The operating loss was RIM's first in eight years and RIM said it would fire 5,000 people, almost a third of its workforce, as it delayed the launch of the BlackBerry 10 devices.
Analysts saw the delay as a devastating setback for RIM, which has fallen behind in a smartphone industry it helped pioneer with the email-focused BlackBerry. Quarterly losses could pile up while RIM rushes to build its new platform.
The once-ubiquitous BlackBerry has stumbled as users seek out the oversized touchscreens and massive libraries of apps on Apple Inc's iPhone and on a slew of devices using Google Inc's Android software, although Heins said RIM's subscriber base was continuing to grow.
"This company is not ignoring the world out there, nor is it in a death spiral," Heins told the CBC.
"Yes, it is very, very challenged at the moment — specifically in the U.S. market. The way I would describe it: we're in the middle of a transition," he said. "I'm positive we will emerge successfully from that transition."
(Reporting by Andrea Hopkins and Alastair Sharp; Editing by Peter Galloway and Janet Guttsman)