Page last updated at 08:03 GMT, Friday, 18 December 2009

Blackberry profit beats forecasts

Blackberry Storm2
Blackberries were originally aimed at the business market

The company that makes the Blackberry smartphone has reported a better-than-expected jump in third quarter profits after record sales and new subscribers.

Research in Motion (RIM) said net income rose 59% to $628.4m (£389m) after selling 10 million devices.

Of the new subscribers, 80% were non-corporate customers. Co-chief executive Jim Balsillie said: "The consumer side is growing real fast."

Shares in RIM jumped more than 12% in after-hours trading.

That's a major positive surprise... people wrote off RIM too soon
Tero Kuittinen, MKM Partners

Blackberries were originally aimed at business users, but the firm is increasingly expanding into the consumer market.

"This shows that RIM is as popular a device as it's ever been, selling more units than its largest competitor," said Duncan Stewart from DSam Consulting.

There had been fears that Blackberry would not be able to keep up with competition from products such as Apple's iPhone and Motorola's Droid.

After the firm's last quarterly earnings report, its shares had tumbled.

But Tero Kuittinen from MKM Partners said Blackberry was successfully cracking the non-business market.

"That's a major positive surprise because people have been very sceptical...people wrote off RIM too soon," he said.

The firm performed well internationally. Mr Balsillie said this had been the company's strongest quarter to date for growth outside North America, with 37% of revenues coming from overseas.

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