Strong North American sales helped Research in Motion to a 54% fourth quarter earnings increase, despite a global economic slump, reports the Wall Street Journal. The BlackBerry smartphone maker said quarterly sales doubled to $1.88 billion. RIM yesterday also projected first-quarter sales of $2.3 billion, topping analysts' estimates of $2.01 billion. RIM stock rose 4.8% in after-hours trading.
RIM added 2.2 million subscribers in the fourth quarter and said it expects another 2.2 million to add service in the first quarter. Experts say much of the growth can be attributed to RIM moving outside its traditional business market to general consumers, reports Bloomberg. BlackBerries make up the largest portion of the smartphone market with a 41% share to Apple’s 28%.