updated 04:40 pm EST, Thu December 18, 2008
RIM Q3 2008 Results
Research in Motion tonight reported surprise news of a positive fall quarter. The company says it generated a record $2.8 billion in revenue over the period between September and November, representing a significant 7.9 percent boost over the summer and a significant 66.3 percent spike over the same period a year earlier. BlackBerry sales made the launch one of the company's "best ever" starts to the holidays and saw 6.7 million units shipped due largely to multiple important phone introductions, including the Bold, Curve 8900, Pearl Flip, and Storm.
The Canadian firm's chief weakness was its previously predicted low subscriber additions, which saw just 2.6 million new push e-mail users added over the three-month span. Such an increase was enough to grow RIM's active user base by 14 percent versus the summer but fell below expectations that hovered closer to 2.8 million.
Such numbers potentially reverse the competitive position of RIM with its close North American opponent Apple, whose iPhone 3G overtook BlackBerry volumes with about 6.9 million shipped during its launch quarter. Analysts have warned that Apple's performance may fall below expectations during the same period as the economy drives customers away from devices perceived to be expensive.