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RIM's government market share said to be on the rise

Company's senior vice president of BlackBerry Security says the "federal business on whole is up."


Well, at least one part of Research In Motion's business is on the rise.

Speaking to Bloomberg in an interview published today, Scott Totzke, RIM's senior vice president of BlackBerry Security, said that his company's revenue on sales to the federal government "on whole is up."

"The employee base is shrinking, so if we're looking at a market with fewer employees and our install base is stable to slightly up, that would seem to indicate that we have an increasing market share," Totzke said.

Totzke's comments seem to underscore the unenviable position his company finds itself in as RIM tries to grasp at straws to find silver linings. Although government sales are a component in RIM's business, they're not central to its success. In the areas where the company must succeed -- the enterprise and the consumer space -- RIM is falling short.

That was made abundantly clear late last month when RIM's new CEO, Thorsten Heins, admitted to shareholders that "substantial change" is what his company needs. He went on to tell investors that he plans to center RIM's focus on business services and products, and stop "trying to be all things to all people."

Still, it's not clear what will save RIM's free fall. The company endured a loss in the fiscal fourth quarter as BlackBerry shipments dropped 80 percent compared with the prior year. Meanwhile, RIM continues to say that BlackBerry 10 will save the day, but that launch isn't expected until later this year.

So, will government sales help keep RIM afloat until then? Don't count on it. According to Bloomberg, RIM sold just 400,000 devices to the U.S. government over the last 12 months. Just 40 percent of the company's government customers upgraded to new devices in that span, according to Totzke.