RIM’s quarterly results were somewhat expected today, but unfortunatley they were still shocking to read and hear. Low smartphone and tablet sales led to low revenues of $2.8 billion, down an unbelievable 33% from the previous quarter. Again, expected as RIM hasn’t released a flagship device in a year.
“I’m absolutely confident that BlackBerry 10 will prove itself as a platform.”
These are the words that Thorsten Heins, RIM’s CEO, stated on his first day on the job. Over the past few months RIM has teased the masses with a glimpse of how BlackBerry 10 will operate, confidently showing off the keyboard, notifications and even seeding 5,000 Alpha devices to developers. However, the “latter part of 2012” release for BlackBerry 10 is not happening. RIM dropped a bomb on all of us by communicating that coding has been an issue, noting “the platform has proven to be more time consuming than anticipated” and is “now scheduled for Q1 of calendar 2013.”
During the conference call Heins said “I want to be clear that these issues are not related to the quality or functionality of the features in the software. But rather to the time required to manage the integration of such a large volume of incoming code and to prepare it for commercial use globally… RIM’s development team are relentlessly focussed on ensuring the quality and reliability of this platform. I will not deliver a product to the market that is not ready to meet the needs of our customers…there will be no compromise on this issue.”
Unfortunately in the meantime RIM will miss the busy back-to-school and holiday push and will continue to promote devices that run BlackBerry 7. Heins said that carriers actually prefer to have a BB10 Q1 launch, saying that many of the global LTE networks will be in place by this time. So the good news is that RIM is planning to have a BlackBerry 10 LTE-enabled device. As for other BB10 device insights, he said the “focus of the initial BlackBerry 10 launch is primarily on the premium smartphone segment, in both touch and full QWERTY. To be clear, we fully intend to lead the full QWERTY segment with BlackBerry 10 and expect the BlackBerry 10 QWERTY version to launch in close proximity to the initial full touch BlackBerry smartphone.”
So now we wait it out. Only another 6 or more months to go…