During its latest investor earnings call, embattled smartphone manufacturer and platform developer Research In Motion continued its slide into eventual oblivion as its latest earnings for the first quarter reflect increasing struggles to remain competitive in a smartphone marketplace dominated by the iPhone and Android.
The conglomerate has announced that it will continue with its current direction to cut costs and reduce its headcount while retaining its focus on BlackBerry 10. However, it did announce that it would continue with its previously stated plans to cut 5,000 positions across the company and has confirmed that devices running BlackBerry 10 are once again delayed from its previous Fall 2012 launch to the first quarter of 2013, further damaging its position in the marketplace and leaving it open to further competitive disadvantage.
As a result of this, the company has also stated that it is keeping the possibility of licensing BlackBerry 10 to third-parties as its own software platform to compete against iPhone and Android, though doing so would leave it at a distinct disadvantage to Windows Phone and even Symbian if current losses continue, as the financial report concludes that total unsold inventory has increased to 55 days worth of product and 260,000 total PlayBooks were shipped, with a total loss of $518 million for the first quarter.
The latest numbers and projections could not come at a worse time for the company as it struggles to return to profitability in its main markets in the US and Canada while trying to figure out the best short-term solution to its problems, as it still has to support current BlackBerry 7-based devices while developing its BlackBerry 10 platform.
The company is trying to put a brave spin on the numbers, promising investors that its restructuring will help it weather its current struggles and has retained two banks in order to explore further possibilities for the company, which now include splitting the company into two separate divisions for hardware and software, or even further licensing of internal platforms such as BlackBerry Messenger and BIS/BES outside of the standard product offerings, such as third-party access regardless of device and carrier.