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RIM delays new BlackBerry

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RIM delays new BlackBerry

Research in Motion (RiM), which is restructuring to cut costs as it reports reduced revenue and losses for the latest quarter, has set back the launch of its new BlackBerry 10 smartphones to next year.

The company says in its results statement that delivery of the new devices is a priority and that its software development teams have made major progress in the development of key features for the BlackBerry 10 platform.

“However, the integration of these features and the associated large volume of code into the platform has proven to be more time consuming than anticipated,” it states. “As a result, the company now expects to launch the first BlackBerry 10 smartphones in market in Q1 of calendar 2013.”

Thorsten Heins, president and CEO of RiM, comments: “RIM’s development teams are relentlessly focussed on ensuring the quality and reliability of the platform and I will not compromise the product by delivering it before it is ready. I am confident that the first BlackBerry 10 smartphones will provide a ground-breaking next generation smartphone user experience.

“We are encouraged by the traction that the BlackBerry 10 platform is gaining with application developers and content partners following the successful BlackBerry Jam sessions that we have held around the world since the beginning of May. Similarly, the reception of the BlackBerry 10 platform by our key carrier partners has been very positive and they are looking forward to going to market with BlackBerry 10 smartphones in the first quarter of calendar 2013.”

RiM announced its CORE (Cost Optimisation and Resource Efficiency) programme in March this year. The programme is focused on delivering operational savings through various initiatives, with financial objectives for the program targeted to drive at least $1-billion in savings by the end of fiscal 2013, based on RIM’s Q4 FY2012 run rate.

As a result of the shift in BlackBerry 10 launch timeline, the increasingly competitive environment, as well as the identification of additional cost saving and efficiency opportunities, the company may increase the scope and magnitude of these programmes, and considers these original estimates as minimum numbers it will be pursuing.

To date, RiM has reduced the number of layers of management to drive better clarity, efficiency and accountability across the organisation; streamlined the supply chain, which includes the consolidation of manufacturing footprint from 10 external manufacturing sites to three, and working closely with our suppliers and other partners to identify ways to drive further efficiency; outsourced key parts of its global repair operations, including management of device level repairs; targeted use of resources in its sales and marketing initiatives to more effectively leverage marketing windows and prioritise marketing efforts; further outsourced non-core functions as determined during the implementation of the CORE programme; and reduced the global workforce by about 5 000 employees, which is expected to be completed by the end of fiscal 2013.

For the first quarter of 2012, RiM reported revenue of $2,8-billion, down 33% from $4,2-billion in the prior quarter. It had a GAAP net loss of $518-million or $0.99 per share diluted; and an adjusted net loss of $192-million or $0.37 per share diluted.

Shipments of BlackBerry smartphones were 7,8-million and shipments of BlackBerry PlayBook tablets were approximately 260 000.

BlackBerry App World has continued to grow with more than 89 000 applications available, while the overall BlackBerry subscriber base continued to grow in all regions except for North America.