RIM Prepares Investors For News Of A Loss; Should We Be Surprised?
Back in December, the team here at Pocketnow gave you some of our predictions for the new year, including our guesses at which companies or platforms would be the biggest losers for 2012. Almost across the board, we fingered RIM as facing some very bumpy time ahead. So far this year, we’ve been hearing plenty about what BlackBerry 10 will mean for the company, but there’s been little in the way of developments to its existing product lineup; we heard a little about the 9320 and 9220, and learned of software updates for the PlayBook, but saw little in the way of forward momentum from RIM. Today, news arrives that the company is expecting to report an operating loss when it announces its Q1 earnings in a month, and it halted its stock trading in anticipation of investor reactions. Should we be surprised?
In a statement, CEO Thorsten Heins points out some of the company’s successes so far this year, including a growing global subscriber base and a good reaction from developers towards their BlackBerry 10 prototype handsets. While he may right about subscriber numbers, we’ve also got to consider that figure in the context of the total number of smartphone users, which continues to grow. As a result, we’ve seen RIM’s fractional share on the way down.
While developer enthusiasm is going to be hugely important for making sure BlackBerry 10 has the apps it needs to thrive, this is just further evidence of the company putting all its eggs in the BB10 basket, perhaps at the expense of current-gen phones and the user base behind them. That’s bound to be making investors nervous, especially with its release still so far away; we could expect to learn of similar losses for Q2 and even Q3 before BB10 has a chance to correct the direction the company’s taking. By then, will it be too late?