RIM announced on its earnings call last week that it would stop announcing average selling prices (“ASPs”) after this quarter. RIM blamed the move on the increase in both the number of devices it sells and the number of countries it sells BlackBerry devices into, which “makes forecasting product mix and therefore ASP increasingly difficult.”
But it’s also possible that RIM doesn’t want to keep reporting ASPs because the trend is generally downward. This includes a sharp decline over the past year, from a $371 ASP peak in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2009, to the $304 ASP it reported last quarter.
RIM gets almost 20% of its revenue from selling services, so to some degree, it’s worth lowering device prices to sign up more subscribers. But RIM will also stop reporting subscriber numbers after this quarter, as those are supposedly becoming trickier to predict, too. (RIM has also missed its subscriber growth forecast a few times recently.)
As the BlackBerry becomes more of a mid-level device — as Apple’s iPhone and Google Android devices further take over the high end of the market — BlackBerry ASPs may continue to decline. But the good news is that they’re still significantly ahead of many of RIM’s rivals, such as Motorola and Nokia.
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