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Canadian national identity: RIM vs Tim Hortons

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Recently, the ambassador of Canada was asked to say a few words about Canada and Canadian identity. Rather than talk about our unique natural landscapes, endearing cultural norms or even how we pronounce words funny, the ambassador chose to talk about Tim Hortons.

For the ambassador, Canadian identity was more about a relatively small coffee chain than it was about our historical accomplishments. While Tim Hortons does make an awesome cup of Joe, and I do appreciate their low prices, it’s not a very global company.

Canadians love to identify themselves as being a diverse nation with an interest in all things global. We celebrate Toronto’s diversity and the word “diversity” comes up in Canadian culture as much as the word “freedom” comes up in American.

The company that embodies this spirit isn’t Tim Hortons, but rather RIM. RIM is a Canadian company building a product that is truly global. The BlackBerry is helping economies be more efficient, as well as helping us stay in touch, thus strengthening the bonds of society. Canadian identity should be linked to something that empowers people, rather than make them fat.

Andrew Cohen, a professor of journalism and international affairs at Carleton University, wrote a good article on this subject that appeared in the Ottawa Citizen (no link). He also backs RIM as Canada’s best foreign policy tool.

Research in Motion makes Top 5 Hot Canadian Companies

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The Province has put together their list of the Top 5 Canadian companies and RIM is at the top of their list. Here is what they had to say about the company:

Research in Motion

When its executives aren’t trying to repatriate the Phoenix Coyotes, they’re busy making and marketing the BlackBerry smart phone.

Founded by Mike Lazaridis in 1984 in Waterloo, Ont., RIM has seen its share of ups and downs. Patent disputes and stock-option scandals have both made headlines for the wrong reasons. But when the president of the United States is rarely seen without your product, you know you’ve got something to sell to the world.

With annual revenue of approximately $11 billion for fiscal 2009 and with more than 12,000 employees, RIM has proven that Canadian companies can compete in technology.

RIM faces some tough competition in the smart-phone domain, including heavyweights Apple and Palm, but analysts expect its market share to grow into next year and beyond.

Recent polls have indicated that the majority of consumers who plan on buying a smart phone in the near future intend to buy a BlackBerry.

The only problem I have with the Top 5 is that the list included companies from unrelated markets. The next company on the list is Boston Pizza, which I had no idea was Canadian. I would love to see the Top 5 Canadian High Tech Companies.

Want a job at RIM? Looking for a job in the smartphone industry? Check out our job boards.

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Research in Motion 1st Quarter Fiscal 2010 Conference Call

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Yesterday evening, RIM held their 1st quarter fiscal 2010 conference call. Adele Ebbs, RIM’s Vice President of Investor Relations moderated the call, while Jim Balsillie fielded questions of a strategic nature. The major news in this call included:

  • RIM sees a whopping 80% increase in consumer subscribers.
  • Enterprise subscribers are down for seasonal and architectural reasons.
  • Jim Balsillie dismisses iPhone and Pre as a threat.
  • International sales are strong and steady but come with risk.
  • Jim talks about the BlackBerry OS with respect to the smartphone market.

RIM sees a whopping 80% increase in consumer subscribers.

Overall, financial results from RIM are strong. Total revenue is up 3.4 billion, up 53% from last year. Revenues are slightly higher than predicted during RIM’s conference call last year. Revenues can generally be attributed to strong device sales in the consumer space, and new enterprise functionality.

Over 80% of RIM’s new subscribers this quarter came from the consumer base. The massive growth in the BIS subscriber base can be attributed to both local North American growth, and strong international sales, particularly in Latin America, the Middle East and Asia. These developing markets, tend to primarily use BIS, even in enterprise.

This new shift to the consumer side is increasing loads being put on the infrastructure. Consumers are demanding rich media services such as streaming video, which uses more than 100 percent the network capacity of a voice call. BlackBerry efficiency and network capacity are going to address this issue, as devices become more efficient, and carriers offer new technologies such as LTE.

The BlackBerry Tour is this quarter’s big step to address the consumer shift. The BlackBerry Tour has the media capabilities to address the power user market. While you may have seen very little from RIM in terms of promotion, I believe this is indicative of a marketing shift at RIM Corporate. The firm seems to be giving the promotional responsibilities to the carrier. The message from RIM seems to be: “we just make them, you sell them.”

While carriers will be the driving force behind device promotion, this transition hasn’t been fully realized as of yet. There seems to be a miscommunication between RIM and the leading carriers in that RIM mentioned several times during the call that carrier inventory levels are consistently low. They also predict these levels to remain low. So while carriers are taking more responsibility for sales and marketing, they don’t seem to be managing the logistics behind these new responsibilities very well.
Continue reading a detailed roundup of the information presented in RIM’s conference call

BlackBerry gets blogged 5,000 times per day

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Social media has been a huge help for smartphone manufacturers. The blogosphere can be a better PR tool than the largest firms in New York, assuming you have something good to spread. The Hatorade can also spread quickly.

To determine what the Internet thinks of your brand, you have to sift through blog posts, YouTube comments, Facebook wall scribbles, message boards and Twitter “tweets.”

That’s where we look to new software called Sysomos, a social media monitoring tool born out of research at the University of Toronto. There is already some interesting data from the software.

“A brand like BlackBerry has, on average, more than 5,000 posts on a single day … no human can flip through (that),” said Nilesh Bansal, co-founder of Sysomos, a social media monitoring tool born out of research at the University of Toronto.

At 5,000 posts per day, RIM is getting an incredible amount of coverage on their devices. Personally, I’d like to know what percentage of that coverage is ReTweets and post scrapes.

Article courtesy of Robert Rocha and the Montreal Gazette.

Research in Motion is selling copious smartphones despite economy

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A lot of the information I am about to post has already been described in previous stock market and share analysis reports. I am reposting this because the numbers are presented in various ways and it’s nice to get a reminder that the economy isn’t in total shambles.

That being said, RIM has sold its 50 millionth BlackBerry! While everyone is talking about these TETs (tough economic times), RIM isn’t blinking and continuing to sell smartphones and saturate the market with hands-down the best device.

RIM reported record high revenue of US$3.46 billion in their most recent quarter, up 84 percent compared to the same time last year, as it shipped 7.8 million devices, also a new high for the company. Net profit for the quarter rose to $518.3 million, up from $412.5 million last year. RIM has also added 3.9 million new BlackBerry subscribers!

Smartphone sales are a sure bet these days. Surveys of family expenditures during the holidays report that half of respondents say they would buy electronic devices before the end of the year. Expect many of these electronic devices to be smartphones.

[Via]

Research in Motion (RIM) financial analysis update

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The Financial Post Trading Desk is reporting that RIM’s first-quarter revenue is estimated to come down to US$3.1-billion on seven million new units shipped.

Raymond James & Associates is giving an Outperform rating on RIM stock with a target price of US$66.

Citi analyst Jim Suva, however, has a Hold on the stock with a target price of US$46. Mr. Suva remains skeptical in the near term, estimating earnings-per-share growth of just 7% this year, which is “hard to get excited over.”

Hopefully upcoming device launches such as the Niagara will quell any market uncertainty.

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