RIM and Palm both report lower device sales

First it was Nokia and Samsung painting gloomy pictures for mobile sales. Two more companies are joining their ranks now with both Palm and RIM reporting reduced demand for their products this week.

Palm announced its fiscal year 2009 second quarter results on Monday, with revenues topping out at USD$195 million. The revenue decline is attributed to reduced demand for maturing smartphone and handheld products. The company has already begun to cut costs by laying off part of its U.S. workforce. It will also consolidate European operations and move much of its Asia Pacific operations to U.S. offices.

Research In Motion announced preliminary third quarter 2008 results yesterday and warned that revenues would be lower than it had forecast earlier in the year. The decline is due to two reasons. First, RIM is seeing reduced device shipments, something it attributes to general economic weakness in the United States and shifts in product launch dates within the quarter. RIM expects that about 2.6 million new BlackBerry subscriber accounts will have been added in the quarter, rather than the 2.9 million previously forecast. Second, depreciation of certain foreign currencies relative to the U.S. dollar are also having an impact on its bottom line.

On a more positive note, RIM reports that it is seeing strong demand for its newly-introduced BlackBerry Storm and other new devices (including the BlackBerry Bold). It saw a record number of subscriber account additions during the last week of the third quarter and strong demand has spilled into Q4.