BlackBerry World 2012 is coming up at the beginning of May, something that I’m personally excited about attending. Their new BlackBerry 10 OS will be present, hopefully a few handsets, but at the very least we’ll see what RIM has been working on for the past few months. Thorsten Heins, RIM’s new CEO, took office on January 23rd, just over 2 months ago. Today the company announced their year end and Q4 fiscal 2012 results.
RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook launched launched April 19th, 2011 and has seen mixed reviews and massive price drops. Once priced between $499.99 to $699.99 outright, prices were slashed to $199 to encourage adoption and help build sales. RIM reported PlayBook shipments of 500,000, which brings the total to 1,350,000 (Q1 had 500,000, Q2 had 200,000, and 150,000 in Q3).
As for smartphones, RIM shipped approximately 11.1 million BlackBerry smartphones. The report stated that “Revenue for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 was $4.2 billion, down 19% from $5.2 billion in the previous quarter and down 25% from $5.6 billion in the same quarter of fiscal 2011.” That alone is shocking, but the full year is more shocking: “Revenue for the fiscal year ended March 3, 2012 was $18.4 billion, down 7% from $19.9 billion in fiscal 2011.”
Heins stated that “I have assessed many aspects of RIM’s business during my first 10 weeks as CEO. I have confirmed that the Company has substantial strengths that can be further leveraged to improve our financial performance, including RIM’s global network infrastructure, a strong enterprise offering and a large and growing base of more than 77 million subscribers. I’m very excited about the prospects for the BlackBerry 10 platform, which is on track for the latter part of calendar 2012. Notwithstanding these strengths and opportunities, the business challenges we face over the next several quarters are significant and I am taking the necessary steps to address them.”
Probably the most shocking news of all is the resignation of one-time co-CEO Jim Balsillie. He decided in January to take a backseat and sit on the board of directors, but today has announced his formal resignation from the Board. Balsillie stated that “As I complete my retirement from RIM, I’m grateful for this remarkable experience and for the opportunity to have worked with outstanding professionals who helped turn a Canadian idea into a global success.”
Want more? How about “retiring” from the CTO role is David Yach, he was with RIM for 13 years. In addition, Jim Rowan, COO, Global Operations, has decided to “pursue other interests”.
Hope BlackBerry 10 is stellar.