DARLING OF THE CONNECTED executive set, Research in Motion (RIM) has acknowledged its difficult first financial quarter and revealed that it sold 500,000 of its Playbook tablet devices.
Revenue in the first quarter was $4.9bn, down by 12 per cent against the previous quarter but up 16 per cent compared to the same quarter last year.
Most of the revenue, 78 per cent, came from the firm's hardware business, 20 per cent from services and two per cent from software.
Device-wise the company flogged 13.2 million Blackberry smartphones, a figure lower than it was expecting, and approximately 500,000 Blackberry Playbook tablets. RIM started selling the Playbook tablet in the UK this week.
"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 of RIM.
"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."
New products could give the firm the much needed kick it needs. While once it dominated suit jacket pockets with its Blackberry devices, other smartphones like Apple's Iphones and the many Android releases have knocked it out of that position.
The Playbook is an interesting addition, but with the Ipad and again the many Android alternatives it is in danger of being an also ran. The firm does plan to release what might be tagged a 'superphone', but who knows when or what, and by whenever it is if will anyone will care.
The Canadian company was rubbished by Morgan Stanley yesterday in a research note that depicted the once great firm as a lesser, floundering one.
"We believe RIM has now squandered nearly every opportunity and competitive advantage it enjoyed through ineffective R&D resource management, delayed product launches and misreads of the competitive environment," read the research note. µ
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