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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.

RIMdenberg
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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freegin ouch!
By retrospooty on 6/28/2012 5:29:54 PM , Rating: 3
30% of the workforce is huge. OMG.

It really looks like they are slimming down for the sale now.




RE: freegin ouch!
By JasonMick (blog) on 6/28/2012 5:54:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
30% of the workforce is huge. OMG.

It really looks like they are slimming down for the sale now.
No kidding... We might want to take up a collection to install some Foxconn nets outside Pirks' house to prevent anything tragic from occurring when reality hits...


RE: freegin ouch!
By Pirks on 6/28/2012 5:58:39 PM , Rating: 1
Ya I put the link to that troll post of yours here in my notebook, you pray RIM indeed is sold before the end of 2012 or else Micktroll... you better pray buddy! ;)


RE: freegin ouch!
By mcnabney on 6/28/2012 6:10:11 PM , Rating: 2
What are the current odds for a bidding war between Google and Apple for BES and all those patents?

Forget the handsets and BB10. That's worthless.


RE: freegin ouch!
By Pirks on 6/28/12, Rating: -1
RE: freegin ouch!
By retrospooty on 6/28/2012 6:20:39 PM , Rating: 2
"Pay another "analyst" enough and tell him what you want to hear"

Wow... BB10 delayed another 6 months, operating loss, stock at 1/16th its previous value, excess unsold inventory, next 2 quarters looking even bleaker than the current, announced a 30% layoff and RIM hired 2 financial firms to evaluate the company and you STILL think its all trolls and FUD?

Dood, wake up.


RE: freegin ouch!
By Pirks on 6/28/12, Rating: -1
RE: freegin ouch!
By ritualm on 6/28/2012 7:08:04 PM , Rating: 2
Easier said than done when the company you're trying your damned hardest to protect leaks like a mofo without any outside assistance.

Pirks, just give it up. You're as horrible as Tony Swash at times.


RE: freegin ouch!
By Spuke on 6/28/2012 7:09:20 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Pirks, just give it up. You're as horrible as Tony Swash at times.
Nah, Pirks is WAY funnier.


RE: freegin ouch!
By kleinma on 6/28/2012 10:29:16 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
You're as horrible as Tony Swash at times.


Come on man. Say nasty things about his mom if you want, or tell him you hope he kills himself or dies in a plane crash. But you really crossed the line with your comment. You owe an apology for that one.


RE: freegin ouch!
By Spuke on 6/28/2012 7:08:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There were other companies that survived bad times. Retro, wake up.
Yeah, but they had a clue.


RE: freegin ouch!
By Pirks on 6/28/12, Rating: -1
RE: freegin ouch!
By retrospooty on 6/28/2012 8:59:41 PM , Rating: 2
Buying a good OS and taking 3 YEARS to get it onto a phone (if they dont delay again) is not a clue. Its a clusterfuck. It shows they are unable to compete in the modern smartphone arena. They are done pirks. They know it, analysts all know it, anyone that knows anything about hte stock market and investors know it, the board knows it, web review sites know it... Everyone knows it but you.


RE: freegin ouch!
By Pirks on 6/28/12, Rating: -1
RE: freegin ouch!
By StevoLincolnite on 6/29/2012 12:13:43 AM , Rating: 2
They can make great phones, but if the development process is long then the competition will rapidly pass them as soon as the new device is released.

I personally wouldn't like to see RIM go under, competition is great.
But they do need a solid product line-up and pronto, perhaps using Android or Windows 7 and having a solid phone stack might help, it would reduce the time to market time too.


RE: freegin ouch!
By retrospooty on 6/29/2012 8:52:07 AM , Rating: 2
I know it took them 1 year to get it into the Playbook and per YOU, it totally rocked. 2 years later for a phone? That just doesn't cut it today. I may not be involved programming such things to have first hand experience, but I do have alot of experience in production, design and product lifecycle's from new product readiness engineering to end of life, and let me tell you , RIM dumped the bucket on this one badly. Their marketshare #'s agree with me. They sold 1/2 as many phones last quarter than the previous one (which was already down).


RE: freegin ouch!
By kleinma on 6/29/2012 10:10:33 AM , Rating: 2
You mean how Microsoft is bringing the Windows 8 kernel to their next phone OS so they can be the only smartphone devices to actually connect up properly to a windows domain through AD and inherit the permissions and security that come with that?


RE: freegin ouch!
By topkill on 6/29/2012 1:49:30 PM , Rating: 2
Pirks, my GOD dude, you are seriously delusional.

