RIM Quarterly update: just the numbers

Noteworthy data (with my notes in parentheses.)

  • 12.1 million phones shipped, 11 million sold through (estimated iPhones for this Q range from 11 to 13 million)
  • Net subscriber account additions were 4.5 million which was lower than anticipated (41% of units sold through were to new subscribers which implies nearly 60% were to existing users)
  • Revenue grew 31% over the same quarter last year and GAAP earnings grew 76%.
  • The BlackBerry subscriber account base grew 56% year-over-year to over 50 million
  • RIM has shipped approximately 115 million handhelds to date. (note: 120 million iOS to date)
  • BlackBerries are available through over 565 carrier and distribution partners in approximately 175 countries and international markets (vs. 150 carriers and 88 countries for the iPhone)
  • Approximately 52% of revenue in the quarter was generated outside the United States and over 45% of BlackBerry subscriber account base is outside of North America. (70% of iPhones were sold outside the US through the first half of this year)
  • Torch was launched with one carrier but will expand to 75 next quarter
  • To date over 35 million BlackBerry Smartphones have downloaded App World at an average of over 1.5 million Apps are being downloaded every day which is up 40% sequentially (iOS apps are running at 17 million downloads per day)
  • Average selling price for RIM devices was $304 (vs. $600 for the iPhone)
  • Gross margin was 44.5% (upward of 50% for the iPhone)

Research In Motion CEO Discusses F2Q2011 Results – Earnings Call Transcript — Seeking Alpha

  • Rob Scott

    I think the number of carriers and countries is still a huge opportunity for Apple (and Android), that RIM and Nokia don't have. Apple still has option count and price on top of that.
    Apple still has a lot of levers to pull to remain in the race.

  • Tom

    Looks like Apple still needs to learn from rim on distribution:
    565 carriers in 175 countries vs 150 carriers in 88 countries.
    Is the blackberry suffering from carrier manipulations like we are seeing android becoming redesigned, first in china, then in verizon?

  • Jim

    What is the point of adding carriers if you can’t satisfy demand for the carriers you have. RIM has about 20 different models (some only subtle variants) on sale. It doesn’t need to switch wholesale from one model to the next and can release models throughout the year. Apple’s model should be simpler to support – only one handset model, only once a year. But its supply is constrained.

    Android has forked and the prodigal sons are unlikely to return to the fold. If these forks splice out Google search and other services yet continue to upload code updates, then Google is stuck with providing the taxicab but having no take of the fares.

    • Beautifully said.

    • Chris Harris

      Re: Google providing the taxicab but having no take of the fares
      Good point, and how might Google get itself out of this I wonder?
      It's quite serious for them if it continues, since they will find themselves effectively competing with their own platform. A Verizon/Bing phone with a Verizon Marketplace is probably on the cards already.

      That's why I believe Google's Chrome OS is their long term development platform. It already supports Unity and Flash (Adobe Air?), it's not a stretch to believe they could make a an Android emulator for it too.

      As a bit of wild speculation I wonder what would happen if, given Google's waning love for the Android platform, they decided to throw it to the wolves by settling with Oracle. That would effectively allow Oracle to move in on to all other users of the Android platform. That would be a good way of taking a shot at Verizon.

      • ericgen

        A bit of history, back in the 1980's everyone thought OS/2 was going to supplant DOS. Gates, realizing after partnering with IBM for awhile, that IBM didn't understand the PC market, or probably even really care about it from a management perspective, decided internally to Microsoft to create Windows. He then proceeded to use OS/2 as a misdirection and a feint to all of the major application vendors. All of these vendors were spending the majority of their resources to port their applications to OS/2.

        Unbeknownst to most of the world, MS was busy porting their productivity applications (ones originally written for the Mac) to Windows. As IBM continued to overcharge and fumble with OS/2, Windows, as a more affordable and, perhaps more importantly, completely compatible with DOS and everyone's existing applications alternative, began to take off.

        The only fully compatible with the windowing environment of Windows productivity applications available were from Microsoft. The existing market leaders had all committed to OS/2 and did not have the resources or time to catchup with the new market leader, hence the MS Office franchise.

        Back to the present. This is a bit of a stretch, but what if Android is playing the OS/2 part to Chrome's Windows? It's been said that Google will have burned too many bridges if it tries something like this. Similar things were said about Microsoft in the 80's who were at that time dwarfed in the business world by IBM. Windows still became the dominant OS and Microsoft the dominant player over the next 20 years or so. Most people don't remember it as, or think of it as, Microsoft double-crossing their more dominant partner.

        Is it possible for Google to misdirect everyone with Android, learn the ropes of the business as MS did while co-developing OS/2 with IBM, and then pull the rug out from under their 'partners' with Chrome?

        Again, a bit of a stretch, but an interesting perspective.

      • FannyBoy

        It is so nice to hear someone who knows how it went down. Yes Gates co developed OS/2 with IBM, but you may want to note that Windows 1 was a bust, Windows 2 did not work and only after Windows 3 when everyone had given up on Windows did it work. Yes Gates fooled Lotus and Wordperfect, but he also never stopped – even with Windows was a joke he keep going for four more years. No one today has the skill and drive – Maybe except those clowns at RIM.

  • To this data, I would add that I saw info from this slideshare preso: "I'm So Over SMS: The Future of Mobile Messaging As Told By Youth."

    Basically, BlackBerry Messenger usage appears to be growing fast among youth in many developing countries, India especially (starting on slide 27). BBM is a closed instant messaging network for BlackBerry users only, which would seem to make it less attractive to users than SMS b/c of lack of reach. But there is obviously enough of a critical mass of their peers on BlackBerries, which is why they prefer it, according to the profiles (one 21-year-old wrote 400 BBM messages a day, 50 SMS texts, and nothing else, on his mobile).

  • Priit

    If 70% of iPhone sales are outside of US, wouldn't it be wise business decision to launch next iPhone in Europe (or China…) first and then add US some months later?

    • David Chu

      The highest concentration of Apple stores still remain in the US. The US is still the number one market for consumer electronics. Other countries still look to the US first to see what they should buy. The US is Apple's home turf and where they are likely to get the most media attention. Apple is more confident that the U S won't pass regulations that interfere with the iPhone's development, which may happen in both China and Europe.

      The list goes on and on. So I'd say no.

    • Grant Klassen

      Europe isn't a unified market, language differences. China is large but has many regulatory differences with the rest of the world. US represents a large monolithic market to jump off from.

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