Speaking with a Canadian talk radio show yesterday, new RIM chief executive Thorsten Heins stressed that there is nothing wrong with the company, which helped lay the foundation of the smartphone industry with its BlackBerry handheld devices.
“There’s nothing wrong with the company as it exists right now,” Heins said on Canadian Broadcasting Corp’s Metro Morning radio show.
“I’m not talking about the company as I, kind of, took it over six months ago. I’m talking about the company (in the) state it’s in right now.”
Those are big words for the Waterloo, Ontario-based company, which recently reported its first operating loss in eight years, the cutting of 5,000 jobs and the delay of its new BlackBerry 10 platform until early next year. In the meantime, RIM stock has plummeted to just over $7 per share, down significantly from its peak of $147 per share in mid-2008. Nevertheless, Heins remains optimistic about the future of RIM.
“We do not believe RIM is a company at the end,” said Heins in a Globe and Mail article. “RIM is a company at the beginning of a transition that we expect will once again change the way people communicate.”
“Yes, it is very, very challenged at the moment — specifically in the U.S. market. The way I would describe it: we’re in the middle of a transition,” he said. “I’m positive we will emerge successfully from that transition.”
Although the BlackBerry was a longtime leader in the smartphone industry, it has since struggled as the iPhone and numerous Android smartphones hit the market and won over consumers with large touchscreens and several third-party apps from the App Store and Google Play Store respectively.
While the CEO of RIM might not be willing to admit that his company is in a death spiral, the delay of BlackBerry 10 could be a pivotal mistake because of the quarterly losses that could pile up before the platform is introduced early next year.
The one promising glimpse of hope is that, according to Heins, the number of BlackBerry subscribers continues to grow. Perhaps RIM can hang on and make a comeback, but it’s going to be a long road back to success for the company.