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RIM earnings up, 6.1m BlackBerries miss target

updated 04:55 pm EDT, Thu September 25, 2008

RIM Summer 08 Results

Research in Motion today reported one of its better quarters in memory with earnings of $495.5 million over its summer quarter, which ended in August. The figure is a significant 72 percent spike versus the same three-month timeframe a year earlier and is credited primarily to the momentum from the company's expansion into mainstream-oriented phones, which included early sales of the BlackBerry Bold.

However, the figures are also accompanied by slightly lower than expected shipments of 6.1 million BlackBerries over the same period, meeting more modest expectations from American Technology Research and Citi analysts and falling below one estimate of 6.3 million phones from RBC. About 2.6 million subscribers new to BlackBerries were added in the summer.

The company also just slightly missed expectations for its revenue, creating $2.58 billion in pure income versus an anticipated $2.6 billion.

RIM hasn't yet had an opportunity to explain the perceived shortfall but has been potentially affected by multiple factors outside of its direct control, including a potential siphoning effect as the iPhone 3G takes customers that would otherwise have purchased BlackBerries. The Bold was also delayed in the US and multiple other countries, creating an opportunity for Apple; a weakening US economy has likewise potentially affected demand as customers opt for either lower-end BlackBerries and other smartphones or else drop smartphones altogether.

The Canadian company's fortunes are expected to improve in the fall with a likely release of the Bold with AT&T in the fall, more Bold sales as a whole and the formal launch of the BlackBerry Pearl Flip with Rogers, T-Mobile and other carriers.

by MacNN Staff



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