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The end of RIM? Firm cuts 5,000 jobs, delays BlackBerry 10 OS until 2013

by Doug Drinkwater

June 29 2012

RIM's Thorsten Heins has been forced to delay the launch of the BlackBerry 10 operating system
RIM's Thorsten Heins has been forced to delay the launch of the BlackBerry 10 operating system

These have been testing times for Research in Motion over the last year, but no more so than now that they’ve been forced to cut 5,000 jobs and delay its new operating system BlackBerry 10 until Q1 of 2013.

RIM announced the news when revealing the latest quarterly figures for the three months to June 2, and these figures in themselves did not make for good reading.

The firm reported a $518 million net loss in the three months, compared to a $695 million profit in the same period a year earlier, and saw its Q1 revenues drop by 43% to $2.8 billion as BlackBerry smartphone sales fell away.

"Our first quarter results reflect the market challenges I have outlined since my appointment as CEO at the end of January," said RIM CEO, Thorsten Heins, when announcing the news.

"I am not satisfied with these results and continue to work aggressively with all areas of the organisation 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.

"Our top priority going forward is the successful launch of our first Blackberry 10 device, which we now anticipate will occur in the first quarter of calendar 2013."

The news is the latest in a line of backwards steps for RIM, which once dominated the smartphone market, especially among business folk.

The firm has since been overtaken by Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android in the smartphone arena, while the much-hyped PlayBook tablet failed to live up to expectations, and just one million customers are said to have bought the tablet to date.

RIM recently took on two investment banks to pique investment interest in the company, but despite rumors of Amazon and Samsung taking a look at RIM last year, RIM now represents something of a gamble, with unwanted hardware, delayed software and stock levels which have fallen around 70% to just under $8 in the last year.

It would seem that RIM’s future now hinges on a possible buyout as well as the success of BlackBerry 10, the new mobile OS which had been expected to come to RIM BlackBerry smartphones and tablets this year.

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