Research in Motion (RIM) is set to introduce its long-awaited mobile platform, Blackberry 10, next month. With the launch, customers will be able to choose from a wide range of Blackberry services like security and device management.
President and CEO of RIM, Thorsten Heins, believes that this new business model will help customers choose a number of services from a menu that is designed to cater to the requirements of individual customers. For instance, he explained during the call for RIM’s third-quarter fiscal results that small-business owners can opt for only Blackberry’s email services, as they will not have a requirement for its other advanced features.
Currently, subscribers can opt for RIM’s services that are offered in a bundle and on a pay-per-month basis, either directly or from a carrier. He further added that corporate customers who usually sign up for multiple services will continue to operate in the same manner, producing monthly revenues for RIM, while some subscribes will not be required to pay for their services opted.
RIM also plans to add a whole new range of services to its existing plans, such as mobile device management, through its next month release. Enterprises will be offered a new “platinum” package that will allow them to choose all the services or opt for only those required.
Heins has shown confidence in the new direction that RIM has decided to take by stating that they feel their strategy will help broaden Blackberry ecosystem over time. However, he declined to confirm whether the new business model would also be made available to the current Blackberry 7 platform. Word is still awaited on whether the existing platform will continue to provide services on a contract or will see a paradigm shift to the new model.
The third fiscal quarter did not bring good news to RIM as its sales of Blackberry phones went further down from second quarter and third quarter of 2011. This is in spite of an increase in its PlayBook sales from 130,000 in second quarter to 255,000 in third quarter.
RIM’s revenue took a hit in the recent few years after it fell behind smart phone rivals like Apple, HTC, and Samsung in sales. Massive layoffs and severe cost-cutting strategies have managed to reduce the company’s annual overheads by $1 billion, Heins added.
Heins further said during the call that the company has stabilized and “will turn the corner in the next year”. It is a known fact that there is a lot at stake for Blackberry on the release of its next platform, Blackberry 10. It is scheduled to be unveiled at an event organized in New York City on January 30, 2013. Heins announced that mobile carriers that will be offering Blackberry 10 devices would be announcing their dates of availability during the time of the event.
There has been a lot of enthusiasm amongst mobile carriers and corporate subscribers around the world regarding this much-awaited upgrade from Blackberry. There are a number of rumors regarding a complete makeover of the user interface. According to the company release, Blackberry 10 devices are being tested with more than 150 network carriers and 120 enterprises around the world.
Heins said that the upcoming release would not affect the existing users on Blackberry 7 platform as he assures that the company will continue to work on its maintenance and development and probably release new phones that will run on the same platform.
Heins finally added that although the sales of Blackberry units fell from 7.4 million in Q2 to 6.9 million in Q3, there was a significant rise in countries like Canada, U.K., Indonesia, South Africa, and Venezuela, where high sales were recorded, with Canada and U.K. generating about 65 per cent of the company’s revenue from its various devices.
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