RIM’s Rough Ride Reflected In Q3 Earnings

RIM has just released their Q3 earnings, and the figures are about as rough as we expected: the Waterloo-based company pulled in $5.2 billion during the past quarter — a considerable bump over their Q2 performance, but still a 6% drop year-over-year.

Nearly 80% of the company’s revenue came from hardware sales, with RIM shipping 14.1 million BlackBerry handsets during the quarter. As expected, performance of the company’s beleaguered PlayBook wasn’t up to snuff yet again. The company only shipped around 150,000 of their ailing PlayBook tablets this quarter, down from nearly 200,000 shipped in Q2. To be honest, it’s a bit of surprise that they sold that many, although the company has been getting aggressive with PlayBook price cuts and promotions.

Ever the optimists, RIM co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis kept up a hopeful tone while they commented on the company’s financials.

“Despite the challenges faced in the third quarter, the BlackBerry subscriber base grew to almost 75 million customers around the world,” they said in a recent release. “RIM continues to have strong technology, unique service capabilities and a large installed base of customers, and we are more determined than ever to capitalize on our strengths to overcome the recent execution challenges surrounding product launches and the resulting financial performance.”

While I have to give them props for essentially acknowledging that the PlayBook was/is a flop, it’s not the only problem that RIM has had to face in recent months. There was of course the multi-day outage that struck users across the globe, not to mention the naming snafu they encountered when trying to brand their new OS.

RIM expects this next quarter to be even grimmer: they forecast revenues of between $4.6 and $4.9 billion, and they expect to ship between 11 and 12 million BlackBerrys. The company’s earnings conference call is about to kick off, and we’ll be sure you keep you updated with any new details.

UPDATE: RIM co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis will only draw a yearly salary of $1, effective immediately.