RIM chief hits out at critics

RIM chief hits out at critics

As the company gets set for the launch of its PlayBook tablet, Lazaridis, told The New York Times, “I don’t understand why there’s this negative sentiment.” RIM shares have slumped to almost $52 on the Toronto Stock Exchange after the Canadian wireless company last month forecast disappointing earnings for the current quarter.

Pierre Ferragu, a research analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd, has termed BlackBerry a ‘broken brand’ because of its declining sales in the booming smart phone market which posted 50 percent growth year over year.

“In North America, sales are now well established on a declining trend, which wouldn’t necessarily be a problem: growth shifting from mature to newer markets makes sense. But the reality is that North America isn’t a mature market at all for smart phones,”' he said in his note. In reponse, Lazaridis asked, “Why is it that people don’t appreciate our profits?

Why is it that people don’t appreciate our growth? Why is it that people don’t appreciate the fact that we spent the last four years going global? Why is it that people don’t appreciate that we have 500 carriers in 170 countries with products in almost 30 languages?”

These negative forecasts have come even though RIM shipped a record 52.3 million phones — up 43 per cent from previous year — during the last fiscal year, and posted fourth-quarter income of $924 million exceeding forecasts.

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