Positive RIM results fail to impress the market- OS news wanted

POSTED BY Global Administrator
As far as the smartphone handset market goes, Apple has been stealing a lot of the headlines recently, with the launch of its latest video communicating iPhone and the attention-grabbing iPad. But its key North American rival, RIM, may have a few surprises of its own in coming months. It looks like the BlackBerry OS 6.0 could make something of a stir if it really is a "quantum leap" as RIM's ceo Jim Bassilie suggests. And a couple of high-end devices are planned for the second-half of the year.

Research In Motion shipped 11.2 million devices in Q1, notching up its 100 millionth BlackBerry sale in the process. Interestingly, Balsillie also suggested that tiered and usage-based data pricing will be positive for RIM, as a less data-hungary option than the iPhone for those upgrading their handsets.

So surely, with shipment volumes up 43% and revenues up 24% on the same quarter a year ago, the market should react positively? Well no. With the smartphone market outperforming every area of the broader communications market, RIM's sturdy results were met with the company's shares losing 5% of their value.

The fear is that competition from Android phones (including Droid handsets from Motorola) and the iPhone will whittle away RIM's market position. The market may be harsh, but the launch of new handsets and the launch of an overhauled operating system could easily reverse investor sentiment, particularly if the rumoured touchscreen/ slide-out keyboard proves a hit.