BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion has warned the launch of its BB10 operating system later this month will hit its future finances, as it revealed a net loss of $114m.
In its results for the three months to 1 December, sales were $2.7bn, almost half its turnover of $5.2bn for the same period in 2011. It also lost one million subscribers during the quarter, with total BlackBerry customers now standing at 79m.
The forthcoming three months are crucial for RIM with the launch of its BlackBerry 10 OS coming on 30 January. However, the manufacturer said the launch would hit sales of existing BlackBerry 7 handsets. It is looking to price promotions to drive sales of these devices but warned the BB10 launch would hit sales, subscribers, margins and service fees. It said it would be 'significantly' increasing its marketing spend this quarter to launch the BB10 handsets. However, the manufacturer did increase its cash levels by $600m during the quarter to $2.9bn.
Thorsten Heins, president and CEO of RIM, said: 'RIM continued to execute on its product roadmap plans and to deliver on key financial metrics as it gets set for the global launch of BlackBerry 10...More than 150 carriers are currently completing technical acceptance programmes for the first Blackberry 10 products, and beta trials of BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 are underway at more than 120 enterprises including 64 Fortune 500 companies. This is an exciting time and our carrier partners, application developers and employees are all looking forward to unveiling the innovation and excitement of BlackBerry 10.'
The manufacturer also announced chief information officer Robin Bienfait would be the latest executive to leave the company. She will retire at the end of RIM's financial year, after six years with the business. Heins said: 'Robin has been an outstanding CIO and has built a world class organisation. Her team has diligently prepared us for the launch of BlackBerry 10 and beyond and I will remain deeply grateful for her leadership and commitment.'
Author: Graeme Neill