Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) will face duel challenges this week in rousing more developer interest for its BlackBerry 10 platform and then convincing investors that it has a plan to make the platform a success.
RIM CEO Thorsten Heins today at the Blackberry Jam Americas conference in San Jose, Calif., touted some of the new features of the BB10 platform. Heins said carriers will start testing the platform next month. "BlackBerry 10 is on track," he said, according to CNET. "Our sales forces are getting ready."
Heins and other RIM executives showed off the platform's user interface, BlackBerry Flow, which allows users to scroll seamlessly between apps. BlackBerry Peek allows users to glance at another application without leaving the one a user is currently running. Additionally, RIM touted BlackBerry Hub, the combination of a unified inbox and a notification center, according to AllThingsD.
On Thursday after the market closes RIM will announce its quarterly earnings, Analysts told Bloomberg they expect sales to be down 41 percent from a year ago. RIM has already said it expects to report an operating loss for the quarter while it continues to invest in marketing and work through the transition to BlackBerry 10. RIM expects to release its first BB10 devices in the first quarter of 2013 and Heins and his executive team have been busy wooing potential carrier partners.
RIM is banking on BB10 to help it reverse sliding market share in the smartphone market. According to research firm Gartner, in the second quarter of 2012 RIM captured 5.2 percent of global smartphone sales compared to 11.7 percent in the year-ago period.
"There are some people who believe new products drive handset stocks and there's new product coming, so therefore they'll get an uplift," Nomura Securities analyst Stuart Jeffrey told Bloomberg. "If people are holding on for that, they're going to have to wait a long time."
Analysts will also be looking to see how much cash RIM has conserved. The company reported having $2.2 billion on hand at the end of June. "Cash ensures a level of survivability and cash makes your partners more comfortable that you are going to be around in the future," BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis told Reuters.
Meanwhile, Heins and RIM clearly hope investors and customers will shrug off the brief service disruption RIM suffered Friday in Europe and Africa. In a statement Heins apologized to customers and said that up to 6 percent of RIM's user base may have been impacted and that subscribers may have experienced a maximum delay of three hours in the delivery and reception of messages. Heins said RIM is conducting "a full technical analysis of this quality of service issue and will report as soon as it concludes."
- see this AllThingsD live blog
- see this CNET article
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Reuters article
- see this CTV News article
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