RIM calls internationally

by Brenon Daly

As Research In Motion gets set to report fiscal first-quarter financial results later this afternoon, investors will be paying particularly close attention to the company’s international business, which has essentially provided most of the growth it has put up recently. Overseas sales have outstripped lackluster sales in RIM’s core markets of the US and Canada to the point where the home markets account for less than half of total sales.

It’s perhaps fitting, then, that RIM’s acquisition strategy shares a similar cosmopolitan approach. We’ve already noted the company’s recent acceleration of M&A activity, with the smartphone maker announcing as many deals so far in 2011 as it did in all of 2010. And yet, that deal flow has increasingly been coming from overseas. RIM’s previous two acquisition targets – Scoreloop, a mobile gaming developer, and mobile device management vendor ubitexx – were both headquartered in Germany. Add in its December purchase of Swedish design firm The Astonishing Tribe, and fully three of RIM’s eight deals over the past year have been done overseas.