RIM posts falling revenue, phone sales ahead of BlackBerry 10 launch

The company lost money again in its fiscal third quarter ended Dec. 1

Research In Motion reported falling unit sales and revenue in its third fiscal quarter as it geared up for the introduction of its BlackBerry 10 OS next month.

RIM lost US$14 million, or $0.03 per share, in the quarter that ended Dec. 1. It sold 6.9 million BlackBerry phones, down from 7.4 million in the previous quarter, and just 255,000 BlackBerry PlayBook tablets.

The company expects to lose money again in the current quarter and warned sales of its current products, based on BlackBerry 7, could be hurt as customers hold off for BlackBerry 10 phones. RIM will continue to consider price incentives on BlackBerry 7 devices and services to maintain its subscriber base and drive adoption, the company said in a news release.

The first BlackBerry 10 products are going through technical acceptance programs at more than 150 mobile operators around the world, and more than 120 enterprises are participating in beta testing of the devices, RIM said.

RIM's revenue in the quarter was $2.7 billion, down 5 percent from the previous quarter's figure and down 47 percent from a year earlier. But the revenue number beat the consensus forecast of $2.66 billion from analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial.

The company's adjusted net loss, excluding certain factors such as an income tax benefit, was $114 million or $0.22 per share. Analysts had forecast a loss of $0.35.

RIM is betting its future on BlackBerry 10, which is scheduled to be announced on Jan. 30 in New York. The OS, which has been delayed several times, is widely considered the company's last chance to claim a viable place in the smartphone business.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

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