Unless you are blind I am sure you will have read somewhere about the situation that Research in Motion are currently in. We told you last week that BlackBerry 10 would be delayed until Q1 2013 instead of the planned Q4 2012 scheduled release. Combined with the planned job cuts and the drop in sales the media has been having a field day. As a huge BlackBerry fan I have been taking a back seat and ingesting all the information that has come to light over the past week or so.
The RIM senior management team did various press events yesterday where they stated their reasons for the delay in BB10 and I think this was done to try and reassure the public as well as the media. Now it is my turn to share my thoughts on where RIM are at right now.
Read on to see what I think and where I set a the record straight on one or two things.
Let’s start with the BlackBerry 10 delay. Sure, this sucks as there are a lot of BlackBerry users itching to get their hands on the new operating system and hardware. Much of the media are saying this delay will only add to RIM’s problems and ‘they are doomed’. I think the opposite. I was upset with the delay but after listening to CEO Thorsten Heins give his reasons I can understand. They have one shot at getting this right. Would users prefer BB10 to be released earlier and be an unfinished OS? I don’t think so. RIM have done this before and have clearly learned from their mistakes so I respect them for making this decision and also for being so open about it. They are confident in BlackBerry 10 and I am too. I think the parts of the new OS that we have seen only scratch the surface. I suspect they have plenty of good stuff up their sleeves.
On to where they stand financially. Yes, job cuts have to be made and they will be. Terrible news for those who will be affected but these things happen in business and have happened to thousands of other companies over the past few years. It just so happens that Research in Motion are a big company so the numbers they need to shed to build up operational cost savings are greater.
Are they on the brink of collapsing? Of course not. What most people fail to realise (or read) is that RIM have no debt at all. They also have two billion dollars in the bank so shutting up shop is not going to happen. Yes, they may well look at working with other partners but if it means a brighter future for the Canadian company then that’s not a bad thing.
Thorsten Heins openly said yesterday that “There’s nothing wrong with the company as it exists right now”. Sure, they have to make some changes as they go through the process of this new transition but they are working towards a brand new RIM and BlackBerry 10 should be good for ten years they have said.
A chunk of RIM’s loss in growth has been down to the North American market which has plummeted. However, in many countries around the world, including the UK, RIM are still huge and hold the number one spot in terms of smartphone sales. There are 78 million of us on Team BlackBerry. That hardly sounds like doom and gloom to me.
Q1 2013 does seem some way off but it will fly by. And then we should have an operating system plus new hardware to compete with the rest of the smartphone market.
So if you are BlackBerry user and have been worried about the demise of RIM fear not, it really isn’t that bad. If you are eyeing up BlackBerry 10 as your next smartphone choice all I can say is relax, it is coming, and when it does I believe it would have been well worth the wait.
Posted by: James