RIM Profits Rise 47% On Success Of BlackBerry Pearl Launch

Research In Motion's successful extension into consumer smart phones with the BlackBerry Pearl lifted the Waterloo, Ontario-based company's third-quarter earnings by 47%--and investors responded, boosting the stock price by nearly 2% on Friday.

RIM, best known for its BlackBerry mobile e-mail devices for business people, reported third-quarter earnings of $835.1 million last week, and said it added 875,000 subscribers, thanks to top-selling BlackBerry Pearl. There were 7 million total BlackBerry subscribers at the end of the quarter. Revenues grew 49% to $835.1 million, exceeding analysts' expectations of $815.9 million.

"New product launches during the past few months have exceeded our expectations, and we look forward to continuing this momentum in the new year," said Jim Balsillie, chairman and co-CEO.

Since its launch in September, Wall Street analysts have noted that demand for the BlackBerry Pearl is holding steady and is attracting new non-business subscribers to the company, including teenagers.



RIM has advertised the new Pearl heavily this quarter in print ads appearing in business and consumer publications. Ads focus on the BlackBerry's life-changing attributes rather than using a cool, tech appeal.

"Ask someone why they love their BlackBerry," said ads in one campaign in The Wall Street Journal and go on to state that "today there are millions of BlackBerry owners and their passion continues to be the best form of advertising."

Ads for the category exploded this quarter with the launch of Samsung's new BlackJack smart phone, along with additional advertising for the Motorola Q and Palm Treo.

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