RIM posts rare drop in BlackBerry subscriber growth

The company added 3.8 million new subscribers in the first quarter, down from 3.9 million last quarter
  • (IDG News Service)
  • — 22 June, 2009 03:29

Research in Motion on Thursday saw a rare drop in subscriber growth when it reported its fiscal first quarter results, while shipment growth of its popular BlackBerry handsets apparently stalled.

The company, from Waterloo, Ontario, said 3.8 million new BlackBerry subscriber accounts were opened in its first quarter, which ended May 30, compared to 3.9 million new accounts in its fourth quarter. The figures mark only the second time the company has reported a drop in quarter-to-quarter new subscriber account growth.

The last time RIM's subscriber growth ebbed was in the fiscal fourth quarter of 2006, which ended March 4 of that year. The company's subscriber growth fell to 625,000 new accounts in the quarter, down from 645,000 new accounts the previous quarter.

The drop at that time was attributed to patent litigation with NTP, which had stoked fears the BlackBerry system may face a court-ordered shutdown in the U.S.

The slump in subscriber growth this time around has caused fears that RIM may be facing increased competition from rival devices such as Apple's iPhone and new smartphones armed with Google's Android software. Analysts had forecast stronger subscriber growth.

Shares of RIM stock fell 0.6 percent in after-market trading on the Nasdaq to end at US$76.06.

RIM also saw its shipment growth flatten at 7.8 million devices in the first quarter, the same as its previous quarter.

The last time it failed to increase shipments of its popular handsets was also in the fourth quarter of 2006, when its shipments hit 1.1 million, the same as the previous quarter.

The difference in the figure for new subscribers and for device shipments is due to replacement handsets.

The BlackBerry maker reported revenue of US$3.42 billion for the first quarter, up 53 percent from $2.24 billion during the same quarter a year ago. Net profit rose to $643.0 million from $482.5 million last year.

The company said its subscriber base now totals approximately 28.5 million.

RIM forecast its subscriber growth could rebound in its fiscal second quarter, which ends Aug. 29. The company expects to add between 3.8 million and 4.1 million new subscribers over the quarter.

The popular smartphone maker also said its revenue will likely be $3.45 billion to $3.70 billion during the quarter.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Dan Nystedt

IDG News Service
Topics: Blackberry, research in motion
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?