BlackBerry Bold Uptake 'Strong', Waiting On Storm (RIMM)

How did Research In Motion’s (RIMM) big, bulky BlackBerry Bold do yesterday in its first day of sales at AT&T (T) stores? Pretty well, it seems, despite a minor distraction. (Election Day.)

Citi analyst Jim Suva says his checks at AT&T stores show “strong initial demand” for the Bold with many stores sold out before noon. He also thinks many buyers were filling pent-up demand — the phone was delayed for months — and were replacing old BlackBerries, not signing up for new service.

More important for RIM’s November quarter results/winter guidance: A successful launch of its touchscreen BlackBerry Storm, which will go up against Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone this Christmas.

  • If Storm reaches stores in mid November, that should drive “strong” results and guidance, Suva says.
  • If Storm reaches stores in late November, Suva thinks RIM will report inline Nov. quarter results with “weak” net subscriber additions and channel inventory build, and “tepid guidance,” he says.

Meanwhile, RIM’s cheaper Pearl Flip is only seeing “modest” success at T-Mobile, Suva says, because the carrier is focusing on launching its G1, the first phone powered by Google (GOOG).

See Also:
Mossberg Pees On BlackBerry Bold: Bulky, Heavy, Expensive
BlackBerry Bold Goes On Sale, Fervor Lacking
More Signs Point To RIM’s BlackBerry Storm Launching In Mid-To-Late November

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