BlackBerry 10: 'Expect Ongoing Quarterly Losses' From RIM

By Craig Galbraith Comments
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Even though Research In Motion met very low expectations for its fiscal third quarter this week, at least one industry insider remains skeptical about the BlackBerry maker's future.

"While results beat our expectations and we were impressed by cost-savings execution and working capital management, our bearish thesis on [BlackBerry 10] remains unchanged and we expect ongoing quarterly losses," noted Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley.

BlackBerry 10 is the next iteration of RIM's operating system, set to launch on Jan. 30, 2013, along with a pair of new touchscreen smartphones, the BlackBerry London being the most notable at this point. If RIM wants to start making money again, success in North America and Europe will be critical.

“While resilient sales of BB7 smartphone in markets such as Indonesia, South Africa, and Venezuela demonstrate the strength of the BlackBerry brand in international markets, we believe strong global sales of new BB10 devices are critical for RIM to return to profitability," Walkley added.

RIM shipped only 7 million smartphones last quarter – which could drop the manufacturer to 10th place when all of the numbers are in. Its operating system was the third most popular from July through September, good enough for third place – though its sales pale in comparison to Android and Apple's iOS, which were a combined 145 million in 3Q2012, according to Gartner.

RIM, once the world's top smartphone maker, has been struggling ever since the debut of Apple's iPhone in 2007. Apple and a bevy of Android device manufacturers have made user-friendly, touchscreen devices with application stores to which both consumers and developers have flocked.

But while analysts like Walkley are skeptical moving forward, other industry insiders are more bullish on BlackBerry 10's prospects. RIM's stock price has doubled in the past three months as wireless operators reportedly have embraced their first looks at the new operating system.

Follow editor Craig Galbraith on Twitter @Craig_Galbraith.

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