back to article Gloomy forecast, job cuts, product delays at RIM

Research In Motion (RIM) has issued a profit warning, plans to cut the workforce and delay product launches amid fierce competition from smartphone rivals. The BlackBerry and PlayBook maker grew 2012 fiscal first quarter revenues 16 per cent year-on-year to $4.9bn (£3bn) as profits slid nine per cent to $695m. But on a …


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  1. Prof

    Better late than never

    But will it be soon enough?

    RIM sat in the sidelines for far too long while Apple and Android came along to steal their market share. They should have been working on the next gen blackberry and OS long ago.

    RIM is only just now catching up - their latest OS and tablet OS is top notch, and will be seriously awesome when given a bit of time to develop. The web experience is arguably better than any other portable device, and AppWorld is getting there slowly.

    However a good OS etc was not enough to save Palm. I think this will be a close call to see if RIM's delay has cost it so much that it can no longer compete. I surely hope it does survive and not get bought by Microsoft or something. Their new kit and QNX os is exciting and I want to see where it leads.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If only...

    ...they had a new CEO who came from Microsoft to blame for all their problems...

    Both RIM and Nokia appear to have lost market share for the same reasons (their phones don't match the features offered by Android/iPhone and products have been delayed over the last two years) although there were also key differences (RIM's reliance on push e-mail to drive sales when ActiveSync/improved web-based e-mail and lower cost data connections replaced this versus Nokia's reliance on low-cost, high volume handsets to sustain market share).

    I suspect at least one of Nokia and RIM will fail - will be interesting to see who it is...

    1. cloudgazer

      No - different reasons actually

      RIM haven't lost marketshare at all if you look at total handsets, they've lost share only in the smartphone segment and that has happened because of the conversion of consumers over to smartphones at an accelerating rate. RIMs core enterprise customer base has remained loyal through all this.

      Nokia has lost share in both handsets and smartphones, they're in freefall, having gone from making five times RIMs profits to making less than RIM.

      RIMs problem is that they can't seem to grow out of their enterprise niche and that eventually either Apple or WP7 or Android will manage to break in. Nokia's problem is that they don't currently have any niche at all - their market share is a mile wide and an inch-deep, with no customer loyalty at all.

      1. N13L5

        "no customer loyalty at all"

        How can a company with an endless history of telco-brown-nosing earn customer loyalty?

        I wish I could feel better about Nokia than I do, they had good cameras and better support than most. But they sabotaged skype for years, bending over to telco wishes, and I think their last hope is Megoo, not windphone7.

        Currently, releasing smartphones with last year's hardware and Symbian Anna on them isn't going to get them anywhere, they'd be better off making 3 versions of the N9 available: one with Android, one with Megoo and one with Windphone7 and see what sticks.

        Next phone, try to beat Samsung on their top of the line phone to regain some street cred.

        And again - for chriss sakes - let customers decide which OS they want on the thing. Can't be that hard to make 3 bootloaders... better yet, make a multi-boot phone!

        If i got my favorite Android apps today, i'll boot my phone into vanilla Android, nokia needs not waste any time adding some stupid veneer on it. If next year, Ballmer pulls of some miracle with Windphone7 that lets me run a holodeck, I'll boot into that, and in 2 years, maybe the killer app showed up on Megoo, and then I'll switch to that. finished.

        Its fine if they only support one of them officially, and with the other 2, the user has community sites, after all.

        For Blackberry, idk never had an interest in proprietary niche stuff in the first place.

        I think for either one, if they want to be taken seriously, they'll have to match/beat Samsung on hardware. That'll get enthusiasts / influencers to take note, and suddenly their lower end phone sales will improve too.

        They probably should also recognize that these aren't phones, they are personal computers that can also make phone calls. As such, there is no room for walled gardens other than Apples. you gotta be open and offer MORE choice than others to get MORE sales.

        = 1 phone, 3 different OS to choose for Nokia - not that hard.

        Of course, one could get the idea Nokia wanted to become a software company... I think beyond working to make Megoo the best it can be, that train is gone for Nokia. Do hardware right and be software agnostic. Else, just close down everything and live of patent royalties :D

  3. Diskcrash

    Don't see the attraction with a Blackberry

    I recently changed companies from one that used Windows Mobile (yuck) to one that uses Blackberries and while the Blackberry isn't bad as a phone or to do email it just plain sucks in comparison to an iPhone or an Android based one even WM7 is to be preferred.

