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RIM announces Q4 revenues miss, top executives leaving company

post #1 of 95
Thread Starter 
BlackBerry maker Research In Motion halted stock trades before announcing a billion dollar sequential drop in quarterly revenues substantially below its guidance on shipments of 11.1 million smartphones and a half million PlayBook tablets.

RIM had offered guidance of $4.6 to $4.98 billion in revenue for its fourth fiscal quarter (ending March 3), but only announced revenues of $4.2 billion, down 19 percent from $5.2 billion in the previous quarter.

The company announced a GAAP net loss of $125 million, with 11.1 million smartphones hitting the low end of its previous guidance (of 11-12 million BlackBerry smartphones) and down 21 percent from the previous quarter's shipments.

For all of fiscal 2012, RIM announced revenues of $18.4 billion, down 7 percent from 2011's $19.9 billion.

The company also announced pre-tax charges of $54 million related to a service interruption the company experienced in the third quarter last fall (which required service credits to affected users), and a $485 million "inventory provision" made for the poor selling PlayBook tablet.

Top executives exit

RIM also announced that former "co-chief executive" Jim Balsillie has resigned as a director of the company's board.

The company's chief technology officer David Yach and global chief operations officer Jim Rowan are also both leaving the company as well, leaving the company in need of a new COO.

No more guidance

Thorsten Heins, RIM's new president and chief executive, announced that the company would no longer provide "specific qualitative guidance" because it expects "continued pressure on revenue and earnings throughout fiscal 2013," and out of "a desire to focus on long term value creation and the current business environment."

"Some of the factors contributing to this," the company noted in a press release, "include ongoing weakness in the Company’s U.S. smartphone business, an increased focus on selling BlackBerry 7 smartphones to grow the subscriber base in advance of the BlackBerry 10 launch, increasing competitive pressure in the Company’s international markets and the introduction of certain new lower tier service pricing initiatives and a higher mix of sales coming from entry level products."

Heins noted that "the next few quarters will continue to be challenging for our business.”

iPhone vs Blackberry

Back in the third calendar quarter of 2008, Apple's then chief executive Steve Jobs first announced that "Apple beat RIM" in quarterly sales, noting that "RIM is a good company that makes good products. And so it is surprising that after only fifteen months on the market that we could outsell them in any quarter."

After iPhone 3G sales peaked during its launch quarter, RIM's BlackBerry shipments again surpassed Apple, but iPhones continued to grow to the point where, in the third quarter of 2010, Jobs could announce, "We sold 14.1 million iPhones in the quarter, a 91% unit growth over year ago and way ahead of IDC's estimate of 64% growth for global smartphone market.

"It handily beat RIM's 12.1 million Blackberries sold in their last quarter. We've now passed RIM. I don't see them catching up with us in the foreseeable future. It will be a challenge for them to create a mobile software platform and convince developers to support a third platform."

While Apple and RIM report sales on staggered quarterly definitions, Apple most recently sold a peak quarterly total of 37 million iPhones worldwide, compared to RIM's 11.1 million BlackBerry shipments this quarter, and over 15.4 million iPads.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 95
The fact that they refuse to discontinue the unpopular and money-losing Playbook tablet tells me they are not serious about turning things around. New management appears to be staying the course - toward the cemetery.

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post #3 of 95
Jim Balsillie could be an Italian cruise ship captain the way he's abandoning that sinking ship.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #4 of 95
The foundering is happening just like many of us in this forum predicted several years ago. I can't help but say, "We told you so."
post #5 of 95
The ship is sinking, and its captains are abandoning as quickly as possible, but we all saw this coming, RIM has nothing that can ever compete in the modern mobile space, and its only a matter of time before they're acquired by GOOGLE or APPLE.
post #6 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by zindako View Post

The ship is sinking, and its captains are abandoning as quickly as possible, but we all saw this coming, RIM has nothing that can ever compete in the modern mobile space, and its only a matter of time before they're acquired by GOOGLE or APPLE.

The only reason Google or Apple would ever acquire RIM is for the patents. I can't imagine much of the good talent is still there, and it's not like any of the technologies they currently have are anything to spend money on.
post #7 of 95
The only possible chance RIM has of creating a company worth owning would be to tightly integrate with Windows 8 OS. There is no way RIM can create its own platform. If RIM jumped on board with MS, they could use their hardware brand to be a top MS OS seller. This would work out nicely for BB business customers who want compatibility with MS software, especially Word. Blackberry is in as good or better position than any MS hardware manufacturer to attract customers who want a seamless experience from phone to tablet. It is a match made in heaven. BB is a hardware manufacturer with a customer base and MS has the software and platform they need.

