Uncommon Wisdom

Dec 21 2007   2:36PM GMT

RIM Profits Show High-End Handsets Gaining Strength

Tom Nolle Tom Nolle Profile: Tom Nolle

RIM reported doubling of profit and revenue as its Blackberry sales exploded, magnifying the gulf between the handset vendors and the network equipment vendors in the mobile space. The challenge of course is that handsets are a consumer fad and mobile networks are long-lived infrastructure that can’t churn very often. The performance of RIM also suggests, when compared with that of Motorola, that higher-end handsets will likely be gaining strength. That again argues for a disconnect of handsets from mobile service provider offers, something we’ve predicted for some time. The pressure from the handset vendors will increase with the advent of OHA, and it may be that the network operators will yield and open the handset market to avoid having a truly “open” handset based on open-source take over. OHA’s fate may depend on the early discussions on a more open relationship between traditional handsets and the mobile operators.

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