RIM delays BlackBerry 10, announces job cuts

June 29, 2012

There was nothing but bad news out of Research in Motion’s earnings report Thursday. Not only is the company in poor financial shape, it is delaying the launch of its much-anticipated new operating system, BlackBerry 10.

RIM promised in May that the system would be out by the end of the year, and stocks have dropped on the news that it is setting the launch back another quarter. It also reported a loss of $518 million, missing analyst expectations.

After the earnings release, RIM’s stock fell 14 percent in after-market trading to $7.89 per share, though the stock is closer to the $9 mark ahead of Friday’s market open.

One analyst, Business Insider noted, doesn’t think that RIM will even survive to put out BlackBerry 10.

Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets said that with the company facing stiff competition Apple and those running Google’s Android operating system, his firm believes “RIM’s delay of BlackBerry 10 may leave the company so vulnerable that the new platform may never see the light of day.”

This is just the latest of several delays RIM has announced for BlackBerry 10, which the company has been touting as a complete remake of its operating system. The demo of the system, which RIM showed off in May, showcased innovative swipe gestures and, largely, hardware that did not feature the physical keyboards that distinguished the company’s phones.

Following the CEO shakeup that axed co-chief executives James Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, new Chief Executive Officer Thornsten Heins said that RIM would double-down its focus on its strong enterprise base and hinted that it would ease up on its efforts in the consumer market.

“We can’t do everything ourselves, but we can do what we’re good at,” Heins said in a conference call in March.

That effort to be more efficient was likely behind RIM’s other big announcement Thursday: it is cutting 5,000 jobs from the company. That, the Associated Press reported, is about 30 percent of its workforce.

Related stories:

RIM says first BlackBerry 10 device will not have a physical keyboard

Morgan Stanley cuts RIM rating on ‘triple whammy’ for BlackBerry maker; shares hit 9-year low

Developers are key to winning the tech wars

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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