Huges loss in Q4 for Blackberry-maker RIM forces to rethink stakeholders

Blackberry-maker Research in Motion is pulling back on attempts to compete with iPhone and Android, and has said it will refocus its efforts on corporate customers.

The Canadian company reported a disastrous $125 million (£78m) loss during the fourth quarter, and said its $4.2bn (£2.6bn) revenues were down by 19 percent from the previous quarter. Blackberry smartphone sales stalled, too, dropping 21 percent to just 11.1 million units.
“I think as the benefit of going through this process from the vantage point of CEO, it is now very clear to me that substantial change is what RIM needs,” said the firm’s recently-installed chief executive, Thorsten Heins.

“I am focused on creating long-term value for this company, and I’m committed to do whatever it takes to deliver on that commitment.”

His comments, made during an earnings call and transcribed by Seeking Alpha, suggest a change of direction, away from the smartphone market and back towards the business side. “We plan to refocus on the enterprise business and capitalize on our leading position in this segment,” Heins said.

“We were delayed to the bring-your-own-device movement,” the CEO explains. That’s the idea of buying your own Blackberry and then using it for work. “We saw a significant slowing down in our enterprise subscriber growth rate as a result. I am committed with my team to reclaiming lost market share in this space.”

“We believe that BlackBerry cannot succeed if we try to be everybody’s darling and all things to all people,” Heins, previously chief technology officer at Siemens, said during the call.
“Therefore, we plan to build on our strengths to go after targeted consumer segments, and we will seek strong partnerships to deliver those consumer features and content that are not central to the BlackBerry valuable position, for example, media consumption applications.”

After this call went out, RIM was quick to assure people that it’s not ditching consumer devices entirely. “The claim that RIM has said it will withdraw from the consumer market is wholly misleading,” Patrick Spence, a top marketing executive at the company, said in a statement, picked up by The Register.

“Whilst we announced plans to refocus our efforts on our core strengths, and on our enterprise customer base, we were very explicit that we will continue to build on our strengths to go after targeted consumer segments.”


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