By Claire Reilly
Sales of BlackBerry smartphones and the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet have continued their steep decline over the last three months, with device manufacturer Research in Motion announcing the company shipped 7.8 million smartphones for the 3 months ended 2 June 2012 – 3.3 million fewer units than the previous quarter.
The company also announced that it had shipped 260,000 PlayBook tablets for the first quarter of fiscal 2013 – almost half the 500,000 figure from the previous quarter.
The news formed part of a disappointing first quarter results announcement for RIM, with the company confirming revenues of US $2.8 billion for the start of the new fiscal year, down 33 per cent from $4.2 billion in the previous three months. The $2.8 billion figure represents a 42 per cent drop from the same period last year.
One of the highlights that came out of the RIM's previous quarterly report was the immiment release of the company's new platform, BlackBerry 10. President and CEO of RIM, Thorsten Heins, said in March that the platform launch was “on track for the latter part of calendar 2012”.
But this release has now been pushed back to “Q1 of calendar 2013” according to the results announcement released overnight.
The company confirmed that the release of the new platform remained “the company’s number one priority”. However, despite the “major progress” made by software teams in developing “key features” for the new OS, “the integration of these features and the associated large volume of code into the platform has proven to be more time consuming than anticipated.
“RIM’s development teams are relentlessly focussed on ensuring the quality and reliability of the platform and I will not compromise the product by delivering it before it is ready,” said Heins. “I am confident that the first BlackBerry 10 smartphones will provide a ground-breaking next generation smartphone user experience."
Speaking about the company’s overall performance, Heins said he was “not satisfied”.
“Our first quarter results reflect the market challenges I have outlined since my appointment as CEO at the end of January,” he said. “I am not satisfied with these results and continue to work aggressively with all areas of the organization and the Board to implement meaningful changes to address the challenges, including a thoughtful realignment of resources and honing focus within the company on areas that have the greatest opportunities.
“In parallel with the roll out of BlackBerry 10, we are aggressively working with our advisors on our strategic review and are actively evaluating ways to better leverage our assets and build on our strengths, including our growing BlackBerry subscriber base of approximately 78 million, our large enterprise installed base, our unique network architecture and our industry leading security capabilities.”