Riding high on acceptance of the BlackBerry Z10, RIM, which is now doing business as BlackBerry, reported a profit for its fourth quarter ended March 2. The Toronto-based maker of mobile devices reported GAAP income for the quarter of $94 million, compared with the GAAP income of $14 million in the prior quarter and a GAAP loss from continuing operations of $118 million in the prior-year period.
The company spent most of 2012 cutting costs, including jobs, and certain manufacturing partnerships.
Although the Z10’s launch in the US came too late to contribute to RIM’s Q4 results, the company said sales are robust. During a conference call with analysts, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins said the company was planning a series of new products due out later this year, and alluded to low and mid-priced versions of BlackBerry’s new phones.
Aside from selling phones, one of RIM's key sources of revenue in recent years has been service fees generated by BlackBerry users and carriers. The company reported those fees, which represent more than one-third of RIM's revenue, fell into the “single digits" in the quarter.
The next phone RIM plans to roll out is the Q10, a keyboard-equipped phone the company said is on track for an April launch in some markets. The Q10 is winding its way through the carrier testing process in 20 countries and is expected to be released in the U.S. in May.
Separately, RIM said Thursday that one of its founders and its former, longtime Co-Chief Executive Mike Lazaridis would step down from the board. That ends Lazaridis' formal ties to RIM, which go back about 30 years.