RIM fights back from earnings warning

RIM unveiled a host of new devices and service updates yesterday, as it bids to regain ground lost late last week, when it admitted it will miss its forecasts for its current fiscal quarter.
 
The Canadian vendor went on the offensive in enterprise services, unveiling a unified device management platform covering Android and iOS devices in addition to its own, and launching its two thinnest smartphones to date.
 
Communications platforms vice president Peter Devenyi said the new Enterprise platform will meet growing demand for a multi-OS management product. The backing for Google and Apple handsets comes via software from ubitexx, which RIM is in the process of acquiring, and the platform will run a new RIM application offering separate protection for corporate and personal information stored on BlackBerry smartphones.
 
RIM extended its range of smartphones with the Bold 9900 and 9930, which measure 10.5 mm thick and are the first to run the latest BlackBerry 7 operating system. The handsets pair RIM’s traditional keyboard with touch-screen control, run a 1.2GHz processor, and are compatible with HSPA+.
 
The firm didn’t leave its newly-launched PlayBook out of the loop, though, unveiling a Wi-Fi video chat application and a dedicated Facebook service for the tablet. A similar application for BlackBerry smartphones is used by 30 million customers, vice president for collaboration and social networking Tom Goguen revealed.
 
Whether the new devices and applications will lift investor’s confidence in RIM is another matter, however, with the firm’s stock price taking a beating in recent trading after it conceded it would miss targets for the three months to end-May – the firm’s fiscal 1Q.
 
RIM predicts earnings per share to be $1.30 (€0.88) to $1.37, down from $1.47 to $1.55 originally forecast, and tips device shipments to come in at the low end of the 13.5 to 14.5 million previously forecast as it shifts focus to mid-tier smartphones. That change means revenue for the period will likely fall short of the $5.2 billion to $5.6 billion predicted at end fiscal 4Q.
 
The Wall Street Journal reports RIM’s share price fell 14% to $48.65 on the Nasdaq on Friday, and the price continued to fall Monday, closing at $48.10.

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