RIM executives are insisting the company's upcoming BlackBerry smartphones will help it come out ahead, even as RIM evaluates its current co-CEO structure.
Motion executives faced tough questions from investors during a July 12 annual
meeting, with co-CEO Mike Lazaridis insisting that a new slate of BlackBerry
devices would ultimately help the company triumph in a harsh competitive
to come out ahead," he told the audience, according to Reuters
. RIM is apparently readying
seven new BlackBerry devices for release at an unspecified point.
and investors are still questioning-loudly-whether RIM should continue its
co-CEO command structure, in which Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie oversee
different aspects of the company. RIM has made a pledge to study the issue and
report on its findings sometime in 2012.
three-month period between the end of February and the end of May, comScore
estimated RIM's U.S. share dipping from 28.9 percent to 24.7 percent. During
the same period, adoption of Google's Android platform rose from 33 percent to
38.1 percent, while Apple enjoyed a slight uptick from 25.2 percent to 26.6
some $4.9 billion in revenue for the first quarter of fiscal 2012, down 12
percent from the previous quarter. Net income also declined, and RIM executives
acknowledged on a June 16 earnings call that the company is undergoing a particularly
turbulent period in its long history.
At the heart
of the company's issues is the aging BlackBerry portfolio, which faces serious
competition from the likes of Google Android and Apple's iPhone. To make
matters worse, those rival devices are enjoying increased adoption within
businesses, traditionally RIM's power base.
RIM has made
no secret of its plans to introduce a set of "superphones" based on its QNX
operating system, which currently powers the company's PlayBook tablet.
However, those devices aren't widely expected to reach store shelves before the
second half of 2012, requiring RIM to rely on the BlackBerry OS 7 and upcoming
devices such as the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930, which were unveiled during
May's BlackBerry World conference.
The Bold 9900
features a touch-screen display and physical QWERTY keyboard. While the
device's design aesthetic fits in neatly within RIM's broader device portfolio,
it has failed to excite analysts and mobile experts who expected the company to
attempt something more radical.
June earnings call, Balsillie suggested that RIM would lay off employees and
start the "streamlining of operations" to make the company more efficient. He
also defended the co-CEO arrangement, claiming that he and Lazaridis had been
partners for nearly 20 years, and that, of the challenges facing RIM today,
"few companies would have been able to survive, but we have."
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