Update: RIM has 80 million subscribers, 60 million BBM users

Ian Hardy

September 24, 2012 2:37 pm


This week will be fascinating for RIM. They’ll be holding their BlackBerry Jam developer conference in San Jose tomorrow, where CEO Thorsten Heins will give an update on BlackBerry 10, and hopefully lay out a concreate timeline for when the device will be available. In addition, RIM will report their Q2 2012 results on Thursday.

Not all is shiny at RIM. They are in the middle of laying off thousands of employees, plus some investors and analysts are getting antsy for results. While other manufacturers are reporting millions of devices sold – Samsung with 20 million Galaxy S III and Apple with iPhone 5 sales hitting 5 million – RIM, according to some analysts will report a slowing down of subscriber base. Certainly not shocking as they haven’t released a flagship device in months, but Kris Thompson of National Bank Financial, stated that “This is the first quarter we are expecting zero subscriber growth – a loss in enterprise [customers] offset by a small gain in international consumer subs. Starting next quarter, we see the sub base in a downward spiral with Blackberry 10 potentially slowing [the losses], but we’re not holding our breath.”

Bold statement. Curious if he’s seen BlackBerry 10 yet. Of course, analysts have proven to be wrong in the past.

The report in the Globe also points to BlackBerry 10 being released in January, something RIM was quick to deny when Heins said it back in July, noting that “In January with the full touch device and the QWERTY coming, I think we will reinstall faith in RIM. That’s what we’re working on… I have faith in the future. My team is working relentlessly to create that future.”

RIM currently has 78 million BlackBerry subscribers and the first BlackBerry 10 device will be an all-touch smartphone, followed by a physical QWERTY/touch. However, RIM also has plans to release 4 additional devices in 2013 for a total of six BlackBerry 10 devices – three all-touch and three QWERTY/touch. Some new features that we can expect to see in BlackBerry 10 are BBM Video, new camera features, and the OS having a “flow” focus to it.

Update: Well, it looks like the analyst above is wrong. Today at the BlackBerry Jam developer event in San Jose, RIM’s CEO Thorsten Heins stated they have 80 million subscribers and 60 million BBM users.

Source: Globe

  • Richard Singh

    All this talk about Blackberry 10 for months with RIM trying to hype it up that I’m afraid it will be a big disappointment once released.

    • Johentie

      the problem with the talk about BB10 for months is that it’s a BRAND NEW os.. everything about it has been developed from scratch.. the problem with that is that RIM has been developing this thing in the spot light from the beginning.. iOS and Android get developed in the dark so no one knows about it..

      all iterations of Android have been developed in the dark cause they have products that can hold them over and people overlook it.. jelly bean was officially annouced in June.. they were probably working on that for a while.. but no one knew..

      BB10 everyone knew about since the beginning .. iOS took A WHILE to build just no one knew apple was making an iphone back in 2007.. they probably started in 2004-2005..

      so it’s a bad thing that BB10 was mentioned a while back but they still had to build it.. they had to say something to keep people interested but the timeline for this industry is way too long.. but if u look at it in perspective they built a new OS in less then a year.. (minus the playbook)..

      so if people just stay open minded i think it’ll be a good change and a different way to use a device..

    • Shyrone

      RIP RIM.

  • Sterling

    Not a surprise at all. Most people I know are waiting to upgrade from OS6 BB devices to jump to BB10 devices. So not shocked at all by this announcement

  • Kid.Canada

    I guess BBM is losing its touch…

  • Kid.Canada

    The specs of those devices better be top notch just for the sake of RIMs survival. Not even trolling I’m being honest.

  • Louis

    just look at iphone 5….
    but sorry RIMM, you are not APPLE…
    so you won’t get ppl buying much of your BB10 for sure

  • whoa

    Isn’t the AM or PM redundant when using a 24-hour clock?

  • RHCameron

    Go RIM! I still have faith and if the devices are good, I’ll definitely consider a purchase. I’d rather they waited like they have, get all their ducks in a row, and then release a quality product that we (as Canadians and, who knows, perhaps BB10 subscribers) can proud of. Good luck to all the folks at RIM and keep your chin up.

    • Louis

      yes but just look at the iphone 5
      like what happen to apple maps? its a diaster….

      you think RIMM can pull this off?, i am sure BB10 won’t have edging feature that beat IOS and Andriods…

      its a totally new OS and bugs will be all over the place and disappoint ppl

  • TyroneLT

    Saw this coming a year ago around this time when RIM nothing to show in comparison to Apple’s iPhone 4S and the Galaxy Nexus. While I think RIM will ultimately survive as it is doing better internationally. They will never regain their place in the top-tier of the smartphone market. I can’t see how people think BB10 is going to be a hit when Apple just sold 5 million iPhones in one week and Samsung already has already sold 10 million S3s for the year as well as rumoured Nexus phones on the way before the end of the year. It really is sad because the BB10 phones do look interesting with a fresh UI.

  • Bob Dole

    Is this bb10?

