RIM banks on BYOD to help win back share

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CEO backs BB10 to help it reclaim market share from rivals as manufacturer pinpoints Bring Your Own Device as key in achieving this 

RIM CEO Thorsten Heins is convinced his company’s delayed BlackBerry 10 (BB10) operating system will help it reclaim lost customers and increase its market share when it launches in the New Year.

Outlining BB10’s business and security features, which he described as taking the OS to the “next level”, Heins (pictured), who was speaking during RIM’s Q2 conference call to shareholders, said BB10 would turn the firm’s ailing fortunes around.

He said: “With the strength of BB10 we expect we can win back market share from other competitors. The smartphone market today is at 30 per cent penetration, we are confident we can catch a lot of people moving from feature phones. There will be a large global marketing campaign to go after these segments in parallel in a global launch procedure.”

One new feature, which Heins claimed both consumers and businesses “will love”, is BlackBerry Balance, a tool which allows customers to separate their business and personal content on a particular device.

Heins said this would help BlackBerry appeal to customers and companies who are looking to introduce Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) – using a single device for business and personal use – into the workplace.

There will also be enhancements to the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, providing security on any smartphone or tablet, whether it is made by RIM or not, as well as the ability to access content by swiping across the screen.

Heins said: “Over the past couple of weeks we have seen competitors release products in the marketplace with innovative technology and applications. These are strong products from great companies.

“But we believe the BB10 platform will advance the operating system environment to a whole new level, one which gives developers an innovative and open environment to help bring about the next generation of mobile computing.

“We’ve always been the premium security solution and we intend to continue this.

“BlackBerry Balance keeps the personal and corporate totally separate. It’s something CEOs and the consumers love – consumers want privacy whereas businesses want security. This will be available on not just the premium market but we’re also addressing the mid-tier security market here.

“Blackberry Enterprise Server improvements will mean enterprises will have one unified view of their complete mobile infrastructure so IT managers can have control of every mobile device in their company.”

During the conference call the firm also reported losses of £145 million in the three months ending August.

Over this period RIM sold 7.4 million BlackBerrys and 130,000 PlayBook tablets, increasing its subscriber base by two million to 80 million worldwide.

RIM’s revenues for the period totalled $2.9 billion (£1.79 billion), up two per cent from the previous quarter but down 31 per cent from $4.2 billion (£2.59 billion) in the same period in 2011.

The firm’s share price rose on NASDAQ immediately after the announcement, settling to a two per cent rise by the close of trading.

Of the overall loss, $136 million (£84 million) was attributed to restructuring costs over the past three months.

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