RIM abandons consumer market, as the bad news keeps coming

RIM's quarterly earnings announcement has revealed quite a few juicy bits of information today - but perhaps the most extraordinary of all is the news that the company is effectively withdrawing from the consumer device market.   

CEO Thorsten Heins told investors that the company will no longer try to be "all things to all people", and going forward it will now focus exclusively on developing products and services for business and enterprise.

This change in strategy comes just a few weeks ahead of the first glimpse of the new BlackBerry 10 operating system, with developers soon being given preview devices - although our best understanding is that this won't be BB10 in its truest sense, but rather a reworked version of the PlayBook's QNX OS, which developers will be able to use to create apps for the company's new smartphone platform.

Along with revealing how many PlayBooks and BlackBerry handsets it shipped last quarter, a few other details also emerged:

  • Quarterly revenues fell 19% on the previous quarter to $4.2bn (down 25 year on year)
  • GAAP net loss of $125m for the quarter
  • Former co-CEO Jim Balsillie has now resigned from the board of directors
  • The company's chief operations officer, Jim Rowan, and chief technology officer, David Yach, will also be leaving the company


So where does all this leave RIM? There's no sugar-coating it: the company seems to be in a fairly desperate state. The financial figures paint a sorry picture to say the least - after last year's share price freefall, there's been no real sign of improvement, with the value of the company's stock still remaining well below its book value.

Meanwhile, its customers are clearly deserting the platform in droves, and key executives are also leaving the company as it prepares to finally release its much-delayed next-generation operating system. Even its chief executive admits that the company's new plan - abandoning its failed efforts in the consumer space to focus solely on business - offers "no guarantee of success".

But however grim things are looking right now, it's also clear that some pretty big decisions are being made at Research In Motion, and this might be an indication that RIM is finally on the right track, making realistic choices based around the company's strengths, rather than chasing unrealistic dreams.


Will RIM's plan work? Is the company making the right decision here by ceding the consumer space, and focusing solely on business? Do you think they'll be able to deliver their next-generation BB10 products on time? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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35 Comments

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The whole story was a lie, and they all knew it when they published it. RIM never said they were abandoning consumers, they said they were concentrating more on Enterprise which si where they started in the first place. The problem with news-dogs, is they report what they want to beat the other losers with more clicks.

I think its a good idea. If they focus solely on this sector they can regain profits here. I think its about all they got left anyway. May as well try it out.

The retard who wrote this article is the only FAIL here... RIM is not going to abandon the consumer market. WOW, unbelievable how many idiots cannot read or comprehend much at all.

Frank2029 said,
The retard who wrote this article is the only FAIL here... RIM is not going to abandon the consumer market. WOW, unbelievable how many idiots cannot read or comprehend much at all.

Dude, check your facts before flaming.... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17557177 - and in that article is a quote from the new CEO as of today - "We plan to refocus on the enterprise business and capitalise on our leading position in this segment,"- pretty much says we aren't building for consumers anymore!

Frank2029 said,
The retard who wrote this article is the only FAIL here... RIM is not going to abandon the consumer market. WOW, unbelievable how many idiots cannot read or comprehend much at all.

Yeah it's really unbelievable how many idiots cannot read or comprehend much at all.

Ben Macrow said,

Dude, check your facts before flaming.... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17557177 - and in that article is a quote from the new CEO as of today - "We plan to refocus on the enterprise business and capitalise on our leading position in this segment,"- pretty much says we aren't building for consumers anymore!

you were saying retard?

blackberry's are just to far behind other tech and the os they run sucks as well.

the only thing they've got going for them is the BB messenger and even that's rubbish now. Only reason I had a BB was for the messenger then I switch to an iPhone and won't be changing back.

Used BB OS on boss's phone for first time recently. Not bad but even stupid things like having to individually do app updates one by one and being told each time to reboot - compared to iOS its madness!

And you didn't had the opportunity to analyze how bad it is to close background-running programs. It's unbelievable, you need to go through each app to close it...

I wish they could implement like "close all background apps", or something similar.

Umm, RIM isn't abandoning anything. I suggest you do your own research instead of ripping off others whom failed to understand what RIM announced. They are staying in the consumer market and have no plans of quitting.

