BlackBerry sales fell but RIM's loss narrowed in Q2

RIM lost $$235 million in the quarter ended Sept. 1

Shipments of its BlackBerry smartphones fell in the quarter ended Sept. 1 as Research In Motion posted its third straight loss.

There were 7.4 million BlackBerrys sold in the quarter, down from 7.8 million in the company's March-to-May quarter. RIM's revenue fell to $2.9 billion, compared with $4.2 billion a year earlier. But the company's revenue beat the consensus estimate of analyst polled by Thomson Reuters, of $2.5 billion.

Also, RIM's loss of $235 million, or $0.45 per share, was narrower than the $518 million shortfall it reported for the previous quarter. The latest loss included $136 million in costs for the company's ongoing restructuring. RIM said its adjusted net loss was $142 million, or $0.27 per share. Analysts had forecast a loss of $0.46 per share.

A continued dropoff in BlackBerry sales is not surprising as the company prepares to deliver BlackBerry 10, its delayed next-generation OS that is now expected to come out in the first quarter of next year. RIM has struggled against the growing popularity of Apple's iPhones and a vast array of smartphones based on Google's Android OS.

In June, RIM posted a first-quarter net loss of $518 million and said BlackBerry sales had fallen by nearly half to 7.8 million units. At the same time, the company said it would eliminate one-third of jobs in the company and cut down the number of products it offers.

The latest financial report came just days after RIM CEO Thorsten Heins told app developers at the BlackBerry Jam Americas conference that BlackBerry 10 is still on track for devices to launch in the first quarter of next year. Heins also said the number of BlackBerry users worldwide had grown slightly since the end of the second quarter, from 78 million to 80 million.

Sales of RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook tablets dropped to about 130,000 in the quarter.

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Stephen Lawson

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