RIM loses BlackBerry subscribers for first time

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm •  Published: December 20, 2012
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Three months ago, RIM had 80 million subscribers. Analysts said the loss of 1 million subscribers was expected. Once coveted symbols of an always-connected lifestyle, BlackBerry phones have lost their luster to Apple's iPhone and phones that run on Google's Android software.

RIM is banking its future on its much-delayed BlackBerry 10 platform, which is meant to offer the multimedia, Internet browsing and apps experience that customers now demand.

"We believe the company has stabilized and will turn the corner in the next year," Heins said. He noted that the company's cash holdings grew by $600 million in the quarter to $2.9 billion, even after the funding of all its restructuring costs. RIM previously announced 5,000 layoffs this year.

Heins said subscribers in North America showed the largest decline, but said there is growth overseas.

Colin Gillis, an analyst with BGC Financial, said before the conference call that the company bought itself more time.

"It doesn't mean (BlackBerry) 10 will gain traction. A lot of people said 10 would be DOA, but I don't think that's going to be the case," he said.

Jefferies analyst Peter Misek also earlier called the results better than expected, noting that RIM added a significant amount of cash. RIM will need the money to advertise the new BlackBerrys and operating system.

Misek also called it a positive development that RIM said there would not be another delay to BlackBerry 10.

"The success or failure of this company will be on BlackBerry 10," Misek said.

RIM posted net income of $14 million, or 3 cents per share for its fiscal third quarter, which ended Dec. 1. That compares with a profit of $265 million, or 51 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

The latest figure includes a favorable tax settlement. Excluding that adjustment, RIM lost 22 cents per share. Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting a wider loss of 27 cents.

RIM reported revenue of $2.7 billion, down 47 percent from a year ago.

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