In his address at RIM's annual general meeting Tuesday morning, CEO Thorsten Heins appeared to back off comments he made on a Canadian radio show last week that there was "nothing wrong" with the current state of the company. (See RIM CEO Denies BlackBerry Death Spiral.)
"I want to assure you that I am not satisfied with the performance of the company this year," Heins told the crowd. "The past year has been very difficult for RIM."
The company recently reported a first-quarter operating loss of $518 million and said it will cut 5,000 more jobs over the course of 2012. The BlackBerry maker will also have to delay its flagship BB10 operating system launch until the first quarter of 2013. (See RIM Delays BlackBerry 10 Phones 'Til 2013.)
"The change in timeline" for BB10 is "not related to the quality of the platform"; it's simply down to the challenge of much more code integration, Heins reiterated. The company is busy integrating three major blocks of updated code.
Many carriers "prefer" a first-quarter launch for BB10 because they will have Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks running by then, the CEO suggested.
The company will launch a "multi-touch" device first because that's where the company needs to compete hardest. A keyboard device will follow almost immediately, he said.
"We own the QWERTY market," Heins declared.
The shareholders have spoken RIM shareholders didn't give the CEO as hard a time as might have been expected after weeks of dismal news and numbers. A couple even spent their questions on trying to get more information about RIM's approach to security.
Nonetheless, a shareholder got applause in the room for wondering how the company's board had let things "get so bad" and whether the board should be kicked out.
Another questioned Heins' experience and compensation package at RIM. "I remind you that I led several billion-dollar divisions of Siemens," Heins retorted.
The head of the struggling global smartphone maker was also questioned by another shareholder on why a case he wanted for his PlayBook tablet was constantly out of stock online! Heins promised to look into it and even bring the shareholder the case himself.
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— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile