BlackBerry Shifts Focus to Business and Limited Consumer Markets

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Updated! After years of losing market share to slicker phones, the BlackBerry will now be sold mainly to business markets.   is refocusing on the business market but will still  cater to some segments of the consumer market.

BlackBerryBlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) said Thursday it will return to its roots and focus on enterprise business, where it still has a leading position, reported Bloomberg Businessweek and other news outlets.

RIM CEO Thorsten Heins said “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.”

Apple sold more phones (37 million) in the last quarter of 2011 than RIM sold in its last 3 quarters combined.    The company shipped 11.1 million BlackBerries in its latest quarter, which ended March 3.

On Thursday, RIM said it will write off  $267 million worth of unsold BlackBerry 7 models, its newest phone series.

RIM’s shares have dropped 75 percent in value over the past year. Revenue for the recent quarter fell 25 percent compared to the same quarter last year.

Apple, by contrast, saw its sales rise 73% in its latest quarter ended in December.

Source: Bloomberg BusinessweekWall Street Journal

Update.  RIM posted the following statement explaining it will remain in the consumer market but focus on targeted segments:

“Coming out of yesterday’s Q4 Fiscal 2012 Earnings Call, we’ve received comments and questions from our customers about RIM’s commitment to the consumer market. To be really clear, we are fully committed to the consumer market. In fact, we are aggressively focusing on delivering a unique and compelling user experience to all of our customers to enhance the way people engage, produce content, and manage data via mobile computing.

The consumer market is vast, so rather than trying to be all things to all people, RIM will focus its talent base and homegrown software and services on specific areas of the consumer market where BlackBerry® excels — which includes delivering a great mobile social and productivity experience – and we will look to existing and new partnerships to provide additional compelling apps and services that customers want and love.”

For the full RIM statement click here.

 

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