Charlie Pineda said,
what would bring them back would be to abandon the bb platform in favor of android. from there they can bring a nice ui to their hand sets.

I really doubt it Samsung is ruling the Android market. Everybody else is just hanging on.

Charlie Pineda said,
what would bring them back would be to abandon the bb platform in favor of android. from there they can bring a nice ui to their hand sets.

Android isn't the answer to everything. LOL

M_Lyons10 said,

Android isn't the answer to everything. LOL

Exactly LOL. I don't understand why Android fans are always like this, they wanted Nokia's with Androids and now, BB's with Androids. The best part? None of them would actually buy a BB with Android, these guys are all going to just buy another Nexus phone no matter how crappy it is. So much for choice.

Getting out of the consumer space doesn't sound like a good idea. That will further reduce their device sales, and weaken the brand.

Businesses are already turning to Apple and Windows for enterprise products. I see them slowing what is soon to be the end of the company if things don't change in the next 2 to 3 years.

Someone should just put this horse down already. BBY Products have always been trash, and they continue to be. I am surprised that their investors have not already abandoned RIM

RickoT said,
Someone should just put this horse down already. BBY Products have always been trash, and they continue to be. I am surprised that their investors have not already abandoned RIM

Ya reminds me of a super crappy company a few years back that was going bankrupt and had no real sales who had their CEO replaced and changed the executives.. .. apple.

I guess you would of told steve jobs not to release the ipod and just stop trying because their investors were leaving them?

I am not an apple fan, but they have always made new and innovative products and have always had their own corner of the customer market. They have great customer support and great products that they are constantly investing in and supporting, even beyond the warranty. Blackberry has terrible customer support, their products are garbage (and typically abandoned after a year or so) and they have made no strides to try and recover from the huge outage last year, or from the failure of the playbook.

So in short, your comment is kind of stupid

Lachlan said,

Ya reminds me of a super crappy company a few years back that was going bankrupt and had no real sales who had their CEO replaced and changed the executives.. .. apple.

I guess you would of told steve jobs not to release the ipod and just stop trying because their investors were leaving them?

RickoT said,

So in short, your comment is kind of stupid

You obviously don't remember the Apple of the late 90's. That is what Lachlan was talking about.

RickoT said,
I am not an apple fan, but they have always made new and innovative products and have always had their own corner of the customer market. They have great customer support and great products that they are constantly investing in and supporting, even beyond the warranty. Blackberry has terrible customer support, their products are garbage (and typically abandoned after a year or so) and they have made no strides to try and recover from the huge outage last year, or from the failure of the playbook.

So in short, your comment is kind of stupid

From my past personal experience and my current experience now after purchasing a Mac at the company I work for, Mac have horrible customer service.
Never return emails or calls, fail to reply to a 48 hour max support ticket until five business days later. Telling me things can't be done when they can and they simply don't know how.

RickoT said,
I am not an apple fan, but they have always made new and innovative products and have always had their own corner of the customer market. They have great customer support and great products that they are constantly investing in and supporting, even beyond the warranty. Blackberry has terrible customer support, their products are garbage (and typically abandoned after a year or so) and they have made no strides to try and recover from the huge outage last year, or from the failure of the playbook.

So in short, your comment is kind of stupid

Name one, one product that is innovation from Apple. I dare you, iPod, stolen from an UK man. iPad - nothing new there, Mac? Meh..Do I even need to comment on that?

Apple lives just because MS bailed them out, which they shouldn't have done.

RickoT said,
I am not an apple fan, but they have always made new and innovative products and have always had their own corner of the customer market.

No. Back in the 90s Apple was none of those things. They sold uninspired beige boxes that nobody could tell apart.

alwaysonacoffebreak said,

Name one, one product that is innovation from Apple. I dare you, iPod, stolen from an UK man. iPad - nothing new there, Mac? Meh..Do I even need to comment on that?

Apple lives just because MS bailed them out, which they shouldn't have done.


Why shouldn't they have bailed them out? They're highly profitable now. I don't see how your comment supports not bailing them out.

Mike Brown said,

Why shouldn't they have bailed them out? They're highly profitable now. I don't see how your comment supports not bailing them out.

And now MS sees how much of that in their pockets? Nothing. Plus Apple is actually eating away a small part of Micrososfts profit in the OS department.