Struggling handset maker Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) surprised investors by announcing a burst of new subscribers.
Company officials said at the most recent quarter RIM had 80 million Blackberry subscribers, up two million subscribers since the same time last year, Reuters noted.
The subscriber numbers countered Wall Street expectations that RIM would post its first ever net loss of subscribers in the last quarter. However, most of the new subscribers likely come from emerging markets, using lower-end handsets
RIM has seen its share of the smartphone market tumble against competition from Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone and smartphones running Google‘s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system, including those made by South Korean electronics giant Samsung.
Shares of RIM have plummeted from $140 a share in 2008, to just under $7 a share on Wednesday. That was up about 3% from yesterday.
The company has bet its future on its new Blackberry 10 operating system, which will debut next year.
In anticipation of the launch of the new operating system, RIM is developing a new line of phones to exploit its capabilities. CEO Thorsen Heins showed off the company’s newest smartphone at a media event in California on Tuesday.
Heins noted that Blackberry 10 is the company’s “most important launch ever.” The new operating system was originally expected to launch in the last quarter of this year, but was delayed.
Earlier this year, RIM announced plans to trim its workforce by up to 3,000 in a bid to cut costs.