Research In Motion told investors Thursday that it shipped 14.2 million BlackBerrys in its November-ending fiscal business quarter. Moreover, RIM said its BlackBerry account base grew to more than 55 million through the addition of 5.1 million new subscribers during the three-month period.
According to RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie, international markets continued to adopt the BlackBerry in record numbers in the latest quarter, making it the number-one smartphone in several markets in Western Europe, including the United Kingdom. “The prepaid smartphone market in the U.K. alone grew 245 percent year over year versus postpaid, at only 65 percent growth,” he said.
Balsillie also noted that RIM is hugely investing for the future — not only for growth in numerous markets around the globe, but also in new categories and value-added services.
“This is not a time to be penny-wise, pound-foolish,” Balsillie observed. “Business models are changing, and I think we’ll have some pretty pleasant surprises in what we’re doing throughout 2011.”
Strong Global Growth
Certainly RIM has picked up in the consumer space, thanks to its BlackBerry Messenger instant-messaging service, but more so thanks to the cheaper prepay options that were offered by network operators, noted Gartner Research Vice President Carolina Milanesi.
“I believe that for RIM to grow more share, there is a need to have a device with the price point of the Pearl but with a full touchscreen design,” Milanesi said. “Competition from Android is growing rapidly and the price point is decreasing, making it an interesting proposition to both carriers and consumers.”
Balsillie noted that Verizon Wireless continues to be a strong RIM partner and has been one of the most aggressive carriers to promote BlackBerry in the United States. “BlackBerry products are featured in most of Verizon’s holiday promotion across various media, including TV and print advertising,…