RIM slashes profit forecasts

RIM slashes profit forecasts, but says initial response to PlayBook has been in line with expectations

BlackBerry maker RIM has cut its current profit forecasts, following disappointing smartphone shipments for its latest financial first quarter.

RIM forecast that it would ship 13.5 to 14.5 million smartphones over fiscal Q1 2012, with the latest estimates suggesting the numbers will be much closer to the lower of those two predictions.

PlayBook plays nice

Despite this, RIM reports that initial shipments of its BlackBerry PlayBook are in line with its expectations and this, combined with a number of new smartphones set to be released early May, should result in considerably healthier financial results later in the current financial year.

Expect lots more news on RIM's latest touchscreen phones direct from the BlackBerry World conference in Florida next week next week.

The new phones are set to feature an OS upgrade and all-round improvements to the hardware.

"The interest is global, the products are truly fantastic," said RIM's co-chief executive, Jim Balsillie, while also admitting, "I would have liked to have them sooner."