updated 07:26 am EDT, Fri June 29, 2012
RIM Board under pressure to make Windows 8 decision
Following RIM's dire Q1 2013 results, sources have revealed that a late switch to Windows Phone 8 is being seriously considered as an option, reports Reuters. In addition to announcing a record $518 million loss during its conference call, the company also announced that its comeback OS, BlackBerry 10 has been delayed yet again, now into 2013. RIM's Board is said to be under pressure to come up with an alternative solution CEO Thorsten Heins plan to stay on its current course.
After Heins' revelation that the company was losing market share quicker than most have anticipated, RIM's shares plunged 18 percent reducing its market value to just $4.1 billion. RIM's Board are said to be losing confidence in its current direction and believe that more drastic action, as unpalatable as that might be, is necessary. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is also said to have reached out to RIM and offered to strike a deal.
If RIM were to take that path, Microsoft would buy a stake in the ailing smartphone maker and pay for marketing campaigns and support the company in other ways as it has Nokia. However, while the option to adopt Windows Phone 8 is now a serious possibility, RIM is desperately hoping to find a way to retain its technology independence. The Board's vastly preferred option is to bring BlackBerry 10 to market and hope for a sales resurgence.
One other option, according to sources familiar with the matter, is to sell off its proprietary network, with the buyer opening up its network operating centers to other smartphone companies, give access to secured emails and message correspondence. However, in this scenario, its hardware business would be unlikely to survive. It was this plan that saw ex-CEO Jim Balsillie shunted from the company, but that was before the true rate of RIM's rapid decline was revealed yesterday.