BlackBerry Maker Begins Its Final Descent with “Significant Layoffs” (RIMM)

Posted by · June 21, 2012 10:45 am

English: BlackBerry Bold 9000 NTT DOCOMO 日本語: ...A new report from the Associated Press paints a bleak picture for the future of Canadian company Research In Motion. The makers of the once-prominent BlackBerry devices, RIM has spent the last year struggling to regain its former glory but has regularly come up short when it comes to satisfying market expectations. As a result, the company has been bleeding cash…and employees. After slashing 2,000 jobs a year ago, RIM is now poised to make even deeper cuts to keep the business afloat.

The cuts are hardly a surprise, though. Back in May, the company announced that “significant layoffs” were imminent, but nobody was quite sure how soon those layoffs would come. However, on Wednesday, that question was answered—at least somewhat.

Without giving a specific number, RIM announced that it had “reduced some positions as part of its program and may continue to do so as the company methodically works through a review of the business.” According to one analyst, Peter Misek, job cuts may well be in the 6,000 range. To put that into perspective, the RIM staff was 16,500 deep before the cuts were announced.

With a new operating system in the works—BlackBerry 10—Misek believes that the cuts are part of a larger strategy to move away from old practices and software in order to make the most of what may be RIM’s few finals breaths.

“They can’t jeopardize the company,” he insisted. “They have to give Blackberry 10 a number of shots. If they release a BlackBerry 10 device and it’s a good device, but it does OK, they’ll want to pull off an even better device shortly thereafter, and if you don’t have an appropriate cost structure you might wipe out your cash before you have an opportunity.”

As consumers continue to shirk the BlackBerry in favor of the iPhone and Android smartphones (maybe even Windows Phones?), RIM is losing what little ground (down to 10 percent of the U.S. smartphone market and still falling)—and cash—it has left. In fact, the latest round of layoffs is part of a larger strategy to hold onto an extra $1 billion of its fleeting reserves.

Reportedly equipped with “the multimedia, Internet browsing and apps experience customers now demand,” BlackBerry 10 seems to be the final all-in hand for RIM. If the OS fails, the company may not be too far behind as competitors continue pulling ahead, capturing market share along the way.

On the flip side, though, a revitalized Research In Motion would be a welcome addition amidst the increasingly slim selection that the Apple– and Google-dominated smartphone market has to offer.

Is Research In Motion fighting a losing battle, or will BlackBerry 10 give RIM a real shot at what would undoubtedly be a historic turnaround? Share your take in the comments below.


A couple days ago, The Verge put together a brief, hands-on video review of the BlackBerry 10’s keyboard feature:

For more news on the BlackBerry maker…

  • DoctorPartlow

    I may have to look into a windows phone. seems to integrate well with everything I already have (xbox, obviously windows, do they still have the sync car thing?) snagged one for the chicks kid. though it doesn’t seem to give me the complete functionality and options as my 9810 does. it’s always cool when you have a small office of 10 people and you set up a blackberry enterprise server only for yourself.

  • Ski

    Bye bye RIM. The Blackberry’s raison d’etre was the push email and integration with MS Exchange. For this RIM were were able to charge a premium. Other companies are now doing this or simulating it for no cost and the Blackberry is therefore no longer the standard choice for business users. Coupled with directors now wanting to look cool with iphones and Android addressing the cheaper end of the market, RIM are in their final days.

    Personally I’ve never been a fan of Windows on anything other than a PC or laptop but I guess there are those who will give it a whirl.

  • Maybelle

    Sad to see RIM go. The big thing for me has been that I don’t have to use a virtual keyboard. I can type so fast on my BlackBerry keyboard that I often don’t bother using my computer to answer emails. That’s one of the main reasons I didn’t get an iPhone or Android phone when given the chance. I need my BlackBerry for work – everyone else uses their iPhones more for entertainment than anything else. I don’t need all those stupid time-wasting apps and games but it seems many of my colleagues do, unfortunately. If Blackberry now has a virtual keyboard I guess I currently have the last Blackberry I’m going to use …