Am I missing something?
post #8 of 95
I ain't surprised. RIM was a one trick pony anyway.
Now everyone can do internet on their smart phone.
This should be a lesson for tech companies. The new generation are alway looking for new sh** and if you can't appease them then the other guy/gal will.
post #9 of 95
RIM is the sinking of the Lusitania and Titanic combined. I feel very bad for the employees who are definitely going to suffer the most due to company mismanagement and unclear vision of the future. \

If it weren't for Android, RIM would never have fallen so far and fast as it did. I don't think Apple is to blame for this debacle. It's those dirt cheap Android smartphones that did RIM in.
post #10 of 95
Ship is sinking and everyone see's the rats trying to scurry off. RIM totally dropped the ball.
post #11 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

If it weren't for Android, RIM would never have fallen so far and fast as it did. I don't think Apple is to blame for this debacle. It's those dirt cheap Android smartphones that did RIM in.

True, Android (especially iOS) had lots to do with nailing RIM's coffin. Doesn't excuse RIM's complete lack of vision and inability to act.

Heck, Android didn't really exist in any real production form when the iPhone came out so in essence, RIM had that much more of a head start than Android did. The fat-cats on the top just got caught sleeping and figured their gravy-train would never end.
post #12 of 95
That is what happens when you rest on your laurels and don't continue to innovate. RIM took all of the Windows mobile users in the early 2000's. Eventually they had the entire government, military as well as all IT and corporate users around the globe locked up. They thought no one could touch them because they were the most secure of all phones.

Right now Apple is just starting to gain traction in those government and corporate markets and every one of those sales is being taken from RIM. Apple already took 90% of RIM's consumer users. I still see several BBs in Latin America and some US teens also but their popularity is eroding fast.

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post #13 of 95
It's not like the business for RIM has completely evaporated - given they're still hitting revenue numbers in the billions, but the arrogance and stupidity of their dearly departed co-ceo's, not to mention the guilibility of wall street RIM investors tells me that they're going to be forced to change their business model, ala IBM, if they want to survive long term.

They still have a good chunk of the market in the middle east and Africa, but this business will go away too, as Android and iPhone distribution continue to expand.

It goes to show that even those companies seemingly at the top of their game can fall fast. I'm sure Apple realized this - which is what has been driving their push to rope people into their eco-system. It makes it that much harder to move away from an Apple product if everything you have is tied to it in some way. At this point, there isn't really any other option for people to even consider - and no reason to consider looking.

RIP RIM
post #14 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

I don't think Apple is to blame for this debacle. It's those dirt cheap Android smartphones that did RIM in.

That's true to a degree but it was the iPhone that defined a new paradigm for smartphones and left RIM behind. Ultimately, RIM and its co-CEO's are to blame for what happened. They just refused to believe that iOS and Android would be a threat and by the time they realized that the likes of Apple and the Droid phone makers are eating their lunch, it was way too late.
post #15 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by ash471 View Post

The only possible chance RIM has of creating a company worth owning would be to tightly integrate with Windows 8 OS. There is no way RIM can create its own platform. If RIM jumped on board with MS, they could use their hardware brand to be a top MS OS seller. This would work out nicely for BB business customers who want compatibility with MS software, especially Word. Blackberry is in as good or better position than any MS hardware manufacturer to attract customers who want a seamless experience from phone to tablet. It is a match made in heaven. BB is a hardware manufacturer with a customer base and MS has the software and platform they need.

Am I missing something?

I agree with your assessment. Either MS Windows or Google's Android. Users wouldn't care about the platform running their devices, as long as it worked and was compatible. There's huge populations that continue to buy BlackBerry simply because of the brand, not the quality of the products or user experience. Sad, really, but that's an opportunity for RIM to repair their sinking ship.
post #16 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexkhan2000 View Post

That's true to a degree but it was the iPhone that defined a new paradigm for smartphones and left RIM behind. Ultimately, RIM and its co-CEO's are to blame for what happened. They just refused to believe that iOS and Android would be a threat and by the time they realized that the likes of Apple and the Droid phone makers are eating their lunch, it was way too late.

