RIM doing well at #2

3 Blackberries
In a wide-ranging interview, Research in Motion talked today about all things Blackberry. Trailing only Nokia in terms of sales volume, RIM has a lot reasons to feel good. According to Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO “[t]he cell phone market in the US declined by 5 percent compounded per annum in the past five years, but the smart phone market grew 58 percent.”

Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO, also declares that “[Blackberry Storms] are Netbooks. They are just smaller.” Do you buy that, dear reader? Do you think the Storm offers all the computing conveniences of something like an MSI Wind, or is this some new use of the term “netbook” of which we were previously ignorant?

Scott Totzke, VP, BlackBerry Security Group, did make an interesting observation regarding the sometimes unintentional and undesired longevity of data stored on smartphones. RIM, as the corporate world smartphone darling, clearly excels here: “One of the features of BlackBerry is we have an option to erase all of the information and we go through a process of not only erasing the information, but also overwriting them, so that it’s not recoverable.”

David J. Smith, Senior Director, CDMA Handhelds, observes that RIM is “creating different kinds of devices for people who have different needs and desires.” Unlike, say, Apple where the iPhone is a one-size-fits all solution.

Also unlike Apple, RIM is looking at a broader application distribution platform from its forthcoming app store. According to Tylar Lessard, Director, ISV Alliances & Dev. Relations:

Wireless operators can also offer their own customization to that storefront experience. So this won’t be the only place you can get applications for BlackBerry. If a wireless operator chooses to have a separate store where they highlight applications they want to sell because, for example, they have billing integration with those vendors, or it’s an exclusive application that’s available only on that operator, we want to make sure they can offer those separate applications and customize the storefront experience.

It remains to be seen whether this will dilute the value of any RIM app store by making it overly difficult to locate the apps you want for your Blackberry. Oh yeah: Blackberry developers using the RIM app store will get an 80/20 revenue split, compared to Apple’s 70/30 split.