RIM’s CEO, Thorsten Heins, has a bigger challenge this time to win over smartphone users by introducing a make-or-break product line that will most likely determine the future of RIM and his career in the company.
Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM) (TSE:RIM) will uncover its BlackBerry 10 operating system and handsets as its best bet to remain a major player in an already competitive market, which is rapidly attracting and accomodating new entrants.
“This is RIM betting the farm — it’s that big, it’s that important,” said Ramon Llamas, an analyst at IDC in Framingham, Massachusetts.
“There’s going to be a lot of work that needs to be done to earn back respect.” said Llamas in a statement. “It’s one thing to work internally to right the ship, get the staff in place, and get the products and services all set. When you bring it externally, that’s a whole different ballgame.”
Heins, who became President and CEO of the company in January 2012, breathed life into the sinking company with a fresh approach and new products. By cutting 30% of RIM’s total workforce, appointing new marketing and business development team, and expanding cash reserves to $2.9, the new CEO has gained investor’s support in the past year for his effective comeback plan.
The company website home page depicts a sleek black device against a black background, alongside the words: “The Blackberry Experience. Re-designed. Re-engineered. Re-invented.”
“This is an entirely new operating system,” said company spokesman Nick Manning. “We think it’s the first entirely new mobile operating system in about five years.”
Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM) (TSE:RIM) has given more than 8,000 prototypes to application developers, while more than 150 carriers have been globally testing the new platform.
The Canadian based BlackBerry maker believes that the new operating system in BlackBerry 10 range will break new ground by creating a user space that will allow customers to shuffle between applications without having to pass through the homepage. The new range of BlackBerry 10 phones are likely to enable users to enjoy separate professional communications and applications from music, photographs and other personal items.
Gartner analyst, Phillip Redman believes RIM ”has great comeback potential,” with respect to its strong customer base of business users, who prefer its QUERTY keyboard and its reputation for strong network security.
A company whose stock is at about one-eighth of its valuation in 2008 now needs an attention-grabber if it is to reverse six quarters of declining sales and a steady loss of market share.
The much awaited launch is in scale to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s much-anticipated product rollouts and will test the marketing and strategic planning skills of the 55-year-old CEO.