BlackBerry maker RIM could sell private planes to save moneyDale Wright
There are more signs of trouble at Research in Motion, the makers of the BlackBerry smartphone.
Around 5,000 people at RIM will lose their jobs this year, and BlackBerry are also considering selling some of the luxury private planes owned by the company. They own two Dassault jets, one 9-seater and one 14-seater. The larger of the two planes is decked out with opulent leather seats, wood panelling and gold-plated fixtures and fittings and will be worth around £4.5 million. RIM would also save money on the staff that look after the planes.
In addition, RIM are using a third of the manufacturers they were using before as part of a plan to slash costs and save $1 billion in a year.
In June, RIM said that the newest phone – the BlackBerry 10 – will not be released until 2013. This news followed the awful reception for the BlackBerry PlayBook, a tablet device which didn’t even have an email app when it was released. Last year BlackBerry also suffered several massive outages which rocked confidence in the brand, and there was also the bizarre incident when two drunk executives were restrained on a plane for being rowdy. They chewed through the restraint straps to free themselves and a flight attendant was assaulted.
Leaked screenshots suggest that the BlackBerry 10 will have the same form factor as the prototype model given to developers. A white version has also been made, but it’s not yet clear whether BlackBerry will manufacture any other colour than black. Some shareholders believe BlackBerry have missed the boat with the new phone, and at a meeting yesterday, one person suggested the board should step down. The RIM share dropped even further after the shareholder event.
If RIM leave it too long before launching BlackBerry 10, it’s likely that many people who have BlackBerry handsets will have moved on to Android and iOS. The new iPhone will be launched well before RIM reveal their new smartphone, and phones like the HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy SIII are luring BlackBerry users towards Android. By the time BlackBerry 10 is released, we may also see more phones based on Firefox OS – another unwelcome competitor for RIM.