news keeps piling on for BlackBerry manufacturer Research In Motion, and it's
starting to have an effect on shareholders.
Last month, the Canadian company predicted a poor showing for its first
quarter of the year. It predicted smartphone sales to fall, while the
smartphone market overall is growing. It also warned that its gross margin
would drop 41 percent.
For RIM, a lot was riding on the success of its tablet, the BlackBerry
PlayBook. But early reviews have not been very favorable for
the device, which reviewers generally concur was rushed out to market without
key features such as email, contacts, and a calendar.
The outlook has gotten so tepid that RIM issues a surprise profit warning,
thanks to increasing competition and delays in getting its next-gen
BlackBerries to market, Financial Times reports.
The move prompted shares to plunge by as much as 11 percent, $6.17 per share,
in late Thursday trading.
The company predicted Q1 profits of $1.30-$1.37 per share, compared to
$1.47-$1.55 it predicted last month. BlackBerry shipments would also be at the
lower range of what it predicted last month (13.5-14.5 million units), and
would skew more towards the cheaper models, according to FT.
"We all wish we could have got the new products out quicker," RIM
Co-CEO Jim Balsillie said in a conference call with analysts, "but that
just hasn’t happened." The turmoil is "transitory," he added,
rather than being long-term.
According to FT, RIM is expected to address these issues at a
software developer conference next week, where it may also unveil its next-gen