Thousands of jobs cut; Blackberry 10 delayed

Research In Motion is delaying the launch of its much anticipated BlackBerry 10 handset until next year and cutting 5,000 jobs as it restructures operations, the troubled smartphone company said Thursday.

TORONTO — Research In Motion is delaying the launch of its much anticipated BlackBerry 10 handset until next year and cutting 5,000 jobs as it restructures operations, the troubled smartphone company said Thursday.

The launch of BlackBerry 10, seen as key to the recovery of the company, had been expected later this year and will now miss the important holiday shopping season.

“This was a challenging quarter for the company on many fronts and I’m not satisfied with the financial performance we are reporting,” chief executive Thorsten Heins said on a conference call.

“I want to assure you that we are not standing still, and that we are continuing to accelerate our focus on our key initiatives.”

Heins said the company’s top priority is the launch of the first BlackBerry 10 device, which it has pushed to the first quarter of calendar 2013.

The company (TSX:RIM) also plans to simplify its operations, which includes cutting back on the number of different BlackBerry devices on the market, as well as reducing its “layers of management” and outsourcing more of its non-core functions.

Heins told investors on a conference call that many of wireless carriers actually prefer that the company launch its new devices in the first-quarter of next year because faster networks will be in place.

RIM shares plunged 16 per cent in after-hours trading on the Nasdaq, losing US$1.50 to US$7.63. Shares closed up two cents at C$9.46 on the Toronto Stock Exchange in regular hours trading Thursday.

The job cuts will rollout over the rest of the fiscal year, Heins said, but he noted the company intends to “notify those affected as quickly as possible.”

The company, which reports in U.S. dollars, announced the cuts and delays as it reported a loss of US$518 million or 99 cents per share for its latest quarter. The loss compared with a profit of $695 million or $1.33 per share a year ago.

Revenue for the three months fell to $2.81 billion from $4.91 billion.

Excluding one-time items including a non-cash charge to goodwill, the company said it lost $192 million or 37 cents per share diluted.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected RIM to post a loss of a three cents per share, while its revenues will fall about 37 per cent to $3.1 billion.

During the quarter, RIM shipped 7.8 million BlackBerry smartphones and approximately 260,000 BlackBerry PlayBook tablets.

In its outlook, the company said it expects the next several quarters to continue to be very challenging for its business.

RIM said it expects to report a further operating loss in the second quarter of fiscal 2013, as RIM continues to invest in marketing programs and continues to work through the transition to BlackBerry 10.

“I understand that this is an incredibly difficult message to deliver, but it is necessary,” Heins said.

“We have a strong balance sheet which we’re committed to maintaining.”

Uncertainty has engulfed the future of RIM in recent months as speculation swirls over whether the company could be bought, or forced to sell off certain pieces of its operations to survive.

The company has been strongly criticized for delaying BB10, but executives have insisted they want to get this right rather than face an onslaught of bad reviews, like those that came after it rushed the releases of the BlackBerry Storm touch screen and the PlayBook tablet.

The postponed launch date for BlackBerry 10 will mean the company will miss the crucial September launch season when many smartphones hit the market in an attempt to grab the attention of students heading back to school as well as the holiday shopping rush.

BlackBerry 10 will also arrive to market after the latest update to Apple’s iPhone, which is expected later this year, and numerous new smartphone’s using Google’s Android operating system this fall.

Executives at RIM have said the company intends to focus more on its enterprise business, or the big companies that buy smartphones in large quantities. Still, many of its sneak previews of the BB10 system have focused on flashy applications and features more akin to the consumer market, such as photo editing software and games.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lyn Radford, 2019 Canada Winter Games board chair, was named 2020 Sport Event Volunteer of the Year at the Prestige Awards. (File photo by Advocate staff)
WATCH: Lyn Radford wins award for volunteer efforts

The board chair of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Red Deer dips below 300 active COVID-19 cases

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Red Deer continued to drop… Continue reading

A candlelight vigil will be held in Red Deer on Thursday to honour the 350-plus people killed in the Easter bombing attack in Sri Lanka. Contributed photo
Candlelight vigil planned for deaths linked to Olymel COVID-19 outbreak

A candlelight vigil is being planned for those who died due to… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels forward Jaxsen Wiebe battles Calgary Hitmen forward Cael Zimmerman for a loose puck when the two teams squared off in February last season. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Calgary Hitmen shutout Red Deer Rebels

Rebels name centre Jayden Grubbe team captain ahead of Friday’s game

Bryson, six, and Mara, eight, play with puppies from Dogs With Wings Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
WATCH: Dogs With Wings introduces Red Deer program

A program that trains puppies to be certified service, autism, facility and… Continue reading

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Funeral for Walter Gretzky to be held Saturday in home town of Brantford, Ont.

The funeral for hockey legend Wayne Gretzky’s father Walter will take place… Continue reading

A sign for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service building is shown in Ottawa on May 14, 2013. A newly released audit report shows that difficulties with the judicial warrant process at Canada's spy agency — an issue that made headlines last summer — stretch back at least nine years. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Spy warrant shortcomings stretch back almost a decade, newly released audit shows

OTTAWA — A newly released audit report shows that difficulties with the… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday night’s Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the estimated $29 million… Continue reading

A trial countdown sign marks the days at George Floyd Square, March 4, 2021, in Minneapolis. Ten months after police officers brushed off George Floyd's moans for help on the street outside a south Minneapolis grocery, the square remains a makeshift memorial for Floyd who died at the hand of police making an arrest. The trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin will begin with jury selection on March 8. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Officer’s trial could reopen intersection where Floyd died

MINNEAPOLIS — During a group’s recent meeting at the now-vacant Speedway gas… Continue reading

FILE - In this Aug. 30, 2020 file photo Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell calls for an end to violence in the city during a news conference a day after a demonstrator was shot and killed in downtown Portland. Amid protests following the police killing of George Floyd last year Portland dissolved a special police unit designed to focus on gun violence. Critics say the squad unfairly targeted Black people, but gun violence and homicides have since spiked in Oregon's largest city, and some say disbanding the 35-officer unit was a mistake. (Sean Meagher/The Oregonian via AP, File)
As violence surges, some question Portland axing police unit

PORTLAND, Ore. — Elmer Yarborough got a terrifying call from his sister:… Continue reading

Harley Hay
Harley Hay: Just don’t call it cod liver oil

Many people swear that a daily dose of various vitamins is an… Continue reading

Email editor@auburn-reporter.com
Letter: Preserving green spaces in Red Deer

The Advocate published an article Feb. 11 about Sunnybrook residents concerned about… Continue reading

Former Toronto Argonauts lineman Chris Schultz remembered as a gentle giant

Former Toronto Argonauts lineman Chris Schultz remembered as a gentle giant

Most Read