McLean, VA (written by Roger Yu/USA Today) -- Struggling to fend off competition from iPhone and Android, BlackBerry maker Research In Motion is hemorrhaging losses.
Despite pledges by its new CEO to focus more heavily on marketing and better products, RIM reported Thursday a fiscal first-quarter loss that was greater than expected by analysts and said it'll cut 5,000 jobs.
The Canadian company will also delay releasing BlackBerry 10 -- a new mobile operating system developed to compete with Apple's iOS and Android -- until later this year.
Sales for the most recent quarter plummeted by 43% from a year ago to $2.8 billion. Its net loss totaled $518 million vs. a net income of $695 million a year ago.
"Our first-quarter results reflect the market challenges I have outlined since my appointment as CEO at the end of January. I am not satisfied with these results and continue to work aggressively with all areas of the organization," said Thorsten Heins, RIM's CEO.
About 7.8 million BlackBerry phones and 260,000 PlayBook tablets were shipped in the last quarter, falling short of analysts' estimates. Once the favored phone of enterprise customers, BlackBerry's share in the market totals only about 6.4%, according to research firm IDC. iPhone, with 59% of the market, is the most popular smartphone by far, while Android has 23%.
With its stock down 68% from a year ago, analysts speculate RIM or parts of the company will be acquired. Heins also has hired investment bankers to seek strategic options, though he said earlier this year that finding a buyer wasn't his primary objective. Its stock fell 0.5% down Thursday to end at $9.13.
"The numbers were bad, worse than we hoped," says Jeff Kagan, an independent technology analyst. "And their next generation device, which was expected this fall, now won't be available until next year. They still have customers who love them, but they are simply losing business too quickly."