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RIM ships record 8.3m BlackBerries in summer

updated 05:00 pm EDT, Thu September 24, 2009

RIM posts high summer 2009 results

Research in Motion this afternoon claimed breakthrough results for its summer fiscal quarter. The company said it shipped about 8.3 million BlackBerries between June and August, beating its previous record of 7.8 million. Just under half, or 3.8 million, involved new BlackBerry accounts and therefore likely to be new BlackBerry users. About 32 million BlackBerry accounts are active.

The Canadian company's financial health was mixed but still largely positive. Although its net income dropped a sharp 26 percent compared to the spring from $643 million to $475.6 million, the company's revenue continued to grow 3 percent to $3.53 billion; the results were more favorable compared to a year ago, when it still had more net income at $495.5 million but had made just $2.58 billion in revenue.

RIM didn't directly attribute the high unit numbers to any particular factor, but the debut of the BlackBerry Tour and Curve 8520 as well as multiple promos at Verizon, including free second BlackBerries and heavily discounted BlackBerry Storms.

The firm is also particularly optimistic about its fall quarter ending in November and expects to add between 4 million and 4.3 million new BlackBerry customers. It hasn't predicted the total amount of smartphones shipped but plans for its revenue to climb to at least $3.6 billion and as much as $3.85 billion. Although not yet official, the Storm's sequel and the Bold 9700 are both expected in the fall and could spike sales once more.

The results may give RIM the edge in smartphone sales versus Apple when the latter reports its own results next month. Although their quarters don't overlap and can sometimes include seasonal factors the others exclude, Apple's spring quarter trailed RIM's signicantly with 5.2 million iPhones shipping during the period. Such performance may change as Apple could only sell the iPhone 3GS for less than two weeks of that quarter and saw chronic shortages in some countries for at least a month afterwards.

by MacNN Staff



  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Buy one

    Buy one get one POS free seems to be working out well for them.

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    All that matters to investors and analysts

    is that a company moves products. It doesn't matter how they get them out the door. Apple is going to sell over 8 million iPhones even though some of them were sold for $99. RIM has been upgraded in target price quite a bit even though they did use BOGO. It's still rather miraculous for RIM to continue selling lots of smartphones without using music, apps, games and retail stores to drive sales.

    Analysts aren't happy at all that Apple can't seem to keep pumping out high iPod sales regardless of how many more iPhones are sold in their place. I guess they can't get their heads around the fact that iPhones are still iPods.

  1. shawnde

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: All that matters .....

    And even worse, at least in MacNN's case, they seem to think that higher revenue and lower profit is better than lower revenue and higher profit. Case in point, RIM made LESS money this past quarter, but had higher revenues, and they seem to prefer that. I don't know why .... it doesn't make any sense. Apple probably made the same amount of money on selling 5.2M iPhones, as did RIM selling 8.3M BB's. Which means that Apple has better margins, and they do LESS work per dollar earned. If I was an investor, I would want that!

  1. luckyday

    Joined: Dec 1969


    slapppy (and shawnde)

    Why can't you differentiate between a manufacturer and a retailer? That wasn't RIM's buy one get one free promotion. It was AT&Ts, and they can afford to do that because of the contract value. RIM is not giving blackberries away.

    And shawnde, higher revenues + lower profits can be a good thing (especially in the tech sector) because it is often an indicator of growth. You're a real biz whiz.

    Btw, RIM's gross profit as a percentage of revenues is higher than Apple's. Before you argue with why that is... apply the arguments to your own comments and you may learn something.

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