updated 08:45 am EDT, Fri October 5, 2007
BlackBerry Sales Unfazed
Research in Motion's profits from its BlackBerry smartphones have doubled in the first financial quarter of competition with the iPhone, the company revealed late yesterday. Although Apple said it had sold more than one million iPhones weeks before the end of the September quarter, the California firm's Canadian rival said it had shipped about 3 million BlackBerry units worldwide and established nearly 1.5 million new BlackBerry "push" e-mail accounts. This translated to earnings of $287.7 million during the same period, more than twice the $140.2 million from the same period a year ago.
The spike was attributed largely to the rapid growth of its still-young mainstream devices, which included the addition of new versions of the BlackBerry Curve and now accounted for 30 percent of all sales. Business phones with a wider appeal, like the Wi-Fi enabled BlackBerry 8820, were also credited with helping the company's bottom line.
International sales were also increasingly essential, according to the company. RIM's summer was characterized by introductions of new models in other countries, bringing the company's phones to 300 international carriers. In many cases, the expansions represented the first instance in which a major BlackBerry model was available in a given country, the company said. Sales outside of Canada and the US now amounted to 32 percent of RIM's income.
By contrast, Apple's sales have been limited exclusively to the US for its first cellphone and are only set to expand in November, when the company officially opens sales of the iPhone in the UK through O2 and in Germany with T-Mobile. France is also slated to receive the handset through Orange but has not seen an official announcement.
Regardless of relative availability of competitors, RIM remained confident that its sales would continue to grow by the end of 2007 following multiple smartphone introductions late last month and early this month, including its first-ever CDMA-based BlackBerry Pearl as well as the first BlackBerry Curve with Wi-Fi.