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As CEO Thorsten Heins warned it would, BlackBerry maker Research In Motion reported lower-than-expected first-quarter earnings Thursday, as it struggles to keep pace with smartphone giants Apple and Google and maintain what is left of a deteriorating U.S. subscriber base.
Perhaps equally disappointing for investors and partners, RIM also said it is delaying the launch of its highly anticipated BlackBerry 10 software -- a release the company has repeatedly pointed to as a means to breathe new life into its BlackBerry line of smartphones -- until the first quarter of 2013.
"The schedule we were working toward, which would have the first BlackBerry 10 smartphones in the market this calendar year, is no longer realistic," RIM CEO Thorsten Heins said during a conference call with investors Thursday.
What’s more, RIM said it would continue to move forward with headcount reductions, eliminating a total of 5,000 jobs throughout the year. It expects the layoffs to save approximately $1 billion in operational costs.
The Waterloo, Ontario-based company reported a first-quarter revenue of $2.8 billion, down 43 percent from the $4.9 billion it reported in the same quarter last year. It also announced a net loss for the quarter of $518 million, a staggering drop from the $695 million in net income it brought in during the first quarter of fiscal 2012.
"This was a challenging quarter for the company on many fronts, and I am not satisfied with the financial performance I am reporting today," Heins said.
RIM shipped 7.8 million BlackBerry smartphones and approximately 260,000 BlackBerry PlayBook tablets during the quarter. Both shipment numbers are down from last quarter, when it reported shipping 11.1 million smartphones and 500,000 tablets.
The 16 GB PlayBook model was discontinued earlier this month, after struggling to carve a space for itself in an already saturated tablet market. RIM said it will continue to offer the 32 GB and 64 GB models, which it believes offers "more value" to its customers anyway because of their higher storage capacities.
Echoing a statement he issued to investors in May warning of bleak first-quarter financial results, Heins attributed the company’s shrinking U.S. market share and shipment numbers to tough competition in the mobile market.
According to the most recent statistics from industry analyst comScore, RIM holds 11 percent of the U.S. subscriber base, compared to Google’s 50 percent and Apple’s 31 percent.