∞ RIM implodes: announces layoffs, 500,000 PlayBooks shipped

RIM’s first quarter results are in and things don’t look good.

[ad#Google Adsense 300x250 in story]According to the company’s results, net income for the quarter was $695 million, or $1.33 per share diluted, compared with net income of $934 million, or $1.78 per share diluted, in the prior quarter and net income of $769 million, or $1.38 per share diluted, in the same quarter last year.

“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.” said Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO at Research In Motion. “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.”

RIM said it shipped 13.2 million BlackBerrys and 500,000 PlayBooks. Keep in mind that number is shipped, not sold. That means many of those products could be in the channel or sitting on store shelves somewhere.

The company also announced a “headcount reduction” to keep costs in line. RIM said the “realignment will be focused on taking out redundancies and a reallocation of resources to allow us to focus on the areas that offer the highest growth opportunities and align with RIM strategic objectives, such as accelerating new product introductions.”



  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WHFQKRUVMJSEFVO7L3UNR7OMCQ arti.fact

    Seems that RIM has to rethink some of their longer term strategies if their going to survive the like of iPhone and Android and what ever else is in the stream

    • http://dealzon.com Dealzon

      Its a real shame because a big part of me is still a big time RIM fan.  I know we’re well into the age of touchscreen smartphones, but there’s got to be other people like me out there that enjoys a candybar/slim format smartphone, with decent tactile feedback and superb typing experience.

      Too bad they’ve fallen behind both on the software and hardware front.  It was wild that BB OS 6 was such a big jump for BB users but when compared to modern smartphone OS, it looked ridiculous in comparison.  Le sigh.

      • Me

        Superb typing experience…..you are delusional…Blackberry keyboard sucks…i have a BB from work and then a personal iphone, the typing is way better on the iphone…that is why RIM is where it is now…iphone touch screen typing is way better….if they think like you no wonder they are where they are

        • http://mangochut.net/ mangochutney

          A virtual keyboard may be more versatile, but it’s no necessarily the best solution for everybody! I like typing on the iPhone, but my Treo 650′s keyboard wasn’t bad, it wasn’t bad at all. And I know from trying a few BBs over the last few years that their keyboards were nothing to be ashamed of.

  • http://twitter.com/Moeskido Moeskido

    Dear RIM fans:

    At this point, blaming Apple marketing for RIM’s problems is a tiny bit like blaming “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” for the fact that you have an illegitimate 28-year-old kid.

  • Anonymous

    So what RIM is saying that some people will be let go because they were actually “decelerating new product introductions”?

    • http://twitter.com/xecretcode xecretcode

      No, they are saying they have too many people not directly focused on delivering products. Totally true.

    • Anonymous

      Maybe they should fire one of the two CEOs’, and three of the four COOs’ if anyone is responsible for this mess they are. Hmm! Well, maybe they should fire all of them. And what was the board doing through all of this? Perhaps they should go as well.

      It’s always top management that responsible for the success or failure of a company, not the lower employees. So they’ll save so e money by firing a big bunch of them, while it’s the people doing the firing who are responsible for their problems.

    • Poison Kitchen

      They are firing their employees as a way of tossing a bone at Wall Street, it’s the same kabuki dance that poorly managed companies do each time. Layoffs are easy, but changing strategies is hard (especially when your good employees leave knowing they might not have job security)

  • Anonymous

    That actually looks like it might jsut work dude. Wow.

    http://www.web-privacy.no.tc

  • Anonymous

    Maybe they should focus on accelerating new products that have complete feature sets (email anyone)..?

  • nobody

    seems to me if you’re interested in being “focused on taking out redundancies” perhaps you should remove some redundant CEOs.

  • http://www.theuniversalsteve.com Anonymous

    My heart goes out to the RIM employees who are losing their jobs because of terrible leadership.

    • http://mangochut.net/ mangochutney

      Exactly. The CEOs fuck-up and they have to pay the price. I bet that RIM couldm keep all these people if they were to let go one of their CEOs. Depending on where the firings are taking place, RIM may very well be reducing staff in areas, in which they are going to need it ‘to turn this ship around’.

      • http://twitter.com/Moeskido Moeskido

        It’s not just the CEOs. It’s the next level down, too. The people who report to Balsillie and Lazaridis who enable their delusion that all that needs to happen is that the market will wake up and realize how awesome they all still are.

    • Guest

      Poor leadership?  How many multi-billion dollar companies have you developed from scratch? 

      They are not bad leaders, just leaders that are facing stronger competition in a market that RIM played a huge part in developing.  They are also up stiff competition now i.e. (Google) that is leveraging their search engine business to give away android for free and (Apple) that has revolutionized the interface (to their credit).  

