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RIM: the Humpty Dumpty of the fairytale world of smartphones

We now have proof positive that Thorsten Heins and the other top executives at BlackBerry (the company formerly known as Research in Motion) are living in Cloud-Cuckoo Land, Ontario. Regardless of all hype, promises and bugle oil, the BlackBerry maker's latest figures show just what a parlous state the company is now in.

Despite all the wishful thinking about the positive impact the delayed release of new BB10 model handsets would have, back in the real world RIM clocked-up a US$85 million loss for Q1, 2013 and indicated that it will be doing something very similar for Q2. The company also announced that it is giving up on updating its less than stellar tablet device, The Playbook. It will continue to support those that have been sold but there'll be no new ones. Another one bites the dust.

RIM shares, already deep in the doldrums, fell by almost 30 per cent as the news hit the markets.

The fact is that RIM's late and increasingly desperate attempts to increase sales via the belated introduction of the (once) new BlackBerry 10 operating system have been abject failures. Presented to investors and the public alike as RIM's last best chance that would "make-or-break" the company, it certainly hasn't remade it. Indeed it is now evident that RIM is the Humpty Dumpty of mobile handset manufacturers and it is highly unlikely that anyone or anything can put the company back together again

BB10 has not been the super-agent of corporate turn-around that the company promised it would be. BlackBerry shipped 6.8 million phones in Q1. Over the same period in 2012, when the company was already deep in the doo-doo, it still managed to shift 7.8 million units.

But not to worry, the ever-optimistic CEO Thorsten Heins (he'll still be bright-eyed and bushy tailed with that smile stitched in place when he finally moves on to "other opportunities") says that "transition takes time" and actually believes that things are better that in 2012 "when we were told the company was finished". Actually, it looks even closer to being finished now than it did then.

The Chief Executive also claims that the smartphone market is so very competitive that "it makes it difficult" to come up with reliable estimates of revenues and profitability" (!). If he and his team can't do that it surely begs the question of what they are doing every day? After all, how many times can you re-arrange the deckchairs on the Titanic?

To make matters worse, another four million erstwhile BlackBerry loyalists gave up on RIM and voting with their feet, trotted over to the likes of Apple and Samsung. More will surely follow.

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