Print 48 comment(s) - last by Belard.. on Jul 1 at 5:53 AM

Is this the end?

Analysts were predicting a small loss from embattled Canadian smartphone maker Research in Motion, Ltd. (TSE:RIM); a loss that they concluded would drive the company closer to a likely sale in 2013.  But the analyst consensus of a $0.03 USD per share loss on $3.1B USD revenue went from seeming gloomy, to seeming downright flowers and roses compared to RIM's actual financials.

I. RIM Reports Horrifying Financials

RIM reported [PDF] an abysmal $2.8B USD in revenue an a lost of $0.30 USD per share.  The loss is RIM's second straight quarter of escalating money bleeding.

RIM, which employs approximately 16,500 people worldwide, also committed to layoffs of 5,000 employees, or roughly 30 percent of its workforce.  That will leave RIM with just over 10,000 employees globally -- about half of its peak workforce of 20,000 in 2009.

RIM Sign
RIM is laying off almost a third of its employees. [Image Source: BGR]

The jobs cuts were much worse than the expectation -- 2,000 layoffs.  RIM had announced that layoffs would indeed be coming weeks ago, but it held off on sharing exact numbers.  It's unfortunate to see exactly how deep RIM is cutting to try to save the ship, but it's perhaps understandable given how much worse than expected the financials were.

While RIM clings to a dwindling number of large enterprise users, the root of its problem was plunging sales of BlackBerry smartphones.  RIM mustered only 7.8 million units sold, down over 40 percent from last year's numbers [PDF] (13.2 million).  Sales of the PlayBook tablet plunged to 260,000 amid RIM's cut of its most popular SKU.  That marks almost a 50 percent drop from last year's sales of 500,000 units.

Ex-RIM CEO Mike Lazardis's 2009 quote to Fortune during the peak of RIM's success is looking more and more like a warning to future CEOs on the perils of mismanagement -- "Sometimes we have to put the brakes on.  We've shown that we can handle annual 100% growth. I'm not sure we could handle more than that."

Every part of RIM is shriveling and dying, from its supply chain to its business user-base, to its consumer pull.

II. BB 10 Gets Delayed, End is Nigh for RIM

But that's not even the bad news.  RIM also offered this jewel in its earnings report:

BlackBerry 10 smartphone launch now scheduled for Q1 of calendar 2013.

In other words, everyone's favorite vaporous smartphone platform has been bumped yet another half year.  

RIM London
BB10 has been bumped to 2013  -- if RIM makes it that long. [Image Source: NeoWin]

To put this in context, RIM bought QNX in April 2010, with the intention of using it as a replacement for its current smartphone operating system.  In a market that moves like lightning RIM's fumbling executive ranks have managed to take nearly 3 years to turn this gifted wrapped platform into product.  In other words, what should have been a chip shot was turned into a Hail Mary due to pure, unadulterated incompetence.

RIM over the last year has made a sad joke of itself, with its faked "flash mob" protests at Apple, Inc. (AAPL) stores in Australia and its new chief executive's arrogant attacks on the world's most used smartphone platform, Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android.  Apparently somewhere along the way RIM forgot that Google and Apple each and every year deliver something that it does not -- actual operating system product.

Or perhaps RIM was too busy courting business users with Saturday morning cartoon characters to notice.

Analyst predict more destruction for the RIMdenburg.
[Image Source: Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC]

Regardless, if there's one thing that's clear it's that a sale of RIM is likely coming soon.  It seems unlikely that RIM will survive to see its ever-slipping operating system arrive.  

Investors will surely be eager to salvage what little they can from the company.  The company does have some decent assets -- namely its large intellectual property portfolio, its recognizable business brand, and its superb physical keyboard mastery.

It would be relatively shocking if RIM is not put on the auction block before the year's end.

Source: RIM

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RE: Who would buy?
By Belard on 6/28/2012 11:16:16 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah... sorry, most of us have migrated to other things by then. If the Torch was SOOOOO GOOD, then the Torch should have sold millions and millions of units.

I looked at the Torch 9850 / 9860 (just now - online)... They look pretty good. I like the PHYSICAL main buttons on the bottom.

I still miss that supernice trackpad on my HTC Titan.

HUH!? How come you have a HTC if you love BB? If the BB was better, why didn't you go with one? You were more damaging to RIM than I am.

RE: Who would buy?
By Pirks on 6/28/2012 11:55:45 PM , Rating: 1
the Torch should have sold millions and millions of units
It did
They look pretty good. I like the PHYSICAL main buttons on the bottom.
Hehe, they feel even better than look, when you actually use them. Fast and fluid HTML5 WebKit browser, GPS navigation, full email suite, HD camera, lotsa apps in the app store, very smooth and slick UI, etc etc etc and the best of all the killer feature for me - the optical trackpad! All the dumb trolls like Mick or retro have no idea how nice it is to use it when you navigate complex web pages.
How come you have a HTC if you love BB?
I like both WP7 and BB7, each has its own strong points, Titan had the huge super nice screen going for it, much better than the Torch one, that's why I got it. The interface and the OS is also a bit better and more elaborate than BB7. There are a few 3D games that WP7 has and BB7 doesn't. But the lack of trackpad is a serious disadvantage compared to that slick BB7 Torch.

RE: Who would buy?
By Belard on 6/29/2012 9:23:53 AM , Rating: 2
My carrier does have the 9860... I'll give it a try (feel and function) but with RIM going down the drain and out-dated hardware, its a hard purchase. Also most at&t locations have dummy phones while they always have live iPhones for people to try out. :(

*I* am in the market for a re-newal with my carrier.

And no, if the Torch sold very well, RIM would not have such a small market share today. Its not enough to keep them in business. They have 4 different models and its not enough to keep the lights on. I can get the 9860 for $100... and my last use of a BB device a few months ago (Curve 9360) did not impress me.

If the Torch 9850/60 is such a kick-ass device, it should have easily given the apple iPhone and Androids phones severe competition. I don't care much for APPS... I use a few FREE apps and that's it. My primary use of a phone: 1- a Phone (yikes) 2- texting 3- photos/video recordings 4- calendar 5- GPS/Maps. 6- web browsing.

So having 1/100th the apps as Android means little to me.

But looking at what is OUT there, I am not happy. I'm sick of crappy Android support from at&t/Samsung... but from the looks of things, Samsung is the best in Android phones. I'm not happy with these 4.5~5" super-sized screens. I don't carry a fragging purse.

So... my choices as of today:

Samsung Galaxy SIII = $200 : Pros = nice screen, latest model & Android, HD resolution screen. Looks fairly nice. Cons = big-ass screen. Big-ass phone.

Nokia Lumia 900 = $100 : Pros = Windows 7.5, beautiful phone, feels great. CONS = Microsoft, Windows8, low-res 2011 display, semi-big-ass phone (the L800 would sell me).

iPhone 4s = $200 Pros = looks great, simple to use. Hires Retina display. perfect size. Cons = glass back is breakable, non-flexible OS. Seems to eat more data usage.

Another plus with any Android phone is that I'll simply replace the launcher with WP7 Launcher which has a bit more eye-candy than even WindowsPhone8 (it'll rotate the tiles to always be UP and custom color per tile if wanted).

The iPhone5 looks to have a METAL back.. that could sway me more... but... but... but. :(

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