Today, RIM hosted the Annual General Meeting for all those that have a stake in the company. The overall feeling at the meeting was tense, the audience had hard questions and the company representatives wanted to give easy answers. CEO Thorsten Heins reiterated the same points he has been making for the past week, with on exception. Instead of insisting that nothing is wrong with the company, Heins finally changed his tune to closer reflect reality. He acknowledged the position that RIM is in and that the next year will be difficult for the company. He also acknowledged that the delay is doing them no favors, but their cash position is sufficient to bring them through another tough year.
In addition to Heins’s comments, some stats on the last year of BlackBerry were discussed. There were 49 Million Smartphones and 1 Million PlayBooks sold over the past 12 months. Sales in the US and UK were lower than anticipated, especially in the Enterprise market. However, RIM was sure to reiterate that their devices are in use by over 90% of Fortune 500 Companies. It is important to note that the number of enterprise customers is quickly falling and that even though 90% of Fortune 500 Companies are using BlackBerry, some have less than 5% overall deployment in BlackBerry devices. RIM hopes to recapture the enterprise market using a combination of BlackBerry 7 and BlackBerry 10 deployments.
RIM also announced some additional aspects of the cost cutting plan. They aim to cut One Billion Dollars in expenses over the next year. This is being done by job cuts, production shifts, and corporate sell-offs. RIM announced the consolidation of production from 10 sites to 3. They also have put one of the company’s two corporate jets up for sale. Overall, we didn’t really learn anything new at this meeting. We already knew RIM’s position, strategy, and launch window for BlackBerry 10. The meeting served as more of an official communication of these things to shareholder than anything else.