Research in Motion makers announces further losses
Once the king of the smartphone industry, Canada’s struggling phone maker Research in Motion (RIM) has just announced yet more losses, compounding a steady decline over the last few years that has seen firms like Apple, Samsung and Google dominate.
RIM, whose Blackberry phone proved so popular with business clients for much of the last decade, declared losses of $518m for the three months to June. Revenues for the first quarter 2012 fell to $2.8bn, down by a huge 43%. The losses have meant significant job losses of 5,000 staff.
Alongside the losses, RIM have announced that their proposed new operating system, Blackberry 10 has also been delayed until 2013, adding speculation that it may never see the light of day.
RIM’s hold over the market has evaporated as rival manufacturers have successfully merged the consumer and business segments, meaning RIM’s business focused offering was redundant. When RIM tried to offer Blackberry phones that were more entertainment focused, some argued they’d neglected their core market.
The future strategy of the company has become unclear. Recently announcing that they had appointed two investment banks to advise them, the company said: “We are aggressively working with our advisers on our strategic review and are actively evaluating ways to better leverage our assets and build on our strengths, including our growing BlackBerry subscriber base of approximately 78m, our large enterprise installed base, our unique network architecture and our industry-leading security capabilities.”
Where they go from here is unclear. Potentially spinning off some services, like the popular Blackberry Messenger, to rival providers is one area that could open up more users, but would likely mean less incentive for people to stick with their Blackberry phones.
What is certain, however, is that something drastic needs to change to prevent RIM from losing all relevance in the highly competitive smartphone industry.