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RIM Shoots Self in Foot, Then Puts Foot In Mouth

Over the past several weeks, Research In Motion's software development teams have made major progress in the development of key features for the BlackBerry 10 platform; however, the integration of these features and the associated large volume of code into the platform has proven to be more time consuming than anticipated.

Excuse me? Let me get this straight: This project has been your so-called "number 1 priority" but it has been mismanaged to the extent that not only will it miss the all-important holiday shopping season, but its delay will only increase the level of difficulty for RIM to regain any market share not just from Apple and Google, but now from even Microsoft (MSFT) and Nokia (NOK)?

I'm not quite sure if RIM has fully embraced the severity of its current situation. If it has, it certainly has not acted accordingly. Even worse, it needs to stop sending mixed messages.

The Quarter That Wasn't

For the quarter RIM reported revenue of $2.8 billion, almost 10% below analyst estimates of $3.1 billion. The $2.8 figure represents a sequential drop of 33% and a decline of 43% from the same period of a year ago. While the company did ship almost eight million BlackBerry units, it is down 40% from the 13.2 million it shipped last year. Its PlayBook tablets are not exactly flying off the shelves either.

For the quarter RIM only shipped out 260,000 units, a decline of almost 50% from the 500,000 sold last year during the same period. It is remarkable when one considers that Apple sells over one million iPads per week while it expects to sell approximately 30 million iPhones for quarter.

From the standpoint of earnings per share, RIM logged a loss of $518 million representing 99 cents per share on a GAAP basis. In the same period of a year ago, it reported a net loss of $192 million.

As far as the real numbers go, investors need only know this: It seems every quarter Apple is reporting profits in the area of $10 billion while RIM has reported a loss of over half a billion dollars. The story is clear and it does not appear that things are expected to get any better because RIM also expects an operating loss in the second quarter of fiscal 2013.

The only question is, when will someone come in and put RIM out of its misery? Its challenge was to find new markets while preserving the monopoly it once had in the enterprise space. It simply could not do that. 

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