We’re now into the 2nd quarter of RIM’s fiscal year 2011 and today RIM hosted a conference call summarizing the first quarter as well as a little insight into what to expect in the next. As with every conference call, RIM made it clear that growth opportunities for the company are primarily focused in international markets, as well as converting feature phone users to smartphone users. It would be a real shame to see RIM become a company focused on making smartphones with low ASPs. A race to the bottom would probably mean selling more devices in the short term, but they would lose a lot of respect from the hardcore smartphone users who need innovative devices that cost a lot.
Highlights of the first quarter fiscal 2011 include:
- Revenue grew 24% over the same quarter last year to $4.24 billion
- Earnings per share in the first quarter increased 41% year over year to $1.381
- BlackBerry shipments grew more than 43% over the same quarter last year to 11.2 million and RIM shipped its 100 millionth BlackBerry during the quarter
- BlackBerry subscriber account base grew approximately 60% over the prior year to 46 million, with 4.9 million net new subscriber accounts added in Q1
- RIM’s Board of Directors approved a share repurchase program to purchase for cancellation up to 31 million common shares
Jim Balsillie had his usual address to shareholders and there were a few interesting tidbits included in the announcement. Jim hinted that we’ll see two new high-end devices shipping soon, which sound like the Bold 9800 slider and the clamshell 9670. We’re also expecting BlackBerry 6 to ship by the end of September.
During a conference call to discuss the results, the company also hinted that there would be two new high-end devices shipping soon. It wouldn’t say what these were but said they would contribute to its summer quarter ending in August; at least one would have its effect on revenue spill over to the fall, the company said. One of these is unofficially known to be the BlackBerry 9800, RIM’s first touchscreen slider. BlackBerry OS 6 is due to ship by the end of September and is known to be shipping first with the 9800.