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.