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blackberry 10

RIM shows minor gains amid wider losses

It might have produced a completely kick-ass video for its developers, but things still don’t look great for the Canadian smartphone manufacturer.

Stuart Thomas: Motorburn Editor
Stuart Thomas joined the Burn Media team in 2011 while finishing off an MA in South African Literature. Eager to prove his geek credentials, he allowed himself... More

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In its latest earnings call, the company revealed that revenue for the second quarter of fiscal 2013 was US$2.9 billion, up two percent from US-$2.8 billion in the previous quarter. That might seem hopeful, but it’s still down 31% from US$4.2-billion in the same quarter of fiscal 2012.

Approximately 60% of that revenue came from hardware, 35% from service and five percent from software and other revenue. During the quarter, RIM shipped approximately 7.4 million BlackBerry smartphones and shipped approximately 130 000 BlackBerry PlayBook tablets. Compare that to the five-million plus iPhone 5s Apple sold on opening weekend alone and you can see just how bad things are for RIM.

It did however manage to slow its losses down slightly. Net loss for the quarter was US$235-million, compared with US$518-million in the previous quarter.

“Despite the significant changes we are implementing across the organization, our second quarter results demonstrate that RIM is progressing on its financial and operational commitments during this major transition,” said RIM President and CEO Thorsten Heins.

“Subscribers grew to approximately 80-million global users, revenue grew sequentially from the first quarter, cash, cash equivalents, short-term and long-term investments increased by approximately US$100-million to US$2.3-billion, and carriers and developers are responding well to previews of our upcoming BlackBerry 10 platform. Make no mistake about it, we understand that we have much more work to do, but we are making the organizational changes to drive improvements across the company, our employees are committed and motivated, and BlackBerry 10 is on track to launch in the first calendar quarter of 2013.”

RIM’s total of cash, cash equivalents, short-term and long-term investments is currently sitting at around the US$2.3-billion mark, compared to US$2.2-billion at the end of the previous quarter, an increase of approximately S$100 million from the prior quarter. Again, there are gains there, but not massive ones.

What gains it might’ve made will also be offset by lower BlackBerry sales, increased marketing expense associated with the launch of BlackBerry 10, and some impact from pressure by customers to reduce RIM’s monthly infrastructure access fees.

Until BlackBerry 10 comes out, it’ll keep pushing BlackBerry 7 devices aggressively because, well, you’ve got to do something with them. Even after BlackBerry 10 comes out, it expects to keep running at an operational loss.