updated 04:50 pm EDT, Thu September 15, 2011
RIM falls under BlackBerry, PlayBook targets
RIM faced bleak results for its summer quarter on Thursday with lower device shipments and much lower finances. The company ran below its own BlackBerry targets and delivered just 10.6 million of the phones, half as many as Apple shipped iPhones in the spring. PlayBook shipments not only didn't increase but sank significantly, down to just 200,000 for the quarter.
The company's net profit fell steeply versus a year ago, from $797 million in summer 2010 to just $329 million. Revenue from services reached $1 billion for the first time, but the overall revenue was down 10 percent to $4.2 billion.
RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie largely sidestepped concerns and explained the low phone shipments as the result of "lower than expected demand" for the outgoing BlackBerry 6 hardware, instead pinning hopes on BlackBerry 7 hardware like the Bold 9900 and Curve 9360. The company was more optimistic about the future and saw itself back up to 13.5 million to 14.5 million BlackBerrys in the fall.
No explanation was given for the calamitous PlayBook shipments, although the decision to rush the tablet without native e-mail or calendars, its high price for a smaller screen, and delays in getting the promised software out to users.
At 200,000 units, RIM is now dwarfed by most Android tablet makers and will have shipped one tablet for every 23 iPads that Apple sold, and possibly an even smaller ratio with expected spikes in iPad sales during the summer. HP will also have shipped more TouchPads in its $100 clearance sale despite having formally exited the business.