RIM Q3 Fiscal 2010 Summary: Strong sales abroad and successful marketing


After having heard the RIM Q3 Fiscal 2010 Conference Call, I thought I would post a summary of the quarter in case you missed the call or you want a brief synopsis.

This was an excellent quarter for RIM. They shipped a record number of devices and exceeded the previous quarter’s projections. Over 10 million BlackBerrys were shipped, bringing the total to over 75 million BlackBerrys sold around the world. The BIS subscriber base is growing steadily, and once again, non-enterprise users comprised over 80% of net new subscribers.

This quarter was very much focused on the international growth of RIM. The once small Canadian company, has grown to become a global smartphone leader, with over 530 distribution partners in 170 countries worldwide. The Curve 8520 has proven itself to be the perfect device for penetrating global markets. In France, RIM successfully targeted the 15-25 age group with the 8520. In the Middle East, South Africa, Latin America and the UAE, the 8520 has sold very well. Southeast Asia has been a success for RIM as well, with the 8520 in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore, promoting its social networking and non-email messaging capabilities. China represents a large new market for BlackBerry products and services abroad. There are plans to work with Digital China as well as RIM and China Telecom have come to an agreement with more details and a launch plan to come.

At home in North America, BOGO campaigns are doing wonders for device sales. Almost every distribution partner has either had a BOGO sale, or a very aggressive marketing promotion behind BlackBerry, especially for the holidays. This brings us to one of the big success factors for RIM this year/quarter: the Love What You Do marketing campaign. This campaign has been a huge success and its visibility tremendous. It’s near impossible to go an entire day without seeing a Love What You Do ad from BlackBerry. The ads are key for growth in the consumer market, which is becoming increasingly important to RIM’s success.

In 2010, we can expect the slightly higher sales and continued growth. We’re expecting a new WebKit-based browser, and in the question period, Jim Balsillie subtly confirmed new form factors. There are rumors of a Storm slider and hopefully we’ll see this in Q3 of the fiscal year ending 2011.