RIM has denied speculation that it is exiting the consumer BlackBerry business to focus on enterprise customers, arguing that it is enhancing business support rather than slashing smartphones for the general public. ”We remain committed to all of our Customers (consumer & enterprise) and are enhancing our support/solutions for enterprise” RIM’s MD of global sales and regional marketing Patrick Spence said today, ”[our] goal is to help our enterprise customers capitalise [sic] on the opportunities presented by consumerization while minimizing risks.”
The financial situation at RIM is certainly dire at present. The Canadian company announced a dismal $125m loss in Q4, prompting a spree of executive lay-offs and co-founder Jim Balsillie resigning from the RIM board.
However, comments by RIM CEO Thorsten Heins that the company would require “substantial change” in order to right itself, and the concession that “we can’t do everything ourselves but we can do what we’re good at” led to suggestions that BlackBerry would abandon the consumer market to iOS and Android. That, RIM spokespeople now say, is definitely not the case.
“We are not exiting the consumer market or withdrawing from any battles” Spence insisted this morning, “we are enhancing our solutions for enterprise.”
Exactly what those enhancements will include remains to be seen, with RIM waiting on BlackBerry 10 later in 2012 for its phone and tablet turnaround. Heins comments on the company’s strategy were relatively vague, promising only to “drive greater operational performance through a variety of initiatives including increased management accountability and process discipline” along with undertaking “a comprehensive review of strategic opportunities including partnerships and joint ventures, licensing, and other ways to leverage RIM’s assets and maximize value for our stakeholders.”