New BlackBerrys Could Buoy RIM for a Bit
At long last, Research in Motion’s first BlackBerry 7 handsets are headed to market, and while they’re not the revolutionary devices the company claims its QNX BlackBerrys will be, they’re likely to give it a bit more traction in the consumer smartphone market.
Earlier this week, analyst Tero Kuittinen speculated that RIM could deliver a slightly better-than-expected fall performance if the new Bold 9900 sparks decent upgrade interest. “RIM may have a window to make a real mark with the new Bold and Curve launches before the Android tide swamps it,” Kuittinen wrote, adding that the Bold 9900 is a “make-or-break device” when it comes to creating revenue growth between the August and November quarters.
Today, RBC analyst Mike Abramsky echoes that sentiment, though with a bit more skepticism. He, too, believes there’s some possible upside to RIM’s new BlackBerry 7 phones.
“While not game-changing (evolutionary UI, design) and reviews expected mixed, BB7 handsets offer competitive processors, touchscreens, some with 4G, and may stimulate an upgrade cycle,” he writes. “While possibly offering a near-term earnings catalyst, we believe BlackBerry 7 is unlikely to reverse deeply negative investor sentiment over RIM’s future, pending improved visibility to success or failure of pending QNX handsets expected 2012.”
Abramsky’s sales outlook for RIM’s BlackBerry 7 handsets: 22 million units sold out of a total of 54 million, and an average selling price of $292.