BlackBerry maker Research In Motion yesterday reported depressing Q4 financial results that included a loss of $125 million. The company's quarterly earnings of $4.2 billion were well below the $4.6 billion projected, and a staggering 19 percent drop from the previous quarter. Clearly, it was time for RIM to change its tack, and during yesterday's earnings call, CEO Thorsten Heins announced the company was going to focus on its core strength, which is enterprise. Though Heins also talked about the company's plans for the consumer market, his initial comments sparked rumors that RIM was moving away from the consumer market.
Today, Waterloo-based RIM moved to kill those rumors before they got too out of hand. "The claim that RIM has said it will withdraw from the consumer market is wholly misleading," RIM SVP Patrick Spence said in a statement. "Whilst we announced plans to re-focus our efforts on our core strengths, and on our enterprise customer base, we were very explicit that we will continue to build on our strengths to go after targeted consumer segments. We listed BBM, as well as the security and manageability of our platform, amongst our strengths."
For good measure, Alec Saunders, VP of developer relations at RIM, also took to Twitter to straighten things out. "@BlackBerry remarks were misinterpreted," he explained. "We are not leaving the consumer market." Saunders went on to reiterate what Heins said during the earnings call, which was that RIM intended to enlist the help of partners to deliver in the consumer market. "No, Thorsten said we would be partnering more aggressively to stay in the consumer market, not leaving," he replied to one critical user.
As smartphones became consumer devices, RIM has made significant efforts to enter the consumer market in a bigger way with mixed success. However, it looks like the company isn't giving up just yet. Instead it's going to be leaving some things to the pros.