BlackBerry parent named top growth company in the world
Smartphone provider is top performer after cracking the consumer market
Wednesday 19 August 2009
Barack Obama had to fight to take his into the White House, while Peter Mandelson was running Britain in Gordon Brown's absence on his from Corfu.
Devotees of the BlackBerry talk of their addiction to the device – many refer to it as a CrackBerry – and its rise and rise saw its Canadian parent, Research in Motion (RIM), named the fastest growing company in the world yesterday.
Impressively, RIM carried off the gold medal in Fortune magazine's annual survey of the 100 fastest growing companies in the first year the survey was opened up to non-US companies. The magazine ranks companies in terms of profits, sales and investment return over a three-year period to create its list of "the world's supercharged performers".
RIM was launched in 1984 in Waterloo, Ontario, to work out how to use wireless to send and receive emails on mobile devices, but by 1992 it still had fewer than 10 employees. In 1999 it launched its first BlackBerry.
A decade later and the company has a market value of $44bn (£27bn), has sold 65 million devices around the world and has 28.5 million subscribers. Its dominance is largest in the US, where it commands a 56 per cent share of the smartphone market.
The group has consistently attempted to step out of Wall Street and on to Main Street, and half of its customers are now non-business. Carolina Milanesi, a research director at Gartner, said: "RIM pretty much started the smartphone phenomenon in the US; up until the iPhone there was no real competition. It took on the mantle of the PalmPilot, it was the Palm for email devices."
The company has not been as successful capturing the western European market, where increased competition from companies such as Nokia means it has 12 per cent of the smartphone market. "It is a different market in Europe, there is more choice and vendors with stronger brands. In the US it was driven by business, in Europe smartphones were more of a consumer phenomenon," Ms Milanesi said. She added that the company needed to be less dependent on the US market. "The competition is pretty fierce in Europe. They are making inroads into places like South Korea," she said.
RIM, run by co-chief executives James Balsillie and Michael Lazaridis, has a three-year average earnings-per-share growth of 84 per cent and revenue growth of 77 per cent; stellar figures that sent it to the top of Fortune's list.
The ranking will be especially satisfying to RIM as its rival, Apple, whose iPhone previously dominated the consumer smartphone market, was ranked 39, an eight place drop from 2008.
Second on Fortune's list was Sigma Designs. The chipmaker produces a core component in the Blu-ray player and is up from seventh last year after it secured a deal with Microsoft to put the device into its internet television sets. Behind Sigma comes the Chinese search engine group Sohu.com, which also offers online gaming and was selected to build and host the official website for the Beijing Olympics last year. The previous year's best performer, Arena Resources, an oil and gas driller in Texas and New Mexico, dropped to eighth in this year's poll.
Icon, a contract research company to the drug-making industry in Dublin, came in at 49. No UK companies made the list.
Fortune's Top 10: Fastest-growing firms
2. Sigma Designs
5. DG Fast Channel
6. CF Industries
7. Shanda Industries
8. Arena Resources
10. Potash Corporation
- 1 Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
Migrants crossing the Mediterranean: Pope Francis joins calls for EU action on boat refugees
Yemen crisis: Meet the child soldiers who have forsaken books for Kalashnikovs
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Isis in Afghanistan: Group claims responsibility for Jalalabad suicide bombing that killed 35
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...
£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...
£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...