They Don't Call Him Jim 'Brass' Balsillie for Nothing, You Know

Published on June 29, 2007
by John Paczkowski

Color Research in Motion Co-Chief Executive Officer Jim Balsillie unimpressed by Apple’s new iPhone. Reflecting on the advent of the so-called JesusPhone during a conference call to discuss RIM’s soaring first quarter earnings (profit up 73%), Balsillie dismissed Apple’s new device as a threat. “iPhone is launching in one carrier in one country,” he said. “We’re in about 100 countries and 300 carriers. … The momentum we are seeing in terms of product launches, carrier support in terms of product launches of BlackBerries, and subscriber additions is exceptional, and we believe it will continue on into the second half of the year.”

Apparently, Balsillie doesn’t foresee the sort of iPhone-induced “stall” in handset sales that Palm warned of yesterday while reporting its own much uglier earnings. Nor should he. RIM signed up 1.2 million new BlackBerry subscribers in the quarter ending June 2, pushing its total to more than nine million accounts. And it expects to add 1.325 million to 1.375 million new subscribers in the next quarter, with the potential for sales to reach almost $1.4 million. “I think [Apple] did us a great favor because they drove attention to the converged appliance base,” Balsillie explained. “We think the attention given to [the iPhone] and its impact on the dynamic has been overwhelmingly positive for us.”

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