RIM Banking Heavily on New Phones

by Jeff Wiener on July 13, 2011

To say a lot was riding on how Research In Motion presented itself at the recent annual general meeting would be a massive understatement. RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie told shareholders on Tuesday that the foundation of the company remains strong, adding that it is on the verge of one of the biggest product launches in its history.

Of course, Balsillie couldn’t hide the fact that his company has been struggling as of late. Stock prices have dropped considerably and calls have been made to examine RIM’s ownership structure, but Basillie and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis tried to put a good face on as much as possible.

According to Balsillie, seven new BlackBerry smartphones running on the new operating system will hit markets in the coming months. RIM is convinced that the new smartphones will help the company meet fiscal targets for next year, leading to a rebound of sorts that should put all of this nasty business behind it.

As for the PlayBook, Lazaridis claimed that 1,500 companies were putting it through the paces. Government agencies were also using it, he claimed.

The company also said that marketing efforts pertaining to the PlayBook would be stepped up. “We will continue investing in it and it’s only a matter of time — we will do better,” Lazaridis said.

Shareholders had some tough questions for Lazaridis and Balsillie, but in the end they gave the company a vote of confidence by re-electing RIM’s full slate of directors.

RIM currently has 67 million subscribers using its smartphones, Balsillie said. The last time the company reported subscriber numbers, in November, it had more than 55 million.

Still, the Waterloo company is in some serious trouble. Profits are down, market share is down and stock prices are down. Confidence inside RIM’s walls even appears to be waning, with several staff members apparently speaking out in the form of anonymous letters.

Things could conceivably turn around, I’d imagine, and a few hot products properly launched could do the trick, but it’s an uphill climb. Balsillie and Lazaridis, despite their confidence, must know that the next few months in company history are absolutely vital. Mistakes, even the smallest ones, will be amplified by a market watching RIM very, very closely.

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Written by: Jeff Wiener. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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RIM Banking Heavily on New Phones — TheTelecomBlog.com | Blackberry or Die
July 16, 2011 at 6:47 pm
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