Exactly!
post #17 of 95
Heins has also apparently said that RIM is going to stop going after the consumer market - something the bonehead ceos pushed when they saw Apple getting such incredible traction. They're going to now focus on their strengths in enterprise because of their "security".

The problem is, enterprise has already been effected by the consumer push towards iPhones and android. Many companies and agencies are allowing employees to purchase their own iPhones, saving company money and keeping employees happy.

I predict a much more rapid decline for RIM now that things are playing out the way they are. I wonder what this means for the launch of their new phones this year? Any bets they'll miss the target on them? Especially given both the head of software and operations are gone? Their stock is going to get absolutely hammered.
post #18 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Jim Balsillie could be an Italian cruise ship captain the way he's abandoning that sinking ship.

I'm sure he had a golden parachute drop him into a convenient lifeboat.

I thought it was a nice gesture for the company to throw a going-away party. It must have been planned with short notice since all anyone brought were a barrel of tar and a few feather pillows.
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #19 of 95
And each of the execs will get a PlayBook as farewell gift.
post #20 of 95
I'd hate to be the guy who ends up with that .4 of an iPad.
post #21 of 95
Quote:
Apple most recently sold a peak quarterly total of 37 million iPhones worldwide, compared to RIM's 11.1 million BlackBerry shipments this quarter, and over 15.4 iPads.

I shure hope the poor soul who bought the 0.4 iPad got a refund!

(Update: Ooops, Shunnabunich beat me to it!)
post #22 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Jim Balsillie could be an Italian cruise ship captain the way he's abandoning that sinking ship.

I know yo were trying to make a joke, but I find this both in bad taste and extremely unfair.

There's a big difference between an executive leaving a company for very good reasons, (and at the request of the shareholders), and a filthy coward who broke the law and caused the deaths of a lot of people because he was too scared to help and had too big of an ego.
post #23 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmgregory1 View Post

I predict a much more rapid decline for RIM now that things are playing out the way they are.

Yeah, I wouldn't bet against you.

Quote:
I wonder what this means for the launch of their new phones this year? Any bets they'll miss the target on them? Especially given both the head of software and operations are gone? Their stock is going to get absolutely hammered.

Strangely enough RIM recently brought out a load of new phone... all running the old OS that they want to dump later this year.

Currently RIM is having serious trouble getting the new OS to work with the old network.

My questions is whether RIM will last long enough to ever release the new phones made for the new OS and running on their old servers.
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #24 of 95
Holy moly, 15.4 iPads per quarter... that's record breaking stuff right there. It's also the total lack pf proof reading your articles! Hire me as an editor already! sheesh
post #25 of 95
I hear there is a band playing in RIM's foyer while the women and children make their way to the lifeboats...
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post #26 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

The fact that they refuse to discontinue the unpopular and money-losing Playbook tablet tells me they are not serious about turning things around. New management appears to be staying the course - toward the cemetery.

I remember how arrogant they were about Playbook and how dismissive they were about the iPad. Very similar to Steve Ballmer and the iPhone. Both HUGE warning signs and mistakes.

Its interesting how RIM dominated then fell off. This gets repeated so often...The Sony Walkman etc. I hope the same thing does not happen to Apple, one bad sign is that they waited to long to get into the TV market.
post #27 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I know yo were trying to make a joke, but I find this both in bad taste and extremely unfair.

There's a big difference between an executive leaving a company for very good reasons, (and at the request of the shareholders), and a filthy coward who broke the law and caused the deaths of a lot of people because he was too scared to help and had too big of an ego.

Sure, the humour lies in the hyperbole. That said my apologies if I've offended you.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #28 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by ash471 View Post

The only possible chance RIM has of creating a company worth owning would be to tightly integrate with Windows 8 OS. There is no way RIM can create its own platform. If RIM jumped on board with MS, they could use their hardware brand to be a top MS OS seller. This would work out nicely for BB business customers who want compatibility with MS software, especially Word. Blackberry is in as good or better position than any MS hardware manufacturer to attract customers who want a seamless experience from phone to tablet. It is a match made in heaven. BB is a hardware manufacturer with a customer base and MS has the software and platform they need.

Am I missing something?


