The CEO of Canadian smartphone manufacturer Research In Motion, Thorsten Heins, faces a tough task in turning around a company accused of falling into a “death spiral”, but based on words he wrote for The Globe and Mail today, he remains optimistic about his immediate future. He clarifies for the “pundits [writing] RIM’s obituary” that his firm has no debt, and has great, world-changing plans for the future.
“I am the first to admit that RIM has missed on important trends in the smart-phone industry – especially in the consumer domain, focusing on its core value system for successful products and services,” he wrote. “We are working diligently on BlackBerry 10 in order to provide a compelling experience for our loyal enterprise customers and consumers. While we are in a very competitive and constantly changing market, customers benefit from this competition and continued innovation.”
Acknowledging that “innovation is never easy and rarely understood”, he describes RIM as “a company at the beginning of a transition that we expect will once again change the way people communicate”, citing an expectation that BlackBerry 10 will “empower people as never before” and “connect users not just to each other, but to the embedded systems that run constantly in the background of everyday life – from parking meters and car computers to credit card machines and ticket counters”.
In the company’s last earnings call, the delay of BlackBerry 10 devices from the fourth quarter of this year to the first quarter of next year was confirmed, as were a number of redundancies. On the latter note, Heins attributes to that the need to “build a lean, nimble organization focused intently on bringing BlackBerry 10 to market”, which involves making “painful but necessary steps”. He even makes a little throw-back to “RIM’s earliest days above a bagel shop”. Will that be enough for RIM’s new mobile operating system to launch them back into the charts? We’ll find out next year.