RIM assuages shareholder unease with BlackBerry 6 promises

Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) executives trumpeted the company's forthcoming BlackBerry 6 operating system and its BlackBerry Messenger product during its annual shareholders meeting, and addressed some concerns that the smartphone vendor might not be able to maintain its position in an increasingly competitive market.

Click here for RIM’s latest BlackBerry 6 teaser."My answer to that is to perform, and that is our intent," said Co-Chief Executive Officer Jim Balsillie, according to BusinessWeek.

RIM plans to release at least two new devices and its upgraded BlackBerry operating system by the fall holiday shopping season. The company has a lot riding on the launch; RIM's stock has waffled during the past few months, from a high of around $75 per share in March to around $54 today.

Nonetheless, RIM executives continued to assure investors during the meeting yesterday that the company's forthcoming products (RIM did not comment on rumors of a planned BlackBerry tablet) will  reinforce its position among the world's handset and smartphone vendors. RIM was the world's fourth largest handset vendor at the close of the first quarter, according to IDC, and the world's second largest smartphone vendor, according to Gartner.

To drum up shareholder interest in its upcoming BlackBerry 6 platform, the company ahead of the meeting released a two-minute video showing off some of its messaging and browsing functions.

According to UBS analyst Maynard Um, RIM described BlackBerry 6 as the "next driver" of its business. RIM also said, according to Um, that the platform will have a dual-profile capability that will allow both personal and work data to exist on one BlackBerry without intermingling.

Following the shareholder meeting, some expressed optimism. "We believe RIM's market share should find a stabilization point," said Deepak Chopra, an analyst with Canaccord-Genuity, according to CBC News. "We believe that OS 6 will hopefully stem the market share losses you have been seeing."

For more:
- see this CBC News article
- see this BusinessWeek article
- see this Economic Times article
- see this thestar.com article

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