Bad news if you were looking forward to getting your hands on a BlackBerry 10 handset – RIM has delayed the launch of the new OS until 2013.
But that’s just the tip of the bad news iceberg, with RIM cutting 5,000 jobs, first quarter profits falling 43 per cent, and a split or merger with Microsoft on the cards. But anyway, how’s your Friday?
RIM has a lot riding on BlackBerry 10 – it’s long been touted as a make or break move. And now the Canadian smartphone maker has delayed the launch until 2013, saying the development has “proven to be more time-consuming than anticipated.” The delay means the handsets will launch a year later than originally promised.
So what’s next for the company? The latest news is it’ll either split, selling off its network business, or join forces with Microsoft (aka ‘doing a Nokia’). A source told Reuters RIM is considering adopting Windows 8 as its OS. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has approached RIM in recent months to see if it was interested in getting on board, but he was rebuffed.
The source said RIM wasn’t keen on a Microsoft partnership because it would mean the end of its technology independence. It must be quite a hard thing to swallow for the company that invented mobile email and once dominated the business world, but still, it’s had a disastrous year. It’ll be embarking on a cost-cutting drive, losing 5,000 jobs (that’s 30 per cent of its workforce), and shares have dropped 70 per cent over the last 12 months.
So really, while a Microsoft merger might not be ideal, you have to wonder what other options RIM has left.