Toronto: Shares of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion plunged on Friday after the company posted a loss and warned of future losses despite releasing its make-or-break new smartphones this year.
RIM also announced it is essentially discontinuing making new versions of its slow-selling tablet device call The Playbook.
Analysts were looking for insight into how phones running RIM’s new Blackberry 10 operating system are selling. It wasn’t good.
RIM said it sold 6.8 million phones overall versus 7.8 million last year. That includes older models. In the conference call, it said about 2.7 million new devices were Blackberry 10 models. RIM’s new Blackberry 10 operating system is widely seen as critical to the company’s comeback.
But the company said it anticipates it will generate an operating loss in the second quarter too.
Mike Walkley, an analyst with Canaccoord Genuity, said it’s clear the new operating system has not turned the company around.
“With Z10, Q10, and Q5 all shipping in the August quarter and BlackBerry still guiding to a loss we believe that is strong evidence BB10 has not turned around BlackBerry in an extremely competitive smartphone market,” Walkley said.
Chief Executive Thosten Heins said on a conference call with analysts that the “transition takes time” and noted things are better compared to last year when “we were told the company was finished.”