Stephen Foley: It's grim for RIM as the chaos continues
The losses were shocking, the revenue decline was shocking
Stephen Foley is a former Associate Business Editor of The Independent, based in New York. He left in August 2012. In a decade at the paper, he covered personal finance, the UK stock market and the pharmaceuticals industry, and had also been the Business section's share tipster. Between arriving with three suitcases in Manhattan in January 2006 and his departure, he witnessed and reported on a great economic boom turning spectacularly to bust. In March 2009, he was named Business and Finance Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards.
Saturday 30 June 2012
US Outlook The possibility of a comeback is rapidly diminishing, the Canadian tech analyst Steven Li, of Raymond James, declared bluntly.
However bad you expect Research in Motion's (RIM) results to be, they are always worse, and so it proved again this week, when the BlackBerry maker posted a plunge into the red and – worst of all – said that a new generation of its pioneering smartphone would not now come out until the New Year.
That is bad enough because RIM can ill afford to miss the Christmas shopping season, but in fact it is an even more worrying signal of the turmoil at this once-great company.
Its engineers have failed to get the new BlackBerry 10 operating system ready in time. That will be because of the staff turnover, the demotivation that comes from having no clear direction from the top, and the prospect of thousands more lay-offs in the coming months.
Meanwhile, the delay and the revelation of the engineering chaos at the company will severely crimp RIM's ability to attract developers to build apps based on BB10, which are vital if the phones are to be able to hold a candle to an Apple iPhone or an Android device.
The losses were shocking, the revenue decline was shocking, the plunge in shipments of the current generation of BlackBerrys was shocking – not least because the supposedly fast-growing international division went off the cliff even faster than the core North American market – yet nothing was as dispiriting as the failure to engineer BB10 on time.
Mr Li says that selling itself is the only way for RIM to unlock value. But it may be too late even for that.
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