Embattled smartphone vendor RIM came in for fierce criticism from shareholders at its annual general meeting on Tuesday over its failure to keep pace with Google and Apple in the mobile market.
Shareholders directly confronted co-chief executives Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis over this issue, according to Reuters, accusing them of failing to market the firm's BlackBerry line strongly enough to compete in the market.
"You're letting Apple and Android eat your lunch. You're an innovator, but you're not good at selling what you make," said one, underlining the fear from investors that the firm will not be able to recapture its former glory.
Lazaridis said in response that the new BlackBerry Bold smartphone would have been on the market already but is being updated to keep pace with the smartphone "arms race", and that he is confident the company will regain its former position.
"[This] may have delayed us, but we're going to come out ahead," he said.
RIM has lost significant market share to its key rivals in the past six to 12 months as the corporate market becomes increasingly competitive owing to Apple's iPhone, high-end Android phones and even Windows Phone 7 devices entering the space.
Furthermore, reviews of RIM's first tablet device, the BlackBerry PlayBook, have been mixed, and sales have been low in comparison to the market-leading iPad.
Despite these issues, and questions about the need for two chief executives, Lazaridis and Balsillie avoided facing a vote of confidence from shareholders, and the board of directors was returned without incident.
Nevertheless, RIM has promised to look into its somewhat unique management system and is expected to publish a report before the end of 2012.
Ovum telecoms analyst Nick Dillon said that the AGM had been relatively uneventful given RIM's position, and that investors believe the change from the BlackBerry OS to QNX is right for the company.
"RIM has had a bit of a savaging in the media of late which has forced the share price down, but investors appear confident that the change in strategy is the right thing to do and accept that any transition will have an effect on a business," he said.
"The open letter sent to RIM did highlight the issues it faces as it makes this switch, though, and the firm appears to have taken this onboard and acknowledged that it needs to work as quickly as possible."
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