RIM adds 3.8M new BlackBerry accounts

Research In Motion posted strong results in its fiscal first quarter, which ended May 30, reporting net income of $643 million, above the $518.3 million it recorded in the previous quarter and 33 percent higher than its $482.5 million in the year-ago quarter.

The BlackBerry maker said it had revenue of $3.42 billion in the quarter, down slightly from $3.46 billion in the previous quarter but 53 percent above its revenue of $2.24 billion in the year-ago quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were looking for revenue of $3.43 billion. Devices made up 81 percent of RIM's revenue and the company said it shipped 7.8 million devices in the quarter.

RIM also said it added around 3.8 million BlackBerry subscriber accounts in the quarter and that its BlackBerry subscriber account base stood at around 28.5 million at the end of the quarter. The subscriber additions were down slightly from the 3.9 million new account activations RIM had in the previous quarter. RIM also boosted its gross margin sequentially to 43.6 percent, up from 40 percent in the last quarter, but down from 50.7 percent in the year-ago quarter.

Though the company continues to score gains--indeed, RIM increased its worldwide smartphone market share to 19.9 percent in the first quarter, up from 13.3 percent in the year-ago quarter, according to Gartner--analysts remain worried about increased competition from the likes of Google, Apple and Palm. Nokia remains the worldwide leader in terms of smartphone market share, with more than 41 percent, according to Gartner. RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie said in a conference call after the earnings were released that the company wasn't too worried about the crowded smartphone market. "We don't really, sort of, fret those kinds of things," he said. 

And it seems the BlackBerry maker will soon lose the benefit of a major promotion: A Verizon spokeswoman confirmed this week to FierceWireless that the carrier's buy-one-get-one promotion, which has been running since February, would be ending shortly. NPD Group said the promotion helped RIM's BlackBerry Curve unseat Apple's iPhone as the best-selling consumer smartphone in the first quarter.

For more:
- see this release
- see this Associated Press article
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)

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