RIM just posted their third quarter results (PDF here) for 2011, which hit yet another record.
- 14.2 million phones shipped (up 40% from last year)
- $5.5 billion in revenue (up 40% from last year)
- $911.1 net income, $1.74 earnings per share (up 58% from last year)
Total number of BlackBerry subscribers at the end of Q3 was a wooping 55 million, and sadly, that’s the last time RIM will be commenting specifically on how many new subscribers they have. Why’s that? Well, this number fell shy of what analysts were expecting, and I have a feeling continuing to disappoint expectations (regardless of whether or not RIM beats their own records) won’t look too nicely compared to Android or iPhone’s explosive growth.
Outlook for the revenue in the last quarter is in the $5.5 – $5.7 billion range, unit shipments between 14.5 to 15 million, and earnings per share to be $1.74 – $1.80. PlayBook sales aren’t be projected here, and they’re holding out until Q1 to make any statements there.
Numbers aside, there were plenty of interesting tidbits peppered throughout the call. The BlackBerry Style 9670 counted for one third of Sprint’s BlackBerry sales, though I couldn’t help but smirk when they said it got good reviews. OS 6 will be available on the BlackBerry Curve 9330 and Bold 9650 early in the new year, along with dual persona capabilities for enterprise. When prodded about when we’ll see the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet’s operating system on handsets, co-CEO Jim Balsillie said “BB6 will work on QNX” and that we’ll see more on that at CES. Exciting! On the app side, they mentioned that they’re pushing 2 million downloads daily through App World, with 16,000 apps total.
In light of Apple’s trash-talk last quarter, it’s worth noting that RIM beat out iPhone shipments this go-around, if only barely. On the fact, Balsillie said “it’s very dangerous to break out spreadsheets and extend trends perpetually” and that “this [the BlackBerry] is in a different class and that means something”. In reaction to all of the bad press RIM gets these days, Balsillie said “I think the PlayBook redefines what a tablet should do,” and hinged a lot of the future of what BlackBerry means to people on their first tablet. He also commented on plugging in to the connected home by saying “what’s the role of the satellite or the cable company in that?” which basically sounds like they’re still working that one out.
Anyway, strong results overall – I’ll be curious to hear what the analysts say about it tomorrow.