RIM: We are not withdrawing from consumer market

RIM has denied reports that it is pulling out of the consumer market following poor q4 financial results on Thursday.

“The claim that RIM has said it will withdraw from the consumer market is wholly inaccurate," Patrick Spence, RIM's managing director of Global Sales & Regional Marketing. told Pocket-lint. 

"While we announced plans to re-focus our efforts on our core strengths, and on our enterprise customer base, we were very explicit that we will continue to build on our strengths to go after targeted consumer segments. We listed BBM, as well as the security and manageability of our platform, among these strengths.”

The comments come after the company revealed 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.

Research in Motion has told Pocket-lint that it is just making sure areas of the business work effectively and that it will look to "seek partnerships to deliver those consumer features and content that are not central to the BlackBerry value proposition, for example media consumption applications".

Away from the "re-focus" on the business side, the company has also told us that ahead of the BlackBerry 10 it plans to aggressively promote sales of BlackBerry 7 smartphones to drive upgrades from older BlackBerry products to BlackBerry 7 and to attract feature phone customers to BlackBerry 7 for their first smartphone experience.

"We plan to refocus on the enterprise business and capitalise on our leading position in this segment," Thorsten Heins said in a conference call to the media on Thursday night.

"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."

Some media outlets have taken that to mean that the company might ditch its consumer focus and try to distance itself from the youth market. But RIM is telling us that isn't the case at all. 

"@BlackBerry remarks were wrongly interpreted. We are not leaving the consumer market,"  Alec Saunders, RIM's VP Developer Relations,said on Twitter, backing up the company line. 

Following the poor results, Jim Balsillie, former Co-CEO, has resigned as board director. 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.

 



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