RIM, which had a nice second quarter is expected to have an even better third quarter, thanks to the new Pearl device they have just released and is getting an enthusiastic response. The company expects to add 800,000 subscribers in the third quarter, about 50,000 more […]

RIM, which had a nice second quarter is expected to have an even better third quarter, thanks to the new Pearl device they have just released and is getting an enthusiastic response. The company expects to add 800,000 subscribers in the third quarter, about 50,000 more than analysts expected. As a result, revenue in the third-quarter will be $780-million to $820-million versus previously expected $700 million. Earnings will be between 88 to 95 cents a share versus 78 cents estimated by analysts.

What makes the performance surprising is that RIM’s strong performance is coming when new competition looms large. Nokia E62, to be introduced shortly at $150 price by Cingular is particularly being viewed as a competitor. It can run all sorts of email services. It is a great smart phone, despite its bulk. So why does Blackberry keep winning?

Simple – it is the best damn email device… period! Nothing works like Blackberry. I had been using Nokia E61 with GoodLink, and it rocked. Except when you added the cost of having an hosted exchange and Good service on top of $50 a month data plan, it added up.

The other solutions – Microsoft ActiveSync only work if you have Exchange, and don’t work too well. The connection stops, the syncing stops and what not. Same is the case with other email clients like Seven. Most don’t play nice with Mac. RoadSync is the only good activesync solution. I frankly could not get Blackberry connect to work on my device, so I just gave up.

The frustration of not being able to get email – and I live on email – was enough for me to revert back to NY mode in a day. A quick pit stop at T-Mobile store, a hasty transaction and now I own a Blackberry. No not a Pearl , but 8700 series device. The email – which is being piped in using IMAP is working, so is Google Talk and Verichat.

Email is real push, not pretend push as in other devices. Cost $30 a month, much cheaper than having a converged device. I probably would never use the new device as a phone: Why should I? I have Nokia N73, N80 and 8801 to choose from, and they are just great phones. Nokia E61 would kill Treo, you can count on it. But for hard core email addicts, BB is the way to go. If RIM spent more resources on making its service reverse sync on IMAP (like Seven’s Always On Email service does) it would be perfect. An email-only device minus the trimmings? Yeah, that should sell too.

RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie tells National Post:

“These new competitors coming out have been bringing their A game or best game to this space for over a decade. This kind of competitive reality has been there from the beginning when we didn’t have anything like the resources, position, capacity and experience we have today. It is a much more complex thing. If it was so easy, why did these best efforts not derail us from the beginning?”

  1. We run about 12 blackberry phones from the 7280 to the 8700 series. Hands down the best combo pda/cellphone as we have tried them all. Also we run blackberry Exchange server and it does reverse sync.

  2. They are going for the prosumers – the Pearl is a killer device. Get past the suretype and it looks like a normal phone.

    I think aside from the BlackBerry Pearl units, the activation of BIS or BlackBerry personal plan (at Cingular if the Pearl every makes it there this year) will boost in subs.

  3. Quality will always win out

  4. Om, I don’t disagree with 99% of what you say here (and I say that as long time Windows Mobile user), but one statement is slightly misleading: “[Blackberry] Email is real push, not pretend push as in other devices.”

    With the MSFP or AKU 2 update as it’s called, Windows Mobile devices DO have real push e-mail. I’ve used it for several months with nary an issue and I get hundreds of e-mails per day on my XV6700. In fairness however, my service does require a hosted Exchange server that I pay for, so it’s not all roses and certainly not as compelling as Blackberry, i.e.; I agree with your underlying points…as I often do! ;)

  5. I happen to use the Nokia 9300 w/ Blackberry Push. I get from my BES Wireless Calendar Sync, E-mail, Contacts etc. Fantastic! The keyboard is a bit funky (I traded my 7290 to go to this), but it has 99% of everything I want, and more. Significantly more functional that than the RIM. Google local maps applet on the phone looks amazing.

    The only thing the 9300 is lacking is a camera, but the 9500 does have it. Its a VERY good device, if the keyboard was a bit skinnier I’d say its the perfect device.

  6. Om,

    I agree that Blackberry service is key. That is why I use a Nokia E-61 with the Blackberry client. I get instant push email, just like a Blackberry device, and I get the added feature of WiFi, 4 cell modems, Opera, etc.

    All in all I am not yet jealous of the Pearl or any other RIM made device. That may change later in the year however.

    (now if the rumored Apple iPhone was really a PDA and had Blackberry client…that might be really cool)


  7. I’m with you 100% Om – the only real disadvantage to my 7100, despite it not being 3G, is the whole reverse sync business.

    Oh wait – there’s something else too, you see, I would love to turn email forwarding/IMAP syncing on/off at whim to avoid email back-log coming onto my phone, when, say, I’m in front of my PC… right now I have to delete the IMAP email accts from my BB services then add them again to turn the syncing on…

  8. I’ve had a BB going on 4 years now and I love it. It works. My corporate email is pushed to the device and it’s been a workhorse for me in close to 20 countries. It just works.

    But now I get the same functionality with WM5 devices now. Cool. But after a few years of using Blackberrys, people don’t want to switch. They’re hooked on the wheel.

  9. You really should try chatterEmail on a Treo.
    True push over IMAP, no Exchange, one time fee to purchase.
    This is the best by far…

  10. Market researcher IDC, however, rained on RIM’s strong announcement. In a report titled “Attack of the BlackBerry Clones”, IDC said the popular handheld faces growing competition “in a relatively untapped market, converged mobile devices for the enterprise.”

    As that market grows to 63 million units per year by 2010 from just 7.3 million last year, the BlackBerry’s overall share will decline, according to IDC.

    While RIM has set the standard in the industry, Microsoft is coming on strong through partnerships with Motorola, Palm, and others. As the market for converged mobile devices grows, IDC expects Windows Mobile handhelds to grab an increasing share of the pie, for a 32.3 percent share of the market by 2010.

    Nokia is another major rival to watch out for in the future, since it is already offering an end-to-end solution of its own, IDC said.

    “Several BlackBerry clones have previously attempted to challenge RIM’s reign in the enterprise market, but this is a more formidable strike,” said Sean Ryan, research analyst for IDC’s Mobile Markets, in a statement. “The timing is right for a more powerful attack against RIM’s BlackBerry as competitive forces converge.”


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