RIM is not having a good year. Worldwide service outages, executives thrown off flights, irate staff, poor financial results, a failing tabelt, having to change athe name of its new mobile OS and now further delays to its next-gen phone line-up, all add up to 12 months which co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie would rather forget.
Reporting its third quarter results last night, RIM confirmed that its next generation phones, running the new BlackBerry 10 OS – which is similar to the software running on its beleaguered PlayBook tablet (below) – won’t be arriving until the second half of 2012.
Only last month were RIM forced to change the name to BlackBerry 10 from BBX as another software company had been using the name since 1985.
While revenues for the quarter held up pretty well, all things considered (down from $5.49 billion to $5.17bn) the same can’t be said for profits. Year-on-year profits have fallen from $911million to just $265m – a drop of 71 per cent.
The main reason for this of course was the huge write down of almost $500bn on the PlayBook tablets which RIM has been unable to sell since launching them earlier this year.
RIM shipped just 150,000 PlayBook tablets in Q3, 2011 compared to 200,000 in the previous quarter. However sales in Q3 were actually higher than the number shipped as retailers sold some of the stock which had remained on shelves since previous quarters.
Under-fire co-CEO Mike Lazaridis has cut his salary to just $1 in a bid to appease investors.
In terms of its core business, smartphones, RIM said it shipped 14.1m BlackBerry handsets in the last quarter but warned that it would sell fewer than that in the current quarter – between 11m and 12m.
The transition to the new QNX-based BlackBerry 10 platform has been anything but smooth, yet Balsillie tried to put a positive spin on things at the earnings call: “It may take some time to realise the benefits of these efforts and the platform transition that we are undertaking, but we continue to believe that RIM has the right set of strengths and capabilities to maintain a leading role in the mobile communications industry.”
In an effort to appease irate investors who have previously called for a change at the top of the company, Balsillie and Lazaridis have both cut their salaries to just $1.
Is this the beginning of the end for RIM or will it bounce back in 2013? Let us know in the comments below.