It's just hard for me to imagine anyone using MS Office products on a tiny gimped BB screen. Email sure, Word documents, not so much

If anything, I can see BB software on MS/Android/Apple devices-IF BB could actually execute
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post #29 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I know yo were trying to make a joke, but I find this both in bad taste and extremely unfair.

There's a big difference between an executive leaving a company for very good reasons, (and at the request of the shareholders), and a filthy coward who broke the law and caused the deaths of a lot of people because he was too scared to help and had too big of an ego.

I'm not offended (why would I be?), but I concur that the comparison is a stretch for the reason you stated. I would have argued that RIM's management should have changed when their fortunes began to reverse in 2008 (2010 at latest), but they kept on course, copying the touch screen and App store concepts from the iPhone, hoping to save the BBM. They should have been fired no later than the failure of the half-finished PlayBook. That they got to (ahem) retire on their own terms, leaving their hand picked successor at the helm to keep steering RIM into that iceberg ahead is an astonishing feat of the lack of corporate governance.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #30 of 95

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INDEED!
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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #31 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I know yo were trying to make a joke, but I find this both in bad taste and extremely unfair.

There's a big difference between an executive leaving a company for very good reasons, (and at the request of the shareholders), and a filthy coward who broke the law and caused the deaths of a lot of people because he was too scared to help and had too big of an ego.

Seriously? You are wound up way too tight. There is nothing wrong with the comment.
post #32 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

I hear there is a band playing in RIM's foyer while the women and children make their way to the lifeboats...

The last death rattle for SGI was when they started selling Windows NT-based graphics workstations, reversing their long standing business of making and selling expensive graphics hardware running their own version of Unix. Maybe somewhere in the bowels of RIM is a secret Hail Mary plan to ditch their own OSes and switch to Windows Phone 7 and/or Windows 8, should their BBM platform go the way of Nokia's Symbian.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #33 of 95
Maybe good old Gil can point RIM in the right direction...
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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post #34 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carthusia View Post

It's just hard for me to imagine anyone using MS Office products on a tiny gimped BB screen. Email sure, Word documents, not so much

If anything, I can see BB software on MS/Android/Apple devices-IF BB could actually execute

Obviously BB would need to adopt the prevailing format of large touch screens.

It has been so long since I've seen anyone buy a new blackberry I wasn't aware that BB hadn't moved on from the 90s. I guess that explains the decline in sales....
post #35 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post


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INDEED!
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Their new slogan is...
RiM: We're circling it!

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #36 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carthusia View Post

It's just hard for me to imagine anyone using MS Office products on a tiny gimped BB screen. Email sure, Word documents, not so much

If anything, I can see BB software on MS/Android/Apple devices-IF BB could actually execute

um? how would you have BB software on a MS or Android device? MS and Android make software, not hardware (at least not an appreciable amount of hardware).

The thought of anyone putting BB software on an iPhone is down right laughable.
post #37 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Their new slogan is...
RiM: We're circling it!


Now that slogan is gonna leave a bad taste in RIM's employees mouths!
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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #38 of 95
DCW.

And they did it all to themselves. Not just with Apple's help.

It was their RESPONSE to Apple that signalled the end-times for RIM, namely: utter hubris.

Microstupid should also be paying close attention to this. The way things are going with their ill-conceived Nokia partnership, they're primed for an exit as well, from mobile.
post #39 of 95
I was going to say sadly, but reading the other post on how unfair is Apple nano sim debacle just shows how unfocused RIM is.

RIM may yet inspire mass sellof of their stocks based on the level of stupidity they seem to excel at. Each day, just when you think it can't get worse, they seem to manage to outdo themselves.

I think I'll buy a RIM stock so I can sell it off and flip them the one finger salute.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

The last death rattle for SGI was when they started selling Windows NT-based graphics workstations, reversing their long standing business of making and selling expensive graphics hardware running their own version of Unix. Maybe somewhere in the bowels of RIM is a secret Hail Mary plan to ditch their own OSes and switch to Windows Phone 7 and/or Windows 8, should their BBM platform go the way of Nokia's Symbian.
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
Reply
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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post #40 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

The fact that they refuse to discontinue the unpopular and money-losing Playbook tablet tells me they are not serious about turning things around. New management appears to be staying the course - toward the cemetery.

The fact that Asus shipped 80,000 Transformer Prime and RIM shipped more than 6x that number --- tells you that RIM isn't doing that bad.
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