BlackBerry backs out of consumer market

Blackberry says it will go back to its roots and concentrate on targeting business users after failing to compete with rivals such as Apple and Samsung.


The company says it will still have a consumer operation, although this is likely to be tailored to business people. RIM says it will now focus its consumer efforts on its “core strengths”.

It is unclear at this stage whether BlackBerry’s “biggest ever marketing campaign” for the launch of its BB10 operating system will be scaled back or cancelled altogether.

Parent company RIM is now undergoing a “comprehensive” 10-week strategic review that could result in a sale, partnerships, licensing or joint ventures so the company can best utilise its assets.

The announcement comes on the back of another quarter of financial decline, which saw RIM report a net loss of $125m (£78.5m), compared to a profit of $934m (£584m) the previous year.

BlackBerry sold 11.1 million phones in the quarter to 3 March. By comparision, Apple sold more than 37 million phones in the last three months of 2011.

BlackBerry chief executive Thorsten Heins says: “We plan to refocus on the enterprise business and capitalise on our leading position in this segment.

We believe that BlackBerry cannot succeed if we tried to be everybody’s darling and all things to all people. Therefore, we plan to build on our strength.”

Heins assumed the role of chief executive after RIM’s co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie stepped down in January.

Balsillie has now resigned from the board and David Yach, chief technology officer for software, and Jim Rowan, chief operating officer for global operations, are also departing.

Elsewhere in the mobile sector, HTC is due to launch its “biggest ever” marketing campaign next week to promote its line of “One” smartphones that it hopes will turn around the disappointing sales it experienced in the last quarter.

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