      True, the leaders reacted slowly to their competition and this may hurt them in the end, but their biggest problem right now it a software developer that is giving their stuff away for free (Google).  They are trying to right the ship with the strategies they are taking.  It be difficult because of their late start, but to say these guys are terrible is a bit much.

      • http://www.theuniversalsteve.com Anonymous

        “True, the leaders reacted slowly to their competition and this may hurt them in the end”

        That’s what I was talking about when I said terrible leadership. Good leaders don’t react to the competition. They lead the competition. 

        Yes, I’m being an armchair quarterback. But so is everyone else here, so that doesn’t seem like a salient point. I do own a (less than even a single billion) business that employs ten people that I’ve kept going for six years for whatever that’s worth.

  • Anonymous

    Is it ironic that a Co-CEO promotes eliminating redundancies?

  • http://twitter.com/xecretcode xecretcode

    RIM has to cross the chasm from being an IBM-type business-focused engineer-driven company to a Apple-type consumer-focused design-driven organization. The transition will be very hard because it means that the two people who have build RIM so far cannot be co-CEOs anymore.

    The two CEOs cannot be expected to change their whole outlook on the world. Unfortunately, Steve Jobs is not available and they would have to buy an existing company to get a founder who gets it. No way this can be done by an existing RIM executive.

    Poor RIM. It wants to change, but just cannot do it fast enough.

  • http://www.darnellclayton.com Darnell Clayton

    RIM needs to do 5 things in order to get its groove back:

    1) Reduce leadership head count: two heads are not better than one (otherwise people would have them). The same applies to CEO’s. We don’t have duel-captains of ships or deul Presidents. Just one person at the top. RIM should do the same.

    2) Reduce the number of COO’s to one as well. See point above.

    3) Reduce the number of smartphones developed to 2 models: one a full fledged touch screen, the other a keyboard master. 

    4) Make a tablet that is actually tablet sized (i.e. iPad sized).

    5) One software to unite them all! iOS works with iPhone and iPad, Google is about to launch Ice Cream for Android and webOS runs on both the phone and the tablet. RIM needs to choose one OS by either chopping one off or merging them together. 

    Anyone have any other suggestions?

    • Anonymous

      Put the tablet on the back burner (it already is, whether they like it or not) and a phone out the door with the QNX OS. The phone is the foundation of their business, they need to fix that first, then the tablet can be an extension of the phone ecosystem. Right now the their tablet is not part of their phone ecosystem except in the worst possible ways.

      It’s similar to the difference between beleaguered Apple introducing the Newton–which couldn’t parlay any of the Mac ecosystem–as opposed to beleaguered Apple introducing the iPod which complemented Mac ecosystem.

    • NNeelix

      Drop their outrageous licensing fees for corporate email access.  Microsoft already has a free client backend that iOS, Android, and WP7 all use.

    • Horse

      I have a PlayBook and its size is one of its strong points!  Use a PlayBook for awhile, you’ll be a convert.

  • Anonymous

    waaay too many zeros on that tablet figure  ;-)

    • silencets

      Sounds just about right for every store that carries the Playbook to be stacked full in stocks.  If they produce anymore, RIM won’t have anywhere left to put them.

      Aside from the mythical hole in the desert where Atari stashed the ET games….

    • http://twitter.com/lemieuxd David Lemieux

      What I do know is this, every Walmart, Sears, Staples and other store I have visited had two things: 1) TONS OF boxes in stock for all 3 sizes 2) NO ONE at the Playbook booth trying out the machines.

      Need I say more. The analysts on the call should have asked the same question they ask Apple and Samsung: “How many did you actually sell to customers?” 

      • http://twitter.com/Moeskido Moeskido

        There are actually stores that have Playbooks powered on? Wow.

      • Alvinguzman

        They already said they will not disclose their ‘sell through’

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svwgv7y_4LQ Trinidad Mondesir

    S. Jobs seemed to be gunning for RIM since day one…looks like he connected

    • http://twitter.com/Moeskido Moeskido

      He didn’t have to. All Apple ever needed to do was make good stuff and improve it incrementally.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/TGZ75URQ6DKTCNXV3RV36ZKALQ Matthew

    Companies have too many high-paid executives these days.  RIM is clearly a ridiculous offender in that vein.  Have one CEO, one COO, save a few million dollars a year, easily!  Who knows how many redundant middle managers they have…

    • http://twitter.com/Moeskido Moeskido

      It ain’t just RIM.

  • http://threadyblock.blogspot.com/ Jason Dea

    RIM has lacked a clear focus over the past few years. I think RIM needs to “nail it” before they “scale it”, or rather simply nail it again. A Blackberry was a revolutionary product allowing users to finally bring a small piece of their office on the go with them everywhere. An iPhone is “cool and fun”, two things a Blackberry never was and never will be. IMO RIM needs to recapture this leadership and focus on the enterprise and leave the consumer toy market to the other guys.

