Rim profits slide, BB10 phones delayed

Shaky fiscal Q3 results don't help Rim, a grim end to a grim year

December 16, 2011
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The bad news continues for struggling device manufacturer Rim.

This year has seen its global smartphone market share tumble, the company’s PlayBook tablet flounder (before having its price slashed), a painful major outage in October and even the name the firm picked for its upcoming new OS, BBX, came under legal fire.

The hybrid OS – a meld of the BlackBerry OS and QNX as seen on the PlayBook – has been renamed BB10 for the moment.

And the latest earnings report from Rim isn’t going to inspire any confidence. The third quarter fiscal saw the company make a net profit of $265 million, well down on Q3 2010 where Rim made almost $1 billion.

Revenue was $5.2 billion, again down year-on-year from $5.5 billion, a 6% slide. But the slashed profit margin is the bigger worry.

Rim made 80% of its money from hardware sales, and shipped 14 million BlackBerry phones in three months, along with just 150,000 PlayBook tablets.

Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, Co-CEOs at Rim, commented: “RIM continues to have strong technology, unique service capabilities and a large installed base of customers, and we are more determined than ever to capitalize on our strengths to overcome the recent execution challenges surrounding product launches and the resulting financial performance.”

“As part of our commitment to improving our performance to better meet the expectations of shareholders and customers, we continue to evaluate ways to improve in several areas of the Company’s operations.”

Unfortunately it would seem that one of the new lines of attack – the introduction of BB10 (BBX) phones and all-touchscreen models – has been put back until later next year.

It has previously been unknown exactly when BB10 handsets would emerge, but many were hoping it would be earlier in 2012.

However, Rim has now confirmed it won’t be until later 2012, which could mean close to the end of the year. By that time, Rim’s market share could have been seriously further diminished, particularly if Windows Phone 7 manages to finally pick up some pace post-Mango and Nokia.


Comments in chronological order (1 comment)

  1. minzhu says:

    Don’t blame CEO, they want RIM win.

    RIM has strange culture and self distruct political environment.

    In RIM if a new hired person figure out major problem and introduce efficient approach, both manager and his buddy group member will proof their wrong approach works. just like someone point out driving a car is right way, pushing a car is wrong way, then both manager and his buddy group member will hate you, and proof that 3 person can also move the car by pushing it. cheating email will be sent to some vice president, saying like: see, the car moving, pushing a car is a natural part of the process, in order to deny new hired contribution of introducing skill of drive a car, they have to deny merit of driving a car.

    It is very strange company culture and strange company political environment, it promote stealing and cheating skill. RIM’s management may be a typical instance in MBA course.

    This culture deny or steal hardworking team members’ contribution/innovation, generate strange political environment, destroy RIM.

    So don’t blame CEO, some of their VPs and VPs’ expert generate terrible culture and self destruct political environment.

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