70 Million BlackBerrys to Sell in 12 Months?

Some interesting news is circulating the internet now about Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM), the maker of the BlackBerry line of smartphones. According to Electronista, the company has reportedly told its Taiwan based parts suppliers to gear up to ship 60-70 million BlackBerrys in the next 12 months. RIM must be very very confident in its upcoming new models, OS 6, and its redesigned App World. Or the company has gone crazy. I will go with the first option.

While RIM did set a new company record this spring by selling 11.2 million BlackBerry units, the company does not plan on selling more than 12 million handsets this summer. End result, RIM plans on selling 16 million handsets for the following 3 quarters. No word yet though if this includes sales of the upcoming BlackBerry Tablet.

So where exactly are all of these sales going to come from? Baring a complete meltdown of iPhone 4 sales due to some launch problems (read here and here), most likely from companies that have gotten tired of Microsoft’s Windows Mobile platform. Microsoft’s phone platform is kind of in meltdown phase right now and unless Windows 7 Mobile really really impresses some people, switches will be made. RIM wants to gobble all of these users up and is counting on the upcoming BlackBerry 9800 Torch (also referred to as the 9800 Slider or 9800 Bold depending on the rumor source).

We also cannot forget RIM’s recent expansions and improved support for markets in Asia and Africa. While the stripped down phones sold in these markets will not be as lucrative for the company as sales in North America, Europe or Japan, they will ultimately boost sales and give a synergistic effect for the rest of the company. More handsets everywhere, more software  produced for the App World, and thus more handsets sold. A pretty simple cycle RIM wants to use to keep companies developing more apps, and to push more handsets. Bottom line, RIM makes money and you get better phones and better apps. Win-win for all involved.

So, do you think that RIM’s upcoming phones? Can the company sell 70 million units in the next 12 months? Let me know.

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