Bad to worse: RIM to cut 5,000 jobs, delay BlackBerry 10 till 2013


As if we needed any more confirmation that times are tough for Research In motion, the company just released its first quarter 2012 financials — and it’s bad. Facepalm-bad.

Analysts predicted a loss of between $0.01 and $0.03 per share on earnings of $3.1 billion for the quarter, reports BGR. The actual numbers? $0.37 per share on $2.8 billion. That’s a 33 percent drop from the $4.2 billion in revenue earned the previous quarter. RIM’s net loss clocked in at an abysmal $518 million for the quarter. And on top of all that, the Canada-based RIM announced that it plans to slash an additional 5,000 jobs as part of its efforts to save more than $1 billion.

With those kind of figures, you can help but feel bad for the BlackBerry maker (and its soon-to-be ex-employees).

RIM also announced that it sold 7.8 million BlackBerry handsets during Q1, down from 11.1 million in the previous quarter. The company also sold about 260,000 PlayBook tablets, which is roughly half of what the company sold during the last quarter.

“Our first quarter results reflect the market challenges I have outlined since my appointment as CEO at the end of January,” said CEO Thorsten Heins in a statement. “I am not satisfied with these results and continue to work aggressively with all areas of the organization and the Board to implement meaningful changes to address the challenges, including a thoughtful realignment of resources and honing focus within the company on areas that have the greatest opportunities.”

As if this wasn’t bad enough, RIM also revealed that the launch of its upcoming mobile operating system, BlackBerry 10, has now been pushed back to the first quarter of 2013. The first BB 10 devices were supposed to arrive in October of this year. Honestly, we’re not particularly surprised at the BB 10 set back. When our mobile expert Jeff Van Camp had a chance for a “hands-on” with the new OS, the software was nowhere close to ready.

“RIM’s development teams are relentlessly focussed on ensuring the quality and reliability of the platform and I will not compromise the product by delivering it before it is ready. I am confident that the first BlackBerry 10 smartphones will provide a ground-breaking next generation smartphone user experience,” said Heins.

So that’s that. RIM’s imploding — and we, the customers, are the ones who will suffer for it, as fewer choices is nearly always a bad thing for buyers. Then again, maybe Heins really can “implement meaningful changes” and turn this sinking ship around. Unfortunately, boats with holes this big are most often left for the fishes.