Jim Balsillie: market environment ‘Intense’, Bold selling ‘Really Well’

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RIM Co-CEO Jim BalsillieSpeaking at an investor conference earlier today, RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie said the current market environment is rife with challenges that require careful planning.

“This is a more intense time than I’ve ever known — more variables, more need to navigate, more hands on the wheel, eyes on the road right now,” he said. “If you don’t, you do it at your peril.”

Based on the news we posted a few days ago, investors can’t agree on whether RIM is in a prime position for growth or ‘chasing Apple’. However, most agree that the current economic downturn will have a negative effect on sales.

UBS Investment Research analyst Jeffrey Fan cut his RIM revenue and earnings estimates today to reflect lower sales during the slowdown.

“We do not expect RIM to be immune from the weakening economy,” he wrote. “Although consumers are unlikely to get rid of cellphones, they may be more cautious about adding incremental monthly data fees, which could slow sales.”

Fan added that while sales of the BlackBerry Bold and BlackBerry Storm will help in the short term, “We remain cautious as to sustainability of momentum. We expect replacement cycles to continue to lengthen.”

For his part, Balsillie said that the Bold is selling “really well”, and stated his belief that even as the economy sputters, users are unlikely to give up their mobile phones to save money.

|via Reuters|