RIM results spell bad news for BlackBerry maker

Research In Motion, the Canadian company behind BlackBerry, filed its fourth quarter results on Thursday and, as predicted, it's not good news.

The bottom line is that revenue for the fourth quarter of 2012 was $4.2 billion, down 19 per cent from $5.2 billion in the previous quarter and down 25 per cent from $5.6 billion in the same quarter of fiscal 2011 as the company struggles to prove its relevance in the competitive smartphone market against Apple and Google powered Android handsets.

"The revenue breakdown for the quarter was approximately 68 per cent for hardware, 27 per cent for service and 5 per cent for software and other revenue. During the quarter, RIM shipped approximately 11.1 million BlackBerry smartphones and over 500,000 BlackBerry PlayBook tablets," reports RIM.

To put that number into perspective, Apple sold more than 37 million iPhones in the same time frame and over 3 million of the new iPad in its opening weekend.

“I have assessed many aspects of RIM’s business during my first 10 weeks as CEO. I have confirmed that the Company has substantial strengths that can be further leveraged to improve our financial performance, including RIM’s global network infrastructure, a strong enterprise offering and a large and growing base of more than 77 million subscribers," said Thorsten Heins, President and CEO of Research In Motion.

"Notwithstanding these strengths and opportunities, the business challenges we face over the next several quarters are significant and I am taking the necessary steps to address them.

"We plan to refocus on the enterprise business and capitalise on our leading position in this segment," Heins said. "We believe that BlackBerry cannot succeed if we tried to be everybody's darling and all things to all people. Therefore, we plan to build on our strength."

That implies that the company might ditch its consumer focus and try to distance itself from the youth market.

Following the poor results, Jim Balsillie, former Co-CEO, has resigned as a director on the company’s board. In addition, David Yach, the company's CTO, is also stepping down after 13 years, while Jim Rowan, COO, Global Operations, has decided to pursue other interests.