BlackBerry sees some challenges in phone launching

Wednesday, July 13th 2011. | Gadget News

At RIM’s annual meeting Tuesday, Jim Balsillie cited delays in releasing the company’s new operating system. But he said seven new BlackBerry smartphones will run the advanced system in the coming months, enabling RIM to stay on track to meet its financial guidance for the year.

Mike Lazaridis, who shares the title of co-CEO with Balsillie, said the delays were due to company’s efforts to get its smartphones to meet market expectations, adding that the technology in the new BlackBerry Bold jumps a generation.

“It may have delayed us, but we are going to come out ahead,” Lazaridis said of the company’s decision to hold off on the rollout of the new BlackBerry Bold in order to bolster it to face what he called an “arms race” brewing among its smartphone competitors.

The annual meeting comes after RIM‘s share price has fallen more than 50 percent this year.

The company, based in Waterloo, Ontario, once dominated the corporate smartphone market but has been struggling to come up with a device to compete with Apple Inc.’s iPhone and smartphones running Google Inc.’s Android operating system.

RIM also got poor reviews for its tablet, called the PlayBook, launched in April, and about 1,000 of the devices had to be recalled because of defective software.

The company’s inability to stay on top of innovation and create a product that consumers find as sexy as the iPhone has disgruntled some shareholders who are anxious to see what’s next in its device roster.

Some at the meeting were critical of RIM’s lack of marketing efforts in the face of rivals such as Apple – including one shareholder who brought pictures of the RIM’s PlayBook tablet display at a Best Buy store that he said fell short of the rival offerings.

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