    Their new Playbook looks interesting but its main advantage seems to be to make the Blackberry more useable and without a Blackberry a tablet less useful so it does not look like a winner.

    I don't want to see them simply copy the competition but they can't go their own way much longer.

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Business Land

      Has anything fun or exciting has ever come out of the business world?

      It brought us x86, DOS, Windows, Office, FAX machines and the Blackberry.

      The Blackberry is proof that you can't rely on one killer patented feature and if you do have a killer feature you might at least want to ensure that all your products have it. A tablet without 3G connectivity is of limited appeal to the travelling business man.

      Most mobile operators do not like tethering and so tethering your Playbook (rubbish name too) to your Blackberry is likely to cause problems.

    2. cloudgazer

      the advantage is secure email.

      When you email somebody else in your company your email is only stored on servers that your company owns and operates. This is a HUGE deal for enterprises and as yet nobody else is offering it with a push email solution.

  4. NoneSuch Silver badge

    All they had to do...

    ...was add Exchange email access to a BES server on their PlayBooks and corporations and other businesses would be falling over themselves to get one. Add the same basic security and encryption you find on any business Blackberry and it is a no-brainer purchase for any IT Department for their execs.

    It is not the lack of apps, it is the lack of common sense.

    Sherlock, because it is elementary.

    1. Graham 25

      Agreed but there is more.

      They need Exchange access without having to have a BES.

      I would have changed to a BB from my iPhone to get at the better battery life, but it means paying more for access to my Exchange server. No good reason for it at all. iPhone does it directly, Android does it .... BB doesn't.

      I want and need access to all my online email and if everyone else provides this then the BB feature of limiting access or paying more is bizarre.

      And no, I don;t want to set up my own BES - for small companies a hosted exchange server does all that is needed and we demographic won't pay more for the convenient of RIM.

      1. Hypnotist


        You're the kind of person Nokia should have been winning over. The Nokia E6 would seem to be perfect for you (bugs aside).

  5. Turtle_Fan

    So then...

    RIM is selling the CIO/CTO's dream gear. Is it any wonder then that they don't get very far on other segments?

    Funnily enough they also seem to make some limited inroads to the teen texter crowd but that's hardly enough to give them an "ooph" factor or improve their financials.

    And while on arant, what's with the suicidal underspeccing of memory on their handsets?

  6. Gil Grissum

    Ex Blackberry user....

    My first and only experience with the Blackberry was the Curve 8310. The user experience was the worst I've ever had with any smartphone. The apps were ok, but the web browser didn't cut it and the inability to play any sort of media (music, videos, no Flash) sealed it for me. I'm not interested in any of RIM's products, least of all, the Playbook.

  7. Gil Grissum


    The Playbook is intentionally hobbled so that you must have a Blackberry to get full functionality of it. This is a FAIL, in my opinion. RIM had better figure out a way to maintain their enterprise presence because Executives everywhere are bailing on Blackberry for Android and Apple devices.

  8. Andy Watt

    Playbook? Corporate attitude.

    Look, sentences like "will be seriously awesome when given a bit of time to develop." won't cut it.

    When you're up against Apple, you have to impress, not polish an old turd with more ui tweaks and faster CPUs (talking BB here). And your tablet had better be bloody stunning as iPad's been out for an age already and your headwind is heavy.

    So, you launch your shiny new tablet and what do you do? Put flash on it, slow it down, battery life dismal, needs a BB (see above) for crucial connectivity, AND you release it before it is ready.

    This is the usual "old tech" suit committee tepid watery pathetic thinking, live and direct from the faux wood panelled boardroom... RIP, RIM.

  9. Jean-Paul

    Oh dear

    I thought they had a winner in the Playbook, and then it can't do email? What on earth were they thinking.

    And further more, BB might be great and the best email device if you have your own BES server, but if you don't you are stuffed. If you don't it is the worst email device ever. Two way sync over IMAP anyone? Come on BB get with it, any device on the consumer market is better at email than you are.

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