RIM posts higher 4Q profit, sales; Obama’s BlackBerry endorsement helped claims analyst

“Shares of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd. soared more than 20 percent in after-hours trading Thursday after the company said its profit jumped in its fiscal fourth quarter, surpassing analysts’ expectations. Solid demand for smart phones despite the recession helped boost results,” Rob Gilles reports for The Associated Press.

“The company said it earned $518.3 million, or 90 cents per share, for the quarter ended Feb. 28. That was up 26 percent from the year-earlier period,” Gilles reports. “Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected a profit of 84 cents per share.”

“The company said its sales jumped 84 percent, to $3.46 billion from $1.88 billion. That was slightly higher than the $3.42 billion analysts were expecting,” Gilles reports. “Genuity Capital Markets analyst Deepak Chopra said, ‘The overall wireless market continues to shift to smart phones.'”

MacDailyNews Take: By the way, it just so happens that RIM and Verizon launched a “Buy One, Get One BlackBerry Free” sale on February 6th. Other similar RIM BlackBerry sales also took or are taking place with carriers in other countries, too. Such giveaways certainly helped pad RIM’s quarterly sales because RIM still gets subsidized per unit even as carriers give away additional devices, which pads RIM’s unit sales and profits. It’s an important factor to consider when assessing RIM’s results. Any report on RIM’s earnings that fails to mention this fact is incomplete and misleading. If Apple announced strong results while running a major “Buy One, Get One iPhone Free” promotion with AT&T in the U.S., you can bet your sweet iPhone that we’d be hearing all about it, shouted from the rooftops, ad infinitum.

In fact, RIM’s co-CEO Jim Balsillie saw fit to mention it esterday during the company’s conference call: “Greater than expected momentum following the holiday buying season, a continued positive reception of new products that were launched in Q3 and Q4, and a breadth of carrier promotions such as the Verizon Buy-One-Get-One program that began the latter part of the quarter, drove this outperformance.

“A continued positive reception?” Give us a break, Jim:
Only one storm drags down D.C. Republicans and Democrats alike: RIM’s awful BlackBerry Storm – March 06, 2009
RIM’s big response to Apple’s iPhone, BlackBerry Storm, falls flat – January 26, 2009
ChangeWave: Apple iPhone’s ‘very satisfied’ rating more than double that of RIM’s BlackBerry Storm – December 22, 2008
Yale Daily News: The Storm isn’t an iPhone killer, it’s a Blackberry killer – December 10, 2008
Innovation and Entrepreneurship Professor reviews RIM BlackBerry Storm: ‘Disappointing and awful’ – December 05, 2008
NY Times’ Pogue reviews RIM’s BlackBerry Storm: ‘I’ve got a better name for it: BlackBerry Dud’ – November 26, 2008
InformationWeek reviews RIM’s BlackBerry Storm: ‘Tiresome, slow, severe bugginess and problems’ – November 24, 2008
TIME Mag reviews RIM’s BlackBerry Storm: ‘Novelty screen feels cheap; steer clear of this storm’ – November 20, 2008
Gizmodo reviews RIM’s BlackBerry Storm: ‘Heavy, laggy, sluggish, unstable, clunky, and tiring’ – November 20, 2008
Engadget reviews RIM’s BlackBerry Storm: ‘Frustrating, inelegant, uncomfortable; a disappointment’ – November 20, 2008
PC World reviews RIM’s BlackBerry Storm: ‘Awkward, disappointing; a failed experiment’ – November 20, 2008

Maybe he meant “a continued positive reception” by the company’s competitors?

For more on the “continued positive reception” of RIM’s products, please see related articles below.

Bottom line: Because of Apple’s iPhone, Verizon and RIM have to give away BlackBerries for free.

Gilles continues, “RIM’s shares jumped $11.09, or 22.6 percent, to $60.18 in after-hours trading.”

“RIM said it added roughly 3.9 million new BlackBerry subscriber accounts during the quarter, bringing the total to 25 million,” Gilles reports. “About half are now consumers… About 70 percent of RIM’s new customers are consumers. Apple Inc.’s iPhone is a major competitor in the burgeoning sector, along with Palm Inc. and Google Inc.’s G1 smart phone.”

MacDailyNews Take: Palm is on life support and Google’s Android is nowhere to be found, but they’re right there “along” with Apple as “major competitors” in the warped view of Gilles and The Associated Press. Puleeze. Palm and Google are nowhere near on the same level as Apple’s iPhone. If they earn it, fine. However, they have not currently earned anywhere near the right to be equated with Apple’s iPhone platform. Gilles is wrong to elevate them to such a high level.

Gilles continues, “Peter Misek, an analyst with Canaccord Adams, said RIM’s results show U.S consumers are still buying smart phones.”

“Misek said President Barack Obama’s endorsement of the BlackBerry helped,” Gilles reports. “Obama fought to keep his BlackBerry when he became president. His BlackBerry has been a constant companion, and he had noted publicly that he was negotiating to find a way to keep it despite security concerns and records-keeping issues.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Well now, if people are buying a bunch of BlackBerrys (many of which, by the way, are not “smartphones” and incapable of using RIM’s clumsy new iTunes App Store knockoff), then it stands to reason that they’re also buying superior iPhones from Apple, too. Note also that RIM saw strong sales last year as the world awaited Apple iPhone 2.0 — just as the world currently awaits Apple’s iPhone 3.0. These excellent results from RIM, provided that the bulk of them aren’t stemming from “Buy One, Get One Free” giveaways, bode very well for smartphone sales and, of course, Apple.

Also, as we wrote on January 8th of this year:

Should the U.S. President be using an inferior foreign-made device that routes all email information through a single NOC (network operations center) located on foreign soil* when a superior device has been created by a U.S. company?** It seems logical that the U.S. President should be supporting U.S. companies while also keeping his information off servers located in foreign countries.

Shouldn’t the U.S. President, at least, buy American?

*However benign that foreign soil may be. We love Canucks. We’re just sayin.

**Yes, iPhones are assembled in China like nearly everything else on the planet, but they’re conceived and designed in California. And, the profits — complete with massive taxes paid to the state of California and the U.S. federal government — stay in the country, in the hands of a unique and valuable U.S. company with 32,000 employees, not sent off to Canada.

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