    • http://twitter.com/lemieuxd David Lemieux

      The problem is that they thought like you: “consumer toy market”. Fact is Apple has been a computer company since long before many of RIM’s engineers were born. Smartphones ARE computers. They generally have far more power than RIM’s phones both in OS and H/W. They need to realize that a company which started making pagettes cannot assume they know it all. A little humility would do wonders. As one other respondents so rightly said “nail it before you scale it”.

      • http://threadyblock.blogspot.com/ Jason Dea

        My comment was in no way meant as a knock on Apple.  Simply a comment on RIM’s horrible customer segmentation of late.  Yes smartphones are computers.  Computers are used by everyone from office workers to the fuel injection system in my car.  RIM had a well established brand and tremendous market penetration in a pretty well defined demographic.  Apple also has the same, only IMO in a vastly different customer segment.  Yes those lines are beginning to blur, but RIM was far too quick to start trying to keep up with Apple and Google rather than focusing on where they were winning and how to expand off their existing base.  

        • Anonymous

          interesting thoughts

        • Anonymous

          Actually, the problem for RIM is that consumers are now driving technology acquisition, not enterprises. Companies can’t afford to offer only one smartphone option if they want to keep employees and no one wants to carry around 2-3 different devices. A Blackberry does a crappy job at web browsing, photo taking, music and video playing, and lacks anywhere near the app base that iPhones and Androids have for editing office or google docs and creating content on the fly. Fact is, the apps on either of those platforms make the phones far more utilitarian and superior to Blackberry’s dated feature phone set for getting actual work done. Which is why enterprises are being forced to leave it in droves. 

  • http://twitter.com/quinndupont Quinn DuPont

    “Implodes” might be a bit strong. Making careful cutbacks is probably more accurate. Oh link bait.

  • Jth9234

    500,000Playbooks shipped? 13.5 million blackberry phones shipped? Well what did they sell, bc if they sold anywhere near those numbers in a quarter, or in the Playbook’s case- less than 2 months, thats still a really strong user base. RIM, I think is in a transitional phase, trying to promote a tablet, while not having a killer new blackberry in quite some time. Also acquiring the QNX software company. 

  • Anonymous

    Not bad for RIM. There are more RIM tablets out there than that stupid Gingerbread buggy crap Google’s hacking together.

  • Jth9234

    Another thing that can hurt RIM, why buy the upcoming blackberry OS 7 phones coming soon, when soon after, there will be QNX based blackberry phones? I guess if its time to renew a contract and you would rather have a blackberry than an iphone or android based phone, but why not wait for QNX phones then?

  • Alex

    Hiring tons of people with crappy leadership is like trying to win Kentucky Derby on a donkey.  Time to look at the fundamentals RIM – stop pretending you know what you are doing as the only result you will manage to drive here is another royal fu*k up like the Nortel one.  Hate to see another Canadian blue chip go down the toilet but I just sold all my shares as it is time to look elsewhere.  Buh bye!

  • Ding

    blackberries today are such a POS

    RIM …as in Rim Job       enough said

  • AlexP

    True story from this evening – went to Staples to get a few items – stopped for a second as they had a Playbook displayed – nobody there (soon found out why) so I figured I will “play” a bit with the playbook.  Well that was a short experience – the demo Playbook has crashed beyond recovery – the “sales guy” – and I use that term in a generous fashion – could not figure it out – he was pressing random buttons, rebooting it – whatever – nothing worked – I laughed and walked away.  The iPad2 display had 3 people playing with it – zero at Playbook.  WOW – what a piece of crap.  Buddy bought a iPed from China – pretty much the same result as the Playbook – crashed like a student on cheap beer.  Nothing to see here folks – move along.  No apps – no store – it does not even work.  Any RIM bought this QNX guys for something?  Grow some balls – throw Android on it and call it a day RIM – QNX is old and tired technology – developed like 20 years back – good for a elevator processor but on a tablet?

    People hate Apple – sure – I’m not a super fan – but have you seen anything crashing in the Apple store?  Even if it does, they will fix it in few minutes before the next customer has a bad experience.  Why not sell Playbooks at 7/11 or Mac’s?  Pretty much the same service as Staples.  It is about the experience folks – and Playbook simply has NONE!

