This week will be fascinating for RIM. They’ll be holding their BlackBerry Jam developer conference in San Jose tomorrow, where CEO Thorsten Heins will give an update on BlackBerry 10, and hopefully lay out a concreate timeline for when the device will be available. In addition, RIM will report their Q2 2012 results on Thursday.
Not all is shiny at RIM. They are in the middle of laying off thousands of employees, plus some investors and analysts are getting antsy for results. While other manufacturers are reporting millions of devices sold – Samsung with 20 million Galaxy S III and Apple with iPhone 5 sales hitting 5 million – RIM, according to some analysts will report a slowing down of subscriber base. Certainly not shocking as they haven’t released a flagship device in months, but Kris Thompson of National Bank Financial, stated that “This is the first quarter we are expecting zero subscriber growth – a loss in enterprise [customers] offset by a small gain in international consumer subs. Starting next quarter, we see the sub base in a downward spiral with Blackberry 10 potentially slowing [the losses], but we’re not holding our breath.”
The report in the Globe also points to BlackBerry 10 being released in January, something RIM was quick to deny when Heins said it back in July, noting that “In January with the full touch device and the QWERTY coming, I think we will reinstall faith in RIM. That’s what we’re working on… I have faith in the future. My team is working relentlessly to create that future.”
RIM currently has 78 million BlackBerry subscribers and the first BlackBerry 10 device will be an all-touch smartphone, followed by a physical QWERTY/touch. However, RIM also has plans to release 4 additional devices in 2013 for a total of six BlackBerry 10 devices – three all-touch and three QWERTY/touch. Some new features that we can expect to see in BlackBerry 10 are BBM Video, new camera features, and the OS having a “flow” focus to it.
Update: Well, it looks like the analyst above is wrong. Today at the BlackBerry Jam developer event in San Jose, RIM’s CEO Thorsten Heins stated they have 80 million subscribers and 60 million BBM users.