RIM confirms they “absolutely have a whole next generation of smartphones” coming

Waterloo-based RIM issued a statement yesterday that their Q1 sales and revenue will fall short of the original goals. The reason is due to their March shipments expecting to come in around 13.5-14.5 million BlackBerry smartphones and shift “towards handsets with lower average selling prices”.

Clearly not the best news for the pride of Canadian tech but RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie gave a bit more insight and future hope during investor conference call. Balsillie stated that “The core thing here is that there’s been a transition that’s happened since our last guidance… Our higher-end products are aging…and that’s affecting margins…and sell-through, particularly in the United States and Latin America… As we’ve said before, we feel great about the BlackBerry Platform and the PlayBook and how they’re doing….We just need to have some newer, higher-end products in the market….This is a transition….We’re cutting over to a whole new platform and whole new set of products and it’s very powerful and we’re very excited about their long-term strength and the long term strength of the company….We are straight in the middle of the whole tablet mobile computing space. And we absolutely have a whole next generation of smartphones, so strategically we feel fantastic, but operationally this stuff is pushed out so you have this transition. … We’ll have a very exciting BlackBerry World next week. You’ll see.”

Many of the devices RIM will be possibly announcing at the BlackBerry World next week have already leaked online: BlackBerry Touch 9860 (Storm 3), Bold Touch 9900, Torch 2. In addition, the OS that will hopefully power some of those devices will be the new BlackBerry 7 OS. Balsillie also confirmed in the call that “we’re now calling BlackBerry 6.1 BlackBerry 7. It’s such a big update from 6”.

Certainly some challenging/exciting times ahead for RIM.

Source: All Things D & CrackBerry

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