Research in Motion (RIM) announced its Q1 Fiscal 2012 financial results on Thursday, and the outlook isn't pretty.
Revenue was up 16% from the year-ago quarter, but earnings per share and net income were down from Q1 2011. The company said it shipped 13.2 million BlackBerry handheld devices and 500,000 BlackBerry Playbook tablets during the quarter.
In the company's press release announcing earnings, co-CEO Jim Balsillie acknowledges that RIM is having problems gaining traction in new markets and shipping updated products. He's quoted as saying,
'Fiscal 2012 has gotten off to a challenging start. The slowdown we saw in the first quarter is continuing into Q2, and delays in new product introductions into the very late part of August is leading to a lower than expected outlook in the second quarter. RIM's business is profitable and remains solid overall with growing market share in numerous markets around the world and a strong balance sheet with almost $3 billion in cash. We believe that with the new products scheduled for launch in the next few months and realigning our cost structure, RIM will see strong profit growth in the latter part of fiscal 2012.'
Once the world leader in smartphones, RIM has had a difficult time transitioning - not just to the emerging tablet space but to the app-centric nature of the mobile market. Mashable's Sarah Kessler wrote about RIM's app problem earlier this month. Additionally, RIM is being challenged by Apple, Google and Microsoft in the enterprise space, where the BlackBerry used to be ubiquitous.
The latest financial results mean that RIM will need to cut costs, which includes layoffs. The company has also updated its outlook for the rest of fiscal 2012, reducing its expected earnings and earnings per share.
RIM's biggest enemy may simply be time. The company has already pushed back the release date for the BlackBerry Bold 9900 to late August (which means mid-September) and other devices running the next version of BlackBerry OS 7 may not ship until October or November. What makes that even more problematic is that these devices are not the future BlackBerry superphones that will run on the QNX-based operating system used by the BlackBerry PlayBook.
With each passing month, RIM falls further behind the juggernaut that is Android. Apple continues to release regular updates to its mobile OS and SDK, including the recently-announced iOS 5. Microsoft is also aggressively targeting the business customer with the next version of Windows Phone.
Can RIM escape this tailspin, or is it doomed to be the next Nokia or Palm? Let us know in the comments.
Author: / Posted: 17-06-2011