RIM profits up, but smartphone share falls

Research in Motion has reported a 67.5% increase in its fiscal 2Q11 profit to $796.7 million (€605 million), despite the recent threats to its market share.
Revenue grew 31% to $4.62 billion as the addition of 4.5 million new BlackBerry subscribers took total users over the 50 million mark, in-turn boosting device shipments 45% to 12.1 million.
RIM said the solid device sales in fiscal 2Q11 – which covers the period to end-August – brings the total number of BlackBerrys shipped to around 115 million.
The results surpassed the expectations of analysts polled by Bloomberg and sent its Nasdaq stock up 4.3% in after-hours trading.
RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie gave a rosy forecast for the next quarter. “We expect a continuation of [Q2's] momentum in the third quarter as we extend the rollout of new products including the BlackBerry Torch into additional markets,” he said.
He predicted revenue for fiscal 3Q11to be in the range of $5.30 billion to $5.55 billion, and net subscriber additions of 5 million to 5.4 million. Earnings per share were flagged at $1.62 to $1.70, compared to Q2's $1.46.
Margins are tipped to fall slightly from 44.5% in 2Q to around 42% in 3Q11.
The firm turned the performance despite the growing threat of Google’s Android operating system.
Gartner this month forecast that Android will overtake RIM to become the world's second largest smartphone OS by market share by the year-end.
The research firm said Android took RIM’s crown as the top selling smartphone platform in the US last month – a view echoed by Canalys and the NPD Group.
RIM's global share of the smartphone market fell from 19.1% to 17.8% in Q2, despite increasing share in regions such as APEJ, according to IDC.