  • AlexP

    True story from this evening – went to Staples to get a few items – stopped for a second as they had a Playbook displayed – nobody there (soon found out why) so I figured I will “play” a bit with the playbook.  Well that was a short experience – the demo Playbook has crashed beyond recovery – the “sales guy” – and I use that term in a generous fashion – could not figure it out – he was pressing random buttons, rebooting it – whatever – nothing worked – I laughed and walked away.  The iPad2 display had 3 people playing with it – zero at Playbook.  WOW – what a piece of crap.  Buddy bought a iPed from China – pretty much the same result as the Playbook – crashed like a student on cheap beer.  Nothing to see here folks – move along.  No apps – no store – it does not even work.  Any RIM bought this QNX guys for something?  Grow some balls – throw Android on it and call it a day RIM – QNX is old and tired technology – developed like 20 years back – good for a elevator processor but on a tablet?

    People hate Apple – sure – I’m not a super fan – but have you seen anything crashing in the Apple store?  Even if it does, they will fix it in few minutes before the next customer has a bad experience.  Why not sell Playbooks at 7/11 or Mac’s?  Pretty much the same service as Staples.  It is about the experience folks – and Playbook simply has NONE!

  • Anonymous

    B,b,b,ut it has Flash! (Ah! Ah!) Remember when Flash was the great iPad killer? The only money that was made on the PlayBook went to the estate of Freddy Mercury.

  • Jth9234

    I have had my Playbook for a month, maybe I got lucky, but the things people wrote in reviews or in anecdotal stories simply have not happened to mine. Initially the Bridge Browser to my BB didn’t work, a software update fixed that so now I share the same data plan with my BB and PB, unlike if I bought an iPad and had to purchase a separate data plan.

    So I actually save money in not having to pay extra for data on the PB, it does run flash, has the best screen resolution, sound, and is more portable. Playbook fits for me, luv it.

    As for RIM, the stock is oversold, IMHO. Yea, future earnings projections were cut and some employees were laid off. But upcoming QNX phones, an excellent underrated tablet already out, and still an extremely high user base, and a stock buy back by RIM, not so sure the company’s future is as bleak as it may seem.

    RIM needs to market their products better, but lately its been strange, Netflix and Hulu blocked their sites on PB? WTF? ATT blocked the bridge app in the app store. It just seems like its more than Apple out gunning for RIM, very strange.

      

    • YossarianLives

      Oh come on, take off the tin foil hat and allow me to unsheathe Occams Razor:

      Netflix uses Silverlight and took over 6 months to build the iPad appHulu’s business model built on advertising, so they are leaving it to the formats that most people use: iPad. ATT doesn’t want people getting around their tethering charge, maybe if it shipped with email and calendar ATT wouldn’t consider the risk so great.

  • Fgoliath19

    Why all the negativity?  With the exception of market cap, RIM’s finances are in better shape than any of it’s competitors, they generate more profit dollar for dollar, no debt, and a have a good war chest of cash.  So they’ve hit a little bump in the road in terms of launching technology, they are still the most secure device on the market and for business they are the only choice.  We have both an ipad and playbook at home, again for business the playbook wins hands down.  Sure if you want to entertain your children the ipad is better. For any other purpose you might as well just have a laptop – I really don’t get the allure of the ipad beyond the fact that they have cool marketing.

    • YossarianLives

      I’ll call you out for either being an employee or a troll because I don’t believe a single word of that post.

      • http://mangochut.net/ mangochutney

        Essentially this:

        :D

      • Jth9234

        Why is it sooo hard to believe the Playbook may actually be better than the iPad at some things? iPad has the far superior marketing and fanfare, but the PB does share data for free with BB’s, runs flash sites, has better screen resolution, better sound, is more portable, multitasks better, and has an all new OS. Is it just possible looking at it objectively, it might just be the better tablet overall?

        I will say though not having Netflix or Hulu is a drawback, but at the same time, I rarely get enough free time on the go to watch an entire movie or even television show.

        I just think of the money I save on a 16 gig PB w/ a BB with Bridge data sharing over an iPad with either its own data plan or a phone that charges extra for tethering or wifi hotspot feature. Saving me roughly $300 a year in data charges and what about another $200-$300 for the cost of buying a 3G 16 gig iPad. So in the first year, I saved about $600 for what I consider a slightly better device anyway…

      • Fgoliath19

        Neither, you can look up all the financials on all these companies yourself and do the math.  RIM generates more profit from its asset base (granted it is much smaller) than either Google or Apple.  I just refuse to get caught up in marketing hype, because at the end of the day that is all that Apple is, an overpriced marketing machine.  I respect Apple and what they’ve done and I think itunes is ingenious generator of profit, I just won’t buy into it.

    • http://mangochut.net/ mangochutney

      Troll commenter is trollish.

  • Sdsd

    reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  • RIMORIMO

    Teacher : write an essay on RIM. Student starts wrting: RIM was a company….blah blah…hehehe