RIM CEO Heins: We're not in a 'death spiral'

Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) CEO Thorsten Heins acknowledged that the company is in a very challenging environment, but he pushed back against the idea that the company is in a "death spiral" that it cannot recover from. 

CEO Thorsten Heins


In comments he made to CBC Radio that were reported by the Canadian Press, Heins defended his stewardship of the beleaguered BlackBerry maker.

"There's nothing wrong with the company as it exists right now," Heins said on CBC's Metro Morning radio show Tuesday morning. "I'm not talking about the company as I, kind of, took it over six months ago. I'm talking about the company (in the) state it's in right now."

Analysts have expressed fears that RIM is too far behind Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android in smartphones to ever catch up, regardless of the BlackBerry 10 launch. However, Heins rejected the notion that RIM is going to fade away.

"This company is not ignoring the world out there, nor is it in a death spiral," Heins said. "Yes, it is very, very challenged at the moment--specifically in the U.S. market. The way I would describe it: we're in the middle of a transition," he said. "All that is in the making, it's in the works. This company is in the middle of it and I'm positive we will emerge successfully from that transition."

Asymco analyst Horace Dediu has noted that when companies such as RIM fall behind and start producing operating losses, it is all but impossible for them to make up ground in the mobile market, especially when a company loses support from customers, carriers or developers.

RIM said last week it will delay the launch of its first BlackBerry 10 devices until the first quarter of 2013, which, along with a weaker than expected quarterly performance, sent its stock price plummeting as much a 19 percent. RIM also is restructuring its operations in an effort to cut at least $1 billion in costs by the end of its fiscal year, and last week it announced it will lay off 5,000 employees. Heins said last week the cuts are difficult but necessary, and that BlackBerry 10 will be a transformational platform.

In other RIM news, according to the blog BlackBerry OS, which cited an anonymous source, RIM's first BlackBerry 10 device will be a smartphone without a keyboard codenamed London. The company will then release a smartphone codenamed Nevada with a physical keyboard. Additionally, the roadmap shows RIM will release another tablet in 2013 codenamed Blackforest, as well as two other devices, codenamed Nashville and Naples. A RIM spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.

For more:
- see this Canadian Press article
- see this asymco post
- see this The Verge article
- see this BlackBerry OS post

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