes...believe it or not, MN was collecting more in taxes than it actually needed to at the time).

So shortly after he was elected, at a press conference he was talking about doing that refund and a journalist asked "why not take that tax surplus to build the new stadium that the Vikings and/or Twins want?"

Jesse thought about that for a moment, and said "tell you what...I'm going to call Norwest bank as soon as we're done here and ask them to set up an account. When you get your tax refund check, if you would rather it went to a new stadium, you send it to that bank. I'll make sure that information is properly posted as to how to do so."

Sure enough, by that evening's news, all the stations were dutifully reporting on how to donate your tax refund check to the new stadium fund.

...and then a few months went by, with nary a peep at all from anyone about that fund.

Then one night I happened to be watching the news, and the anchor says "oh, and remember that special tax refund account for the new stadium fund? Yeah...there's $1,200 in there."




RE: XD
By ltcommanderdata on 4/11/2012 4:06:36 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Then one night I happened to be watching the news, and the anchor says "oh, and remember that special tax refund account for the new stadium fund? Yeah...there's $1,200 in there."

I bet the people who put up that $1,200 felt stupid afterward.


RE: XD
By Samus on 4/12/2012 12:12:21 AM , Rating: 3
Price cuts? Where? The 9970 still sells for $300 AFTER 2-year contract. Even the 9000 on AT&T is the THIRD most expensive phone they offer, only bested by the iPhone 4s 32GB and 64GB.

It's ridiculous how expensive Blackberry's are. Then you factor in they have the most expensive data packages because of RIM's proprietary network usage fees to carriers, which is passed on to the consumer, and they are the most expensive phones to operate as well.

So basically you're getting a outdated phone with an outdated OS that is among the highest cost of ownership. So how are the bleeding money with suckers still getting sucked into their crap? They still have 10 times the marketshare of WinMo.


RE: XD
By eddieroolz on 4/12/2012 5:21:54 PM , Rating: 2
If you claim numbers, at least don't fake the numbers.

Directly from AT&T's shop site:
Bold 9900 - $199 with 2-year contract. Third-most expensive phone after iPhone? You bet. But so is Motorola Atrix at $199. Or Galaxy SII at $199 too. They're all third-most expensive.

Bold 9000 - Handheld from 2008? They still sell that?

If I were you, I wouldn't make up numbers on something that can easily be verified.


Many???
By bah12 on 4/11/2012 3:51:19 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
But BB10 will not arrive until Q3 2012 at the soonest, a delay that has many wondering whether it will be too little, too late when it does finally arrive
If it was out NOW it would be too little to late.




RE: Many???
By retrospooty on 4/11/2012 3:55:53 PM , Rating: 1
Ya, RIM really need to go back to early 2007 when the iPhone was announced and start planning immediately like everyone else did. They really didnt even start anything until 2010 when they looked at QNX. Then they develop so slow its rediculous. Its over 2 years since they partnered up (and later purchased) QNX and still no phone for at least another 6 months. - sad lack of foresight followed up by sad lack of focus = the end


RIM in a rut
By ricardonest on 4/11/2012 5:06:50 PM , Rating: 2
I guess having more patents than your competitors doesn't indicate any success in innovation. You would hope that innovation would bring in more revenue, but I guess that's now how things work.

Here's RIM's patent portfolio against Samsung and Apple:
http://bit.ly/IHiooI




RE: RIM in a rut
By retrospooty on 4/11/2012 5:08:43 PM , Rating: 2
I'd say it depends on the patent. Some are far more innovative than others and some are far more lucrative than others. RIM made alot of $$$ over the years on thier patents and products they built with them, but they stopped innovating in the early 2000's and have just been coasting since.


It hurts to be RIM
By retrospooty on 4/11/2012 3:39:20 PM , Rating: 3
I do hope someone buys and implements QNX. It really looks good. If nothing else its a good alternative to IOS and Android.




TAT reactions?
By Freddo on 4/11/2012 3:47:39 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder how the people at TAT (The Astonishing Tribe) feel about this. They helped to design a lot of mobile UIs over the years (including the Android UI for Google), while staying independent. And then when they do decide to sell themselves, they sell themselves to RIM in late 2010, and all this stuff happens.




RIMjob
By StormyKnight on 4/11/2012 9:31:25 PM , Rating: 2
It isn't a fun RIM article until Pirks shows up and says RIM is still the best, contrary to all evidence saying otherwise.




The business end
By DrApop on 4/11/2012 10:10:20 PM , Rating: 2
RIM thought they had the business end of things all tied up back in 2007. They looked at the iphone and just thought of it as a toy, whereas the Blackberry was THE business phone.

They had vision when they first started blackberry but lost it somewhere along the way. The iphone is/was (along with andriod now)are basically mini computers that comes with a phone. You choose the apps that you need....either to play or to do real work.

This sort of reminds me of back in the 80's with Wang....dedicated system dedicated to only a few jobs - mostly word processing. PC...open system that can do anything that there is a program to do it with. And we know who won that battle.




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