RIM Pulls Out of Consumer Market

Blackberry-maker RIM is pulling out of the consumer market following last night’s disastrous Q4 results, highlights of which included a $125m loss (compared to a $934m profit a year earlier; revenues 19 per cent down on Q3 at $4.2bn; and a 21 per cent fall in smartphone shipments (11.1m), compared to Q3. As we reported earlier, former co-CEO Jim Balsillie has resigned from the board of directors, while CTO David Yach and COO Jim Rowan are also leaving the company.

RIM chief executive Thorsten Heins said the company was: “undertaking a comprehensive review of strategic opportunities, including partnerships and joint ventures, licensing, and other ways to leverage RIM’s assets and maximize value for our stakeholders.” Heins also conceded that he was not averse to selling the company, but said it was not a current priority. 

David Murphy writes:
The writing has been on the wall for RIM for some time. Even without the disastrous outage that hit the firm in October, and the firm’s pathetic response to it, the problems were already mounting. The Playbook, RIM’s answer to the iPad, has made little impact; the firm’s touchscreen smartphones have also failed to capture the public’s imagination. And even in the enterprise, where BlackBerry has traditionally been strong, and where it hopes its salvation might lie, iOS and Android smartphones have made massive inroads, and the iPad even more so. Who knows how much worse things might had been but for the current teenage obsession with BBM…

RIM CEO Thorsten Heins says that selling the company is not the main direction the company is pursuing right now. Many observers believe it should be, while there is still something left to sell.