It's probably no surprise to anyone, but the once mighty Research in Motion (the people behind Blackberry) have posted a massive loss.

In the last three months to the beginning of March it has lost £78m (US $125m).  When you consider that last year their profits were £584m (US $934m) this is a serious downturn.

RIM have completely lost their way in the marketplace.  I do not believe they truly understand what their customer requires.  For years the Blackberry has been the device for Corporate users -- it is reliable, simple and convenient.  However users now want more.  RIM missed that message and instead tried to push the BB onto the consumer market by vastly subsidising their handsets.  There was a period about 18 months ago where every kid had one, but is that really their market?  Kids are fickle and move on quickly.  The evidence is there to be seen....Corporate have stuck with BB for years.

Then they bring out the 'Playbook' -- seriously, who thought that was a good name for a tablet?  Forget the terrible operating system and its reliance on a BB device to operate (now resolved), but who in the Corporate world wants a device with the name 'Play' in it?!

The Playbook, in it's current guise, is actually not too bad.  RIM have finally produced a better operating system and it can be used independently of the BB device.  They slashed the price recently to get people interested but it is not all about price (look at the iPad, the most expensive device on the market).  People buy the iPad for many reasons but the key is the massive array of Apps -- developers are fighting to get Apps onto the device.  The same can now be said of Google's Android devices.

Newly appointed chief executive of RIM, Thorsten Heins, said  "We plan to refocus on the enterprise business and capitalise on our leading position in this segment".

I think he is right to re-focus on the corporate market, but he should not kid himself by assuming they still have the leading position.  Apple's iPad/iPhone and Google's Android offerings are both very capable devices and RIM will have a struggle on its hands.

RIM need to devise a much better user interface; totally overhaul their internet browser; encourage developers to get decent Apps on the device; revisit their hardware.

All of this is a big ask, and I personally doubt they can do it.

Time will tell.

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