updated 04:40 pm EDT, Thu June 18, 2009
RIM Spring Q09 Results
Research in Motion today reported results for its spring quarter that show the company's growth in smartphones cooling down. The company shipped 7.8 million BlackBerries between March and May, or exactly as many as it moved in winter. About 3.8 million of these, or just under half, were new BlackBerry subscribers instead of replacements.
The company characterizes the results as "strong" and achieved the best-ever smartphone shipments for a spring quarter. However, it revealed that many of its sales were for less expensive phones: its revenue for the season dropped by about $50 million to just over $3.4 billion despite shipping significantly more devices in a similar time span. Its actual net income increased substantially from $482.5 million a year ago to $643 million today.
RIM nonetheless is likely to maintain a lead in the US smartphone market, where estimates gave it about 55 percent of all sales. Its next-closest competitor, Apple, shipped half as many units in the early portion of the year and faces uncertain results when its own fiscal quarter concludes at the end of the month. While tomorrow's launch of the iPhone 3G S and a price drop on the iPhone 3G to $99 are both expected to spur shipments in the last two weeks of the period, a continuing tough economy in the spring along with hesitation just ahead of the new iPhone introduction may soften its performance.
Its product introductions during the summer should be quiet and will center on the BlackBerry Tour QWERTY phone for CDMA carriers in North America. Most of its high-profile launches, such as a BlackBerry Storm sequel, aren't anticipated until the fall.