Thursday, June 16, 2011

RIM Announces Layoffs, Fights for Relevance

RIM released their quarterly earnings report today, and while the news appears upbeat, the BlackBerry maker also announced that layoffs are on the way.

Revenue for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 was $4.9 billion, down 12% from $5.6 billion in the previous quarter and up 16% from $4.2 billion in the same quarter of last year. The revenue breakdown for the quarter was approximately 78% for hardware revenue, 20% for service and 2% for software and other revenue. During the quarter, RIM shipped approximately 13.2 million BlackBerry handheld devices and approximately 500,000 BlackBerry Playbook tablets.

“Fiscal 2012 has gotten off to a challenging start. The slowdown we saw in the first quarter is continuing into Q2, and delays in new product introductions into the very late part of August is leading to a lower than expected outlook in the second quarter." said Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO at Research In Motion. "RIM’s business is profitable and remains solid overall with growing market share in numerous markets around the world and a strong balance sheet with almost $3 billion in cash. We believe that with the new products scheduled for launch in the next few months and realigning our cost structure, RIM will see strong profit growth in the latter part of fiscal 2012."

Additionally, RIM "will begin a program to streamline operations across the organization, which will include a headcount reduction. This realignment will be focused on taking out redundancies and a reallocation of resources to allow us to focus on the areas that offer the highest growth opportunities and align with RIM strategic objectives, such as accelerating new product introductions."

I can't help but thinking that RIM is now the new "Palm."  RIM is still a long way from dropping down into single digit market share territory, they seem to be having all of the same problems that Palm did in the mid to late 2000's.  With Google's Android and Apple's iOS platforms grabbing huge segments of the market, you have to wonder if anyone really cares about the BlackBerry brand anymore.

You can read the full press release on the RIM website.
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