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Research In Motion (RIMM), the makers of the Blackberry, has lowered guidance on Q4 subscribers twice. The main explanation was that uncertainty around the NTP patent has delayed purchases. I am gonna have to call bullsh*t on that excuse.

I am sure some corporations and government agencies did put off purchasing, but I doubt it was the whole source of the shortfall. I think that companies are increasingly looking at Blackberry competitors for viable alternatives: Good Technology, Microsoft, Visto, etc. Also, it is problematic that over two thirds of RIMM's revenue comes from hardware sales - would Palm be a better play in that arena?

Interestingly, even with the huge Q4 miss RIMM pre-announced this month (slyly done the same day as the NTP patent resolution), analysts have not lowered expectations for the May Quarter for RIMM. I suspect RIMM is going to lower subscriber, revenue and earnings guidance for Q1 2007 (May) when they report on April 6th. I've been burned shorting RIMM before, so this time I purchased in-the-money puts that expire in April.

Disclosure: I own puts on RIMM shares.

Source: RIMM Likely to Guide Lower April 6th (RIMM)