Could 2012 be the year RIM finally kicks the can? During an earnings call Thursday afternoon, the company officially announced that BlackBerry 10 devices won’t arrive until late 2012. Late 2012. How incredibly disappointing for the handset maker, especially after putting in such a poor 2011. Can the company even survive that long without losing more market share? Apple and Android are showing no signs of letting up, and even Windows Phone devices are growing in popularity.
Before RIM even announced this news, the company reported its fiscal Q3 revenue, revealing at least a slight hint of semi-good news. The company said it turned a profit of $1.27 a share, contrary to predicted forecasts – beyond that, however, all is not well.
In a period that ended November 26, Research In Motion announced Q3 profits dropped by 27 percent. Earlier this month RIM warned its revenue would be “slightly lower” than the $5.3-$5.6 billion analysts predicted, and they didn’t disappoint in that regard. The company pegged its revenue at $5.2 billion, falling short of expectations.
On average, Wall Street forecasted RIM to earn $1.22 per share on revenue of $5.24 billion, the Wall Street Journal said.
In after hours trading today, company shares are down more than 6 percent. Since reaching a 2011 high in February, stocks have fallen nearly 80 percent. Surprisingly, BlackBerry subscribers rose 35 percent year over year, bringing the worldwide total to 75 million. Still, unit shipments have declined from last quarter performance of 14.1 million to a range of 11 – 12 million.
Although RIM already admitted its Q3 performance wouldn’t meet expectations, it’s still difficult to stomach such dismal figures. If you’ll remember back to early November, RIM shareholders called for big changes to be made within the company, otherwise there would be a potential backlash. After hearing these results, one can only assume the cries to replace co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie will only get louder, especially now that BlackBerry 10 is going to miss its expected early 2012 release window.
Can RIM survive another year the way it’s performing?