Research in Motion (RIM) today essentially said BlackBerry 10 is delayed, BlackBerry Playbook tablet isn't selling, revenues are plummeting and quarterly losses are mounting. Other than that, life is pretty good for the smartphone and tablet maker. Tragic humor aside, RIM's greatest remaining asset appears to be cash -- $2.2 billion worth.

The VAR Guy

June 28, 2012

2 Min Read
RIM BlackBerry CEO: We've Still Got Cash

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Research in Motion (RIM) today essentially said BlackBerry 10 is delayed, BlackBerry Playbook tablet isn’t selling, revenues are plummeting and quarterly losses are mounting. Other than that, life is pretty good for the smartphone and tablet maker. Tragic humor aside, RIM’s greatest remaining asset appears to be cash — $2.2 billion worth. Now, two big questions remain…

…First, can RIM hold on long enough to get the BlackBerry 10 out the door in 2013? Second, will BlackBerry 10 be impressive enough to pull RIM out of its death spiral?

And to be sure, right now it is an apparent death spiral. RIM’s Q1 2013 revenues fell 43 percent to $2.8 billion, and the company had a $518 million net loss.

Keep in mind:

  • The BlackBerry PlayBook sold 260,000 units in the quarter, compared to 11.8 million iPads sold in Apple’s quarter ended March 31, 2012.

  • BlackBerry smartphones shipped 7.8 million units in the quarter, compared to 35.1 million iPhones sold in Apple’s quarter ended March 31, 2012.

  • The BlackBerry 10 smartphone launch has been delayed until Q1 of calendar 2013.

  • RIM is cutting 5,000 jobs to cut $1 billion in costs.

On the upside, RIM claims a BlackBerry Jam developer world tour is building strong application and developer support for the BlackBerry 10 platform. And the BlackBerry App World now has 89,000 applications available.

Perhaps most importantly: The overall BlackBerry subscriber base continues to grow — and that cash cow has to support RIM until BlackBerry 10 arrives.

Still, the smartphone and tablet markets are growing more competitive by the day. Microsoft earlier this month announced Surface tablets running Windows 8 and Windows RT. Google yesterday unveiled the Nexus 7 tablet. And an Apple iPhone 5 launch could be approaching in late 2012.

RIM is said to be exploring multiple options — including breaking up the company and spinning off its handset business.

The VAR Guy often delivers witty advice to companies that are seeking turnaround strategies. But in the case of RIM, our resident blogger has been at a loss for words.

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