Research In Motion (RIM) has answered its self-induced reports that it will bow out of the consumer mobile market.
Analysts and industry experts still have raised eyebrows after RIM’s decision reached most media channels, but the Canadian maker of BlackBerry devices now wants to fix the details.
“The claim that RIM has said it will withdraw from the consumer market is wholly misleading,” said Patrick Spence, SVP and Managing Director of Global Sales and Regional Marketing at RIM, in a corrective statement to a mistake in reports.
He added, “Whilst we announced plans to re-focus our efforts on our core strengths, and on our enterprise customer base, we were very explicit that we will continue to build on our strengths to go after targeted consumer segments. We listed BBM, as well as the security and manageability of our platform, amongst our strengths.”
The explanation, or reversal statement, is hot on the heels of earlier news from RIM that it will focalize only on the business market, which nearly sounded like backing off from the consumer market.
In a report from Toronto last week, the Associated Press quoted RIM CEO Thorsten Heins as saying that the struggling company will now focus on what it’s good at, instead of continuing to go head on in the current fight for the hot mobile computing market led by the iPad and iPhone and Samsung Galaxy, among others.
In a conference call, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins delivered the allegedly vague statement saying, “We plan to refocus on the enterprise business and capitalize on our leading position in this segment.”
However, RIM claims Heins specified this and elaborated, “Whilst we announced we would refocus on the enterprise business, we also stated part of competing in the ‘bring your own device’ segment is to create a compelling consumer offering.”
The CEO of RIM explained further, “It is critical that we drive BlackBerry 7 sales to sustain the subscriber base. To do this we plan to aggressively incentivize sales of BlackBerry 7 smartphones to both drive upgrades from older BlackBerry products to BlackBerry 7 and to attract feature phone customers to BlackBerry 7 for their first smartphone experience. We have new BlackBerry 7 devices scheduled to come out in the next few months to reinvigorate our position in the key entry level smartphone segment, to support our efforts to continue growing our subscriber base by upgrading feature phone customers to smartphones.”
Heins said that the company would set its “partnerships” into motion to fork out features and content not found at the core of its business.