RIM Asks Developers to Keep Working Despite BlackBerry 10 Delay
BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, after disappointing shareholders, is working to assuage another group hard hit by the news that the long-delayed BlackBerry 10 platform won t be released until early 2013.
Alec Saunders, Research In Motion's vice president of developer relations, wrote in a June 30 post on the Inside BlackBerry Developer Blog that RIM remains strongly committed to its developers.
"You've got businesses to run, rent to pay and investors to answer to," Saunders wrote. "You are the folks who have skin in the game now, and aren't just waiting for a new phone personally. We know this delay affects you, and we're sorry."
During RIM's June 28 earnings call, CEO Thorsten Heins shared that the platform's release had to be pushed from late 2012 to early 2013. The integration of such a large volume of incoming code, he explained, would take more time than originally expected.
"I will not deliver a product to the market that is ...anything less than an outstanding user experience with the quality I expect a BlackBerry product to have," Heins said in his opening remarks. "There will be no compromise on this issue."
Heins went on to share that RIM had suffered a $518 million loss during the quarter, and to save money was cutting 5,000 jobs, roughly a third of its workforce.
Michael Finneran, president of dBrn Associates, believes that in that pummeling of bad news, the delay of BlackBerry 10 was the death blow.
"RIM's product line is simply not competitive. Even at its best, BlackBerry 10 would have challenges, as the initial devices were to be the first RIM smartphones without a keyboard, one of the features that had kept many of the remaining RIM fans loyal," Finneran wrote in a June 29 blog post on No Jitter. "With Apple poised to introduce the iPhone 5 later this year and an ongoing torrent of Android devices pouring onto the market, this is the worst of all failings."
RIM"s Heins, offering shareholders what good news he could, talked about how encouraged and excited the company is by the traction that BlackBerry 10 has received with developers and content partners. The company is currently hosting a 23-city BlackBerry 10 Jam World Tour--a series of daylong events acquainting developer communities with the ins and outs of BlackBerry 10--that Heins said is sold out in London, Barcelona, Berlin, Toronto, Montreal, New York, Santa Clara and Singapore (though it's difficult to imagine RIM turning anyone away).