RIM results less dire than expected

Research in Motion has surprised analysts with better-than-expected BlackBerry sales and a smaller quarterly loss than predicted.

The second quarter loss was $235 million, around half what had been expected, with revenue of $2.9 billion – up two percent on the previous quarter, but 31 percent less than in the same quarter last year.

The (slightly) encouraging results are thanks largely to an unexpected jump in customers in developing markets such as Africa and Asia, with the company winning around two million new subscribers during the quarter.

“Subscribers grew to approximately 80 million global users, revenue grew sequentially from the first quarter, cash, cash equivalents, short-term and long-term investments increased by approximately $100 million to $2.3 billion, and carriers and developers are responding well to previews of our upcoming BlackBerry 10 platform,” says president and CEO Thorsten Heins.

“Make no mistake about it, we understand that we have much more work to do, but we are making the organizational changes to drive improvements across the company, our employees are committed and motivated, and BlackBerry 10 is on track to launch in the first calendar quarter of 2013.”

RIM is still trailing far behind Apple and Android, with a global market share of under five percent. And with the BlackBerry 10 not due to launch until early next year – missing the crucial holiday season – the company has a lot of ground to make up.

It’s likely to continue with price cuts on existing models in the meantime, and is also wooing developers with marketing and technical support. It plans to relaunch its BlackBerry App World application store in early October, and is offering a $10,000 revenue guarantee.