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RIM Co-CEO Jim Balsillie.  (Source:
2011 Q1 was even worse than expected for the BlackBerry maker

The bad 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 BlackBerry devices.

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By Belard on 5/1/2011 5:32:42 AM , Rating: 1
I have no dreams to see RIM go out of business, etc - hell, not even MS should die.

I never liked how the UI functioned on blackberries. But each their own. We all DON'T drive the same color or type of cars. Eat the same type of food, have the same brand or style of TVs, the same underwear. etc etc...

But pretty much most people, if not anyone I know who HAD blackberrys - ever wanted one after using an Android or iPhone.

One of the companies I work for had gone through 5-6 models of blackberrys over the course of 3 years (and 1-2 Windows Phones). Had to constantly reset the blackberry (pull the battery & SIM), go into some packages of some sort, delete them, then have the phone re-download certain updates. It was constant! Every few months, the bloody phone would JUST NOT #@($*&@$( work!

The screens were dinky for web-browsing, they were slow. Email - eh.

I had the people in the company replace their blackberries for iPhone 2, one by one. As more people saw how better they worked over blackberries / WinPhones, they'd upgrade. After 3 years, only had one or two issues with email - MINOR issues.

Personally, I never bought an Apple product in my life until a month or so ago with the iPad-1.

Why is the Playbook selling like crap?!

Who in their right mind WOULD buy a product with beta-software installed, with missing basic functions like Calendar, contacts, email, etc? HOW DIFFICULT is it to make such tools?!

Sure Apple made many improvements to the iPad OS since its first release, BUT IT WORKED! IT HAD THE BASICS COVERED!

RIM expected people to spend $500 for a new device with a smaller 7" screen that is effectively broken?! Hmmm.. there is a cheaper $480 iPad device with a much better screen that ISN'T 16:9 that works.

ASUS has a much COOLER and usable design with their Transformer. It has a 10" screen and costs $400. I hope it takes off... IMHO, I think its the best non-Apple tablet on the market. The XOOM is interesting... but it starts at $600!! $120 over an iPad2... for what?!

I think one of the failures of ALL these "me-too" tablets is the 16:9 tiny baby 5~8" screens.

Yes, I have the TWC TV video app on my iPad which allows me to watch some TV channels from it. But I use a tablet 90% of the time in portrait mode. Like a book. NOT as a media video player.

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