Tech Check

RIM's Earnings To Come In Wireless "Surge"

This has been a fascinating week in the wireless world, and now, as Research in Motion releases its earnings later today investors are getting hints of even more success for both BlackBerry and Apple's iPhone.

This latest nugget comes from RBC Capital's Mike Abramsky who issued a significant study earlier this morning in partnership with ChangeWave, and the results are striking.

And while Abramsky is still sticking with his 6.5 million iPhones expected to sell during the fourth calendar quarter, and 14 million units for all of 2008, he's tracking some interesting consumer trends in the overall smart phone sector.

RBC Capital Markets and ChangeWave Research interviewed 2,883 people between September 10 and September 18 about their smart phone purchase patterns and intentions.

Among the findings: Even in this economy, the survey found "11.9 percent of respondents plan on buying a smart phone in the next 90 days--the highest percentage in more than three years –-up from 10.5% in June and 7.4% in Oct 2007.

Also, "iPhone interest remains remarkably high. After the initial wave of 3G iPhone excitement (when 56 percent indicated intentions to buy iPhone 3G in June), the current findings show buying intentions for iPhone remain resilient. More than one-third of respondents say they’ll buy an iPhone, inline with 35 percent in March 2008 and up from 28 percent Oct 2007."

The news is equally good for BlackBerry, even in the face of iPhone's success, which speaks to my point yesterday that the sector is having no trouble supporting multiple success stories.

"Buying interest in RIM BlackBerry has rebounded, with 30 percent planning on buying a BlackBerry, up from 23 percent in June. Among current smart phone owners, BlackBerry (42 percent) remains the leading consumer smart phone, above Apple (17 percent) and Palm(12 percent).

Also, 20 percent of respondents expect to buy the 3G BlackBerry Bold, up from 17 percent in June. Of those interested in buying the Bold, 72 percent of potential buyers do not already own a BlackBerry. And that might be the single most important stat for RIM in the entire report.

Clearly, both devices are surging. RIM's earnings will all come down to guidance and of course, we'll have complete coverage when the news crosses, on the air, and here online.

Questions?  Comments?