“So you gotta wonder whether Research in Motion’s lighter than expected Blackberry sales and subscription sign-ups are a sign of sluggishness in the smart phone sector? Or whether this could be a sign that Apple’s iPhone is starting to chip away at RIM’s success in the marketplace,” Jim Goldman reports for CNBC.
“RIM reported a better-than-expected 98 cents a share versus the 94 cents that analysts were expecting. That news came on in-line revenue of $3.42 billion,” Goldman reports. “But the problem is that RIM shipped only 7.8 million BlackBerrys during its first quarter against the 8.3 million expected; and the company reported 3.8 million new subscribers versus the 4.2 million anticipated. Both numbers being lighter than expected is a real surprise.”
“Guidance is also a little disappointing, and that too is a surprise. RIM now offers a new EPS range of 94 cents to $1.03. Consensus was at 96 cents. Revenue will be light as well, expected now between $3.45 billion and $3.7 billion,” Goldman reports. “Wall Street was looking for something closer to $3.6 billion. And new subscriptions are a real disappointment, with the company anticipating 3.8 million to 4.1 million against the 4.2 million analysts projected.”
“The more important item for investors to digest, and we’ll know part of the answer when Apple and AT&T and market research offer up sales figures for the first weekend of iPhone 3G S sales on Monday, is whether more consumers are migrating to iPhone and away from Blackberry,” Goldman reports. “We’ll have to wait for unit sales from Apple when the company reports its earnings later in July.”
Goldman reports, “If Apple can beat sales expectations for iPhone, amid a unit and subscription disappointments from Research in Motion, the fall-out could be seismic: great for Apple, troubling for RIM.”
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MacDailyNews Note: RIMM shares are currently off 4.65% in after-hours NASDAQ trading.