I'd say we need to put you on suicide watch because the end is coming, and it clearly means something really deep and spiritual to you.

Question for you: Do you think that maybe the Aztecs were predicting the end of RIM???

LOL


RE: freegin ouch!
By retrospooty on 6/29/2012 3:17:48 PM , Rating: 2
"Pirks, my GOD dude, you are seriously delusional."

I know... Its pretty funny, but you cannot get this guy to see the obvious writing on the wall no matter what. Layoff 30% of the workforce and delay the already delayed last hope OS, hire financial firms to evaluate the company, announce that you are open to selling the company and he STILL thinks it cant happen. LOL.

The ONLY reason it hasnt sold already is that RIM is asking too much $$$ for a product with no gauranteed future. Even if QNX/OS10 is great, it still has a huge uphill climb to gain recognition, and with Winmobile now coming in as a great alternative to Android and IOS, there isnt much room for a company that cant execute well at all.


RE: freegin ouch!
By retrospooty on 6/28/2012 6:25:01 PM , Rating: 2
"No kidding... We might want to take up a collection to install some Foxconn nets outside Pirks' house to prevent anything tragic from occurring when reality hits"

Nope... Let Darwin take care of this one =)


RE: freegin ouch!
By topkill on 6/30/2012 10:21:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Nope... Let Darwin take care of this one =)


ROFLMAO

Good point.


RE: freegin ouch!
By Spuke on 6/28/2012 7:06:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We might want to take up a collection to install some Foxconn nets
Now that's funny!


QNX is a terrible idea
By Milliamp on 6/28/12, Rating: 0
RE: QNX is a terrible idea
By Pirks on 6/29/12, Rating: -1
RE: QNX is a terrible idea
By Belard on 6/29/12, Rating: 0
RE: QNX is a terrible idea
By Belard on 6/30/2012 3:51:20 AM , Rating: 2
Is what I said really down-ratable?

Even today, almost all of the latest competing tablets are NOT as fast, not as high-res and not cheaper than the iPad 3.


RE: QNX is a terrible idea
By elleehswon on 6/29/2012 10:24:36 AM , Rating: 2
well, that's weird. my ICS'd touchpads and my co-workers' transformer primes all run fast as the wind. are you sure you got past the lock screen?


RE: QNX is a terrible idea
By jimbojimbo on 6/29/2012 10:24:52 AM , Rating: 1
Often I disagree with you but I do agree on this point. Everyone that complains about Playbooks have never used one. I got to play with one during their release party and I thought at that time it was probably the best tablet out there in pure performance and multitasking capabilities. Too bad it lacked a lot of significant features at the time.


RE: QNX is a terrible idea
By retrospooty on 6/29/2012 10:52:59 AM , Rating: 2
Yup. QNX looks like a great OS with a TON of potential. The sad thing is that RIM is floundering like Palm did with webOS.

Hopefully whoever buys RIM can execute better (cant possibly be worse) and keeps the OS alive.


RE: QNX is a terrible idea
By Belard on 6/30/2012 3:54:42 AM , Rating: 2
Nope... like WebOS, BeOS, AmigaOS, OS/2, TOS, etc... there comes a point where its not worth investing time, energy and money. Look at Linux how it has very little desktop marketshare, yet it has a rather large techie user-base.

Part of the reason for that is MANY (not all) Linux users want to keep it that way.

Best thing RIM can do is continue to sell QNX in the special markets it has been handling for years.


RE: QNX is a terrible idea
By retrospooty on 6/30/2012 9:03:08 AM , Rating: 2
I agree, its not likely, but it would be nice. I hate to see another good OS go away.


RE: QNX is a terrible idea
By Belard on 7/1/2012 5:53:46 AM , Rating: 2
QNX itself is not going away. Its an awesome little OS... you can get it for free. I think it still fits on a floppy (okay, it used to).

Even when/if RIM dies, QNX is a subsidiary and can be sold-off intact.

BB10... hasn't seen the light of day, we have an idea of what it looks like with the playbook.

I felt sorry for Palm/WebOS... it was a promising platform. HP screwed the pooch on that one. But IT also shows the difficulty of bringing in ANOTHER OS type device to market.

I think the build and ergonomics on BB devices are top notch. But it needs a modern OS on it yesterday.


RE: QNX is a terrible idea
By jimbojimbo on 6/29/2012 10:22:49 AM , Rating: 2
You're an ignorant wannabe OS nerd. QNX is actually far superior in performance and reliability than Linux. Hell this is the OS of choice for traffic control systems, surgical equipment, and nuclear power plants.
Get out of your parents' basement and go somewhere and play with a Playbook for a while. I have an Android phone and tablet now and have had an iPhone in the past but the Playbook is pretty nice. Well, over a year ago when I played with one I thought it managed multitasking much better than any other device. Not so true any more but it's still a damn responsive system.


