RIM Breaks Sales Records Again

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Waterloo, Ontario - Research In Motion (RIM) posted its sixth consecutive quarter of record-breaking smartphone shipments in the third quarter even though it continued to lose smartphone market share.

Dollar sales and profits rose at double-digit rates.

For the three months ending Nov. 27, unit sales of Black Berry phones grew 40 percent to 14.2 million compared with the year-ago period, outselling iPhones during Apple's third quarter ending October, co-CEO Jim Balsillie said in a conference call.

Dollar volume rose 40 percent to $5.49 billion for the quarter and 32 percent for the nine-month period to $14.4 billion.

The company boosted third-quarter net income by 45 percent in the third quarter to $911.1 million, with nine-month net rising 42 percent to $2.48 billion. Operating income in the quarter rose by 42 percent to $1.26 billion and for the nine-month period by 53 percent to $3.4 billion.

Smartphone sales accounted for 82 percent of the company's third-quarter revenues, with 15 percent coming from service and 3 percent from software and other sources.

Much of the company's growth came outside North America. More than 48 percent of RIM's subscribers was outside North America, Balsillie said, and although net adds in North America were "OK," the company is positioned "to grow very strongly," he said. The company will launch "a lot" of new products in the first and second quarters, including the Playbook tablet early in 2011, he said. The first version will be Wi-Fi only and enterprise-ready, and a follow-up version will add cellular data.

He promised the tablet's dual-core processor, HTML5 capability and Flash compatibility will deliver an "uncompromised web experience.

He also said carriers are testing "dual-persona" software for BlackBerry phones, which will enable enterprises to protect and remotely wipe corporate data without touching an employee's personal data. That capability will be expanded to the Playbook.

The company also announced that co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis were named co-chairmen of the board.

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