Research in Motion is alive and kicking, but still needs a boost

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion continued to grow in the second quarter of 2010 with an additional 12.1 million BlackBerry devices shipped, but wasn’t able to meet its expectations for 4.9 – 5.2 million new subscribers reported by the Wall Street Journal.

The BlackBerry maker added 4.5 million new subscribers in its second quarter of 2010, down from the 4.9 million it added a quarter earlier.

BlackBerry most recently unveiled its proposed iPhone killer, the BlackBerry Torch, toward the end of its second quarter on August 12. Just a few days later, after what Goldman Sachs called an “underwhelming” launch, the price of that iPhone killer was cut in half to $99.

Google’s Android also overtook Research in Motion as the second most-used mobile phone operating system in August, according to a report by Gartner. While RIM still holds about an 18 percent share of the smartphone market, Gartner estimates have it losing ground and controlling around 12 percent of the market by 2014.

And in the midst of launch issues with the Torch that might get in RIM’s way, several countries threatened to shut down the company’s BlackBerry Messenger service if it did not provide a way for governments to tap private e-mail accounts.

Despite those distractions and woes, RIM’s second-quarter revenue was up 31 percent from a year earlier, while net income was up by around 68 percent as the number of BlackBerry subscribers passed the 50 million mark. Investors were pleased enough with the news, as shares were up 4.5 percent to 48.60 in after-hours trading.