RIM posts 80% profit rise, launches app store

Research in Motion this week posted strong Q4 results - with income growing 80% to $518.3 million - and launched its BlackBerry App World store.

For the full year, RIM's income grew 46% to $1.89 billion, on revenue of $11.07 billion. In Q4, RIM posted revenue of $3.46 billion, up 84% from a year ago.

The company added around 3.9 million new BlackBerry subscribers in Q4, RIM said, with its user base reaching 25 million by the end of the quarter. RIM said it had now shipped over 50 million smartphones.

Looking ahead, RIM said it expects to add between 3.7-3.9 million new subscribers this quarter, and post revenue of between $3.3-3.5 billion, with a gross margin of around 44%.

RIM meanwhile launched its BlackBerry app store  at CITA 2009 on Wednesday.

RIM expects around 1,000 applications to be posted to the store by the end of the week, including applications from brands such as Bloomberg, MTV, Lonely Planet and Shazam.

The service is now available only in the US, the UK and Canada, but RIM said  more countries would be added shortly.

Similar to Apple's app store, BlackBerry's offering will feature a "top downloads" area as well as user reviews and a front page carousel promoting featured apps.

The store requires a BlackBerry handset with either a trackball or a touch screen running version 4.2 or higher of RIM's software.