RIM have today revealed that they will be pulling back from the consumer mobile market, focussing on the business sector after posting huge losses.
It’s been a rough 12 months for the Canadian mobile phone manufacturer, jumping from PR blunder to poor device after another, ultimately resulting in a $125 million (£78 million) for the first quarter of 2012.
Compare this to the same time last year and the firm had posted a profit of nearly $1 billion (£625m). Even then analysts were hinting at a grim future for the brand, but even the most pessimistic of forecasts weren’t quite as bad as the reality of the quarter’s losses.
“We plan to refocus on the enterprise business and capitalise on our leading position in this segment,” newly appointed CEO Thorsten Heins told the BBC.
“We believe that BlackBerry cannot succeed if we tried to be everybody’s darling and all things to all people. Therefore, we plan to build on our strength.”
No word yet on what this means for RIM’s consumer-focussed offerings like BlackBerry Music and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM).
Speaking to Pocket-Lint, RIM have stated however that the announcement of their financial losses has been somewhat misconstrued: they are NOT pulling out of the consumer market entirely.
“The claim that RIM has said it will withdraw from the consumer market is wholly inaccurate. Whilst we announced plans to re-focus our efforts on our core strengths, and on our enterprise customer base, we were very explicit that we will continue to build on our strengths to go after targeted consumer segments. We listed BBM, as well as the security and manageability of our platform, amongst these strengths,” Patrick Spence, RIM’s managing director of Global Sales & Regional Marketing told Pocket-lint.
We’ll read that then as less low-spec “hoody-riot” phones, and more top-end suited-booted touchscreen offerings in the consumer market, if the business segment is their new main aim.
Share prices have continued to fall following the news that former co-CEO Jim Balsillie will be leaving the firm too. Buyout rumours now loom heavily over the once-mighty smartphone company.
By Gerald Lynch | March 30th, 2012