RIM giving up on BlackBerry battle
30 March 2012, 12:44
Washington - Research In Motion Ltd, the Canadian company that makes the
BlackBerry, announced plans on Thursday to focus on its core business
It was the latest in a series of developments as the
company struggles to compete with Apple's iPhone and iPad and phones
running Google's Android system.
The company has been struggling
maintain its smartphone dominance in developed markets in the face of
competition from Google and Apple.
In January, its co-CEOs resigned in a management shake-up.
Here is a time-line of the company's troubles.
15 2011: RIM reports a sharp drop in net income and revenue in the
fiscal second quarter and says it has sold far fewer PlayBook tablet
computers than it expected.
October 10: E-mail and internet
services are disrupted for three days, primarily outside North America.
RIM says a crucial link in its infrastructure had failed, and a backup
didn't work either. By the third day, other users, including those in
the US and Canada, were affected by a backlog of traffic.
25: RIM says it is delaying the launch of an upgraded operating system
for the PlayBook until February, saying it isn't up to its standards
yet. The company also says the new version initially won't have the
popular messaging service BlackBerry Messenger. It's the third delay
announced since the features were promised in April.
RIM suspends two employees after their drunken rowdiness forced an Air
Canada flight from Toronto to Beijing to be diverted to Vancouver. The
two are later dismissed from the company.
December 2: RIM says it
is writing off much of its inventory of PlayBook tablets after it had
to sell them at a deep discount. The model originally priced at $500 now
The company says it's taking a pre-tax charge of
$485m in the just-ended quarter. RIM also says it will sell fewer
BlackBerrys in the holiday quarter than in the one that just ended. It
also says it won't meet full-year earnings guidance of $5.25 to $6 per
share, the third cut in a row.
December 5: Police in Indonesia
say a senior RIM executive is a suspect in a stampede at a BlackBerry
promotion there in November. Police say several people fainted and
dozens were injured at the global debut of the BlackBerry Bold 9790.
6: RIM says "BlackBerry 10" will be the new name for its
next-generation system after the company loses a trademark ruling on its
previous name, BBX.
December 15: RIM says new phones deemed
critical to the company's future won't be out until late 2012. The
company says the BlackBerry 10 phones will need a highly integrated
chipset that won't be available until mid-2012, so the company can now
expect the new phones to ship late in the year.
The company also
says BlackBerry sales will fall sharply in the holiday quarter compared
with the three months that ended on November 26. RIM says it would only
ship between 11 million and 12 million BlackBerrys in the fourth
quarter, down from 14.1 million in the third quarter.
2012: RIM founders Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis announce they will
step down as co-CEOs. Thorsten Heins, a chief operating officer who
joined RIM four years ago from Siemens AG, was named as their
February 21: RIM finally releases an upgraded
operating system for its PlayBook. The free upgrade allows for built-in
e-mail, calendar and contacts on the tablet - features promised within
60 days after the PlayBook's launch last April.
The PlayBook had
received negative reviews because it launched without an e-mail program
and the popular messaging service BlackBerry Messenger. The new version
still doesn't include the messaging service.
March 29: RIM says
it plans to return its focus to its corporate customers after failing to
compete with flashier, consumer-oriented phones. RIM says it will focus
its consumer efforts on targeted offerings that tap the company's
strengths and will explore partnerships and other opportunities for
consumer products that aren't deemed central.
RIM says Balsillie has resigned from its board, and two top executives are leaving.