  • iphoneuser

    It’s going to be hard for RIM to get out of the gutter.

  • Nomes

    Not far off, even after BB10 is released I expect 1-2 more quarters of losses as people determine if the new solution is viable.

    Part of the problem is BB10 was announced a year ago and supposed to be out, so people stopped buying new BB’s. And now some people are still waiting while others got tired. I am hoping they offer a great solution and they may slowly win the customers back.

  • RIMM

    Time to update those:
    “78 million users” and those “2.2 Billion in Cash”
    Those are olde figures:

    -Service Blackout on i5 release day in Africa, Europe and Middle East
    -RIMM not number 1 anymore in Indonesia
    -RIM at a new 52Week low today at $6.30
    -RIM will release BB10 in 3 waves
    -First Wave will be in South Afric and NIGERIA!
    (They have to support the countries that STILL use BBs)
    -Wonder how much inventory they will write off and
    -How much money they have left.
    -Expect RIM at high $5s on Friday and or next week.
    -At which price will DASDAQ kick them out of the stock??

    • BB King

      Here’s an update for you……..You’re a jacka$$!

  • BB King

    Analysts are i****s with an opinion. Most of them have little or no knowledge of the tech industry. They are typically based out of the US and have NO clue what goes on outside their borders. I am tired of seeing the phrase “Industry Analysts say….”. It should be replaced with “an Apple Fanboy claims…..”

    • Porilaisten

      Most of the analysts are on the anti-RIM boat.

      Question is…

      Who’s paying them?

    • iphoneuser

      Here’s an opinion for you……..You’re a jacka$$!

    • MA

      Would it make you feel better if I told you that I’m in the tech industry and while I’ve known a few people here and there who are still using blackberries, all of them have zero intention whatsoever of buying one for their next device and a couple of them who switched away have told me that they should’ve listened to what I (& others) told them and ditched their blackberries long ago?

      It’s a dead platform with no ecosystem whatsoever and the ecosystem is what matters now. If Microsoft, with all their history, talent, tie-ins, and resources can’t sell the new version of their smartphone OS, what hope does the decidedly mediocre RIM have?

  • Steven

    This will happen to Samsung too next year. Both RIM and Samsung will need to step up their game. Apple is doing these companies a favour by not just buying them out. If people are looking for a serious company to invest in the future please choose Apple.

    • Johentie

      this is true from a business perspective.. Apple is killing it in the stock market.. +$700 a share is crazy.. there is no doubt Apple is rolling in cash and will continue to roll in cash..

      not everyone can afford to buy apple shares at $700 a piece.. but remember back in the early 2000’s when it dipped down to $80? the imacs back then SUCKED .. iphone saved them and there is doubt it will continue to sell..

      from a technology perspective.. well if they decide to do everything themselves (i.e MAPS = FAIL) and cut out Samsung and other hardware companies to build components for the iphone… then they are just asking to be a fail..

      yes iphone 5 is a good device with nice hardware.. but there are other alternatives that are just as good if not better..

      BB10 is already annoucing they will have a pixel density of 356ppi… iphone is at 326ppi…

  • TJ

    RIM needs to blowout its current BB handsets and PB’s in the next 3 months. They will lose money on this but wii gain new subscribers . They have no choice but to blow them out , otherwise they will just sit there as unsold inventory. Once all the old BB handsets are cleaned out they should just focus on the BB10 handsets next yr. :)

  • pacalis

    RIMs a goner. If you hold stock, sell it. If you’re an IT group, the sooner you transition the better.

    They no longer have any competitive advantage. Never mind the strength of the iOS ecosystem, or the huge hardware range of Android phones, they also have Windows 8 to contend with. That’s been in development forever, supports a massive number of developers, and has an tremendous phone user experience.

    So even if BB10 works, which is a huge if, it’s just not going to matter. Many of us loved Palm more than BB, but the sooner you stop pretending this company has a hope and get out (like the two co-founders) the better off you will be.

    • Bb

      The sooner you guys realize that the tech world is a trend the sooner you will understand anything is possible and apple has been using celebs to sell not products oh and wall street hence the overpriced stock….sorry but company is not worthy of it…they sell toys

  • Tim

    RIM is a small company. How many customers do they need to be profitable? Can they survive with 100 million customers?

  • Tony Tedesco

    A little diddy I wrote a couple weeks ago. Have a read if you will. This is not spam. It is related to the topic.

  • Louis

    see what happen?
    they all giving me negatives…

    here has a bunch of RIMM fanboys

  • Manny

    Once there was RIM. These guys are gonna be extinct by the time BB 10 launches on condition, if it launches

  • Dean

    When BB10 is launched in Q1 all those waiting to upgrade will make the initial launch RIM’s most successful ever. What is unknown is what the sales will be afterwards.

  • 8524

    I’m being open minded right now and waiting all platforms to release there flagship devices (: Apple check windows check..waiting for a new nexus device and RIM’s BB10. My phone is still working so I don’t care much.