RIM turns in record quarter

Canadian smartphone vendor Research In Motion has reported record results for the third quarter of its 2011 fiscal year, with shipments of its Blackberry devices growing 40 per cent year on year to 14.2 million devices. Revenues were up by the same degree, hitting $5.49bn compared to $3.29bn for the third financial quarter of 2010, and there was a sequential improvement on the second quarter of 19 per cent.

The smartphone market is showing strong growth as top tier handsets gain popularity among an ever wider range of consumers. As a vendor that plays exclusively in the high end of the handset market, RIM has been able to take advantage of this. Both the Canadian player and competitor Apple now sit within the top five handset vendors by volume across the entire handset market.

RIM said that some 5.1 million new Blackberry subscriber accounts were set up during the third quarter, with the total subscriber base now exceeding 55 million. The firm’s solid performance was reflected in its net income. Profit for the third quarter was $911.1m, up 45 per cent year on year from $628.4m.

“We are pleased to report another record quarter with strong growth in shipments of BlackBerry smartphones leading to record revenue, subscriber additions and earnings,” said Jim Balsillie, Co_CEO at Research In Motion. “RIM’s business continues to grow and diversify as BlackBerry adoption accelerates in markets around the world. With strong results and momentum from our recent product introductions, as well as growing excitement from our partners and customers around upcoming smartphone, tablet, software and service offerings, we are setting the stage for continuing success,” he added.

This year has not been without its trials for the Canadian player as it has clashed with a number of state governments over the security issues. All data sent over the Blackberry service travels over RIM servers and is not accessible to national governments. Authorities in India, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have all threatened to shut down Blackberry services in their markets, forcing RIM into compromises over access to data sent across its network.

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