updated 05:00 pm EDT, Thu September 16, 2010
RIM summer 2010 sees 12.1m BlackBerry phones
RIM today broke another record in BlackBerry shipments but also gave some signs of trouble for adoption. The company moved 12.1 million smartphones during its summer but also saw the number of new BlackBerry users drop compared to the spring. Of the mix, 4.5 million were new to BlackBerry accounts versus 4.9 million last season.
The results were well within targets for the company but suggested that most of the increase came from existing owners replacing their existing BlackBerry phones rather than expanding the user base. RIM was helped by shipping the Torch and Curve 3G, the former of which updates the company's aging platform with a multi-touch interface and a modern web browser.
Revenue was strong at the company, as it grew 31 percent from year to year to $4.62 billion. Net profit shot higher, climbing almost 61 percent to $796.7 billion.
The company is optimistic about the fall and expects the current quarter to add five to 5.4 million new BlackBerry users with at least $5.3 billion in revenue. Most of that would come from expanding Torch sales to RIM's home country of Canada and other areas, as well as the usual upswing in holiday sales.
The new results may help hold off damage from Apple and Google, whose mobile platforms have eaten into BlackBerry market share and taken it down for the first time in years. However, results have yet to come from Apple as well as Android partners HTC and Motorola, all of which are known to have had successful launches of at least one flagship phone each this summer. Apple continues to face shortages almost three months after the iPhone 4's debut, but the Torch has seen only modest results through a mix of conservative business adoption and a poor feature set relative to the iPhone for most personal phone buyers.