Canadian smartphone manufacturer Blackberry has announced that it has sold more than 50 million smartphones in the last decade or so, proving, if needs be, that it is still the one to beat even if Apple is the new kid on the block.
The company, whose shares price has been more than halved in the last six months, shipped around 6.7 million devices while acquiring 2.6 million new subscribers during the fourth (and probably most enduring) quarter of 2008.
By the end of 2008, there were approximately 21 million Blackberry users cracking along nicely with RIM's powerful Blackberry backend infrastructure dealing with more than 4 Terabyte of data every hour.
This figure is bound to increase substantially as people use more web 2.0 software like the Facebook for Blackberry Application which has been downloaded more than 7 million times.
RIM, which currently has a Market Capitalisation of more than $32 billion, employs more than 12,000 people worldwide; it has recently launch a raft of new smartphones in a bid to capture a younger and hippier audience and challenge newcomers like Google's Android and Apple iPhone.
Although most of the revenues of RIM comes from the sale of smartphones, it also make some significant money out of its Blackberry Enterprise server solution as well as Mobile Data Systems. It is also highly likely that RIM debuts an Application Marketplace à la Apple iTunes but for Professionals.
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Nokia ships 20 times more phones per year than Blackberry did over the last decade and yet, Nokia is not 20 times bigger than Blackberry (it's actually around 50 percent bigger per market capitalisation). Blackberry chose to go for the cream at the top while Nokia went the opposite way. No wonder Apple (and Microsoft) is trying now to emulate RIM - and incidentally take away some marketshare from the Canadian manufacturer.