It is no secret that, with every passing day, RIM sinks further and further into the sea of sorrow and moves closer to that one dreadful word that defines the end of nearly every business, bankruptcy.
There’s no sugar coating the current state of RIM’s financial situation, especially when the company continues to layoff employees. A recent statement made by RIM did not mention layoffs directly but outlined the possibility.
“[There will be] significant spending reductions and headcount reductions in some areas throughout the remainder of the year.”
Peter Misek, an analyst for Jefferies, speculates that RIM will soon layoff an excess of 5,000 positions or more.
You may or may not remember, in July, RIM scalped more than 2,000 employees, which brought the total population of RIM associates to approximately 16,500.
Due to RIM’s recent financial failures, the company has identified the need to save about $1 billion which will obviously come in the form of employee layoffs and income reductions.
It didn’t help that RIM’s mobile reputation was already damaged, which caused them to lose even more subscribers to Google’s own Android platform on top of what they lost to Apple.
RIM is hoping to change their company and success with the upcoming Blackberry 10 OS. The unveiling of the OS, which took place at the 2012 Blackberry World Event, showed some extremely promising features and software implementations – could RIM be on the right track with the Blackberry 10 OS, we think so!
Unfortunately, the BB10 OS is not set to release until later this year, which means RIM will be forced to trim some of the fat in order to conserve as much of their sacred green as possible (yes, by green we mean money).
Despite RIM’s 78 million active global subscribers, the company is still losing market share. After the recent announcement of potential layoffs, RIM’s stock fell another 7 percent which has decreased by a total of nearly 75% in the last year.
There’s no guarantee that the Blackberry 10 OS, when it releases later this year, will be the saviour that RIM needs to stay afloat.
Colin Gillis, analyst for BGC Financial, believes that RIM will continue to plummet in market share and that BB10’s release will not necessarily ensure an influx of new customers.
“Unfortunately, it falls into the too little, too late category,” Gillis said referring to the introduction of BB10. “It doesn’t mean somebody won’t try it. It doesn’t mean it’s going to be a savior for the company either.”
RIM has since been unable to manufacture a successful touchscreen device, despite their efforts to release several touch products, including their recent Playbook tablet. The Blackberry operating system is not optimized for touch technology. There are a lot of Blackberry users that love the hardware keyboard, but RIM needs to secure more subscribers, which means reeling in a wider audience of customers. The only surefire way for RIM to produce fresh revenue is to adopt a different approach when it comes to software implementation on Blackberry platforms, and that means including innovative support for touchscreen mobile devices.
If RIM can provide a proper touchscreen experience and include unique features in the BB10 platform, than subscribers may actually migrate from Android or iOS devices.
Blackberry 10 could change the outlook the public has on RIM products because the new OS does, in fact, include touch centric features. RIM made it clear during Blackberry World that, despite the new hardware and software implementations, they will not leave their tried-and-true corporate-friendly history behind. BB10 is designed to compliment both the modern and loyal audiences of Blackberry.
If RIM can stay afloat until the release of BB10, they could find themselves successful again. Conversely, Blackberry 10 OS might be the hero RIM deserves, but not the hero it needs. Yes, we worked in a Dark Knight reference because we’re cool like that.
Like Gillis said, it may be a little too late for RIM no matter what. We’re hoping that’s not true, but supportive, or not, we may have to come to grips with the fact that Blackberry rocks a lot less than we originally thought.
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