Research In Motion's new Blackberry 10 operating system was due out around now. And, yes, we do know Apple launched their iPhone 5 and sold 5,000,000 in the first weekend. So perhaps it was serendipitous that the company ended up delaying the planned update.
RIM says they probably won't release it until the 1Q'13. But if they do things the way they have been, it will probably show up just after Christmas – when lots of new phones will be bought/given as gifts – and Valentine's Day when nothing says "I Love You" like the gift of technology.
Anyway, to add to that news, RIM reported lower revenues. Down $2.8 billion. Down again from nearly $5 billion last year. Oh, with a net loss of $518 million. Talk about a death spiral!
The company is going to eliminate 5,000 jobs or 30% of their workforce too. Thorsten Heins, RIM President and CEO, noted, "It is necessary to change the scale and refocus the company on areas of highest opportunity." Perhaps he was thinking of repositioning all Blackberry phones as paperweights.
When it comes to smartphones, Blackberry used to rank high on our Customer Loyalty Engagement Index., That was a number of years ago – before all the system blackouts and the promises-made turned into promises-broken. Loyalty does correlate with sales and profitability, after all. But if you look at one of the most critical drivers in the smartphone category – the availability and expectations around apps – you can see another gaping hole where the brand falls down. And now, when it comes to just that, the app-rankings (versus the consumers' Ideal) look like this:
- Apple 89%
- Samsung 83%
- HTC 82%
- LG/Motorola/Nokia 80%
- Blackberry 68%
We believe it's safe to report that currently Blackberry users have been tweeting their frustrations directly at @Blackberry. But based on our ratings and the actual marketplace, they're probably using their computers and iPhones to do that.