BlackBerry is eyeing a January launch for its BB10 operating system after holding an occasionally fraught meeting with shareholders yesterday (10 July).
The Canadian manufacturer had previously announced it had a first quarter launch planned for the new operating system, a delay on the expected release later this year.
In an interview with Bloomberg, chief marketing officer Frank Boulben said: 'My expectation is that in some countries we will be launching in January. Will it be three continents or five, five countries or 10? I don’t know the specifics yet, but it will be multiple countries on multiple continents.' He added the release would avoid some big fourth quarter releases, such as the new iPhone and Windows Phone 8 devices. However, he could not guarantee a January launch for the first device running the OS because of carrier testing.
Vic Alboini, chairman of investment firm Jaguar Financial Corp, was critical of management during the meeting, saying he was disappointed that a sale or breaking up of the company had not been discussed. He said: 'What this board is missing is more technologically savvy expertise, marketing expertise and a little more transaction expertise. This is too cozy and clubby a board.'
RIM CEO Thorsten Heins told shareholders: 'I want to assure you I am not satisfied with the performance of the company over the past year. We are working around the clock to successfully complete the transition path that we are on.' Heins has launched a range of cost-cutting exercises. According to reports yesterday, one of RIM's two corporate jets is now up for sale.
However, the AGM failed to please shareholders. Stock dropped by 5% to $7.29 in the US yesterday. RIM's stock has lost around 95% of its value since its 2008 peak.
Editor: Graeme Neill