RE: QNX is a terrible idea
By Milliamp on 6/29/2012 11:28:14 AM , Rating: 2
"Hell this is the OS of choice for traffic control systems, surgical equipment, and nuclear power plants."

Yes this would be the niche I spoke of in the very first sentence of my post. As I said before, I am sure several people familiar with the microkernel vs monolithic vs hybrid kernel debates are as excited as I am to see what, to my knowledge will be the first consumer targeted pure microkernel based OS.

It is a 20 year old debate and the brightest minds at Appple, Microsoft, Sun/Oracle, Linux etc. have all decided against using microkernel systems for this type if task but I am ignorant and RIM is going to prove me wrong. I'm giddy, this is like Christmas.


HaHa Canada
By sigmatau on 6/28/12, Rating: 0
RE: HaHa Canada
By iamkyle on 6/28/2012 10:35:52 PM , Rating: 2
Hindsight is 20/20 there eh bud?


RE: HaHa Canada
By chmilz on 6/29/2012 1:18:15 AM , Rating: 5
Imagine if Americans were employed instead of making pointless posts on tech forums.


RE: HaHa Canada
By andrewaggb on 6/29/2012 1:20:14 PM , Rating: 2
Masses of people losing jobs anywhere in the world is generally pretty bad. Don't be jerk. It could be you one day.

It shows how quickly anybody can fall from the top spot... Which is why so many companies use monopolostic and lock in tactics to maintain their position. I'm a little bit terrified of Apple, Google, and Microsoft....


Who would buy?
By Belard on 6/28/2012 7:23:10 PM , Rating: 1
RIM is dead... who would buy them? Other than a few patents, nothing of RIM will survive. Remember 3Dfx? Nvidia bought out the dying company (not as bad as RIM) and for the most part, nothing of 3Dfx lives today.

3 years to convert a ready-made OS? Smaller companies have done more with less. That is complete stupidity. BB10 needed to come out last year. Not 2 years later. They deserve to die.

At this point, the best THING RIM could do is *gasp* install Android on their keyboard devices and hope people will buy it for its keyboards.... oh, is their supplier still able to do that for them?

But that'll confuse the market, piss off what few BB lovers that are out there.

Personally, I never meet a BB I actually liked. Everyone one of my friends and clients who had BB quickly dumped them for iPhones and Androids.

Why? Browsing the web, better. GPS, better. Email setup, easier. Screen, better. Ease of use, more modern... less ugly, less having to pull the battery out to reset, then hold down key, then install ROM/packages.... ugh.




RE: Who would buy?
By Pirks on 6/28/12, Rating: -1
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.

quote:
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
quote:
the Torch should have sold millions and millions of units
It did
quote:
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.
quote:
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. :(


Brutal
By DukeN on 6/29/2012 9:55:44 AM , Rating: 2
The BB10 delay will be catastrophic.

Not so much concerned with the earnings miss (expected), but the delay of this OS will be crippling.

Going to be a bloodbath in the markets - don't know how RIM will keep this ship afloat for almost a year without any new products?

FWIW, I'm a RIM apologist and this is terribly disappointing.

Would've been better if RIM had hired a bean-counting CEO who put out somewhat premature phones, instead of waiting for perfection while the company burnt to a crisp in the PR/image fire.




RE: Brutal
By Belard on 6/30/2012 3:56:51 AM , Rating: 2
If RIM wants to live, they need to go Android... going Microsoft will not allow them to do ANY customization.


RIP RIM
By Doctorweir on 6/28/2012 10:06:37 PM , Rating: 2
RIP RIM

Guess that's it...by 2013 no one will even notice their product coming out...if they make it that far...




This photos are perfect
By Milliamp on 6/28/2012 10:49:47 PM , Rating: 2
Amazing job with the photos. By the time BB10 is ready to come out next year Android and iPhone will be a generation ahead of where they are now and development on them is happening at a pace that RIM couldn't possibly compete with at this point.

At least right now RIM is still generating a profit and I suspect they have some huge corporate and government contracts they can squat on for a couple more years.




For you RIP believers
By Chaser on 6/29/2012 11:51:57 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sure you could get a pretty good deal as an investor and buy up some shares of their stock. you know what they say, buy low and sell....Ok scratch that idea.

But I'm sure there's still some open seats left for you on that Zepplin.




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