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BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) has pulled some exceedingly rare positive news out of the hat in the middle of a grim month for the mobile sector.

While the rest of the mobile sector is ailing as consumers hold back from buying high-end handsets, RIM's latest figures show it milking it big time.

Reporting its year-end results this week, RIM said it had nearly doubled its revenues in the last year. There are now officially 14 million CrackBerry accounts out there.

RIM reported that it had turned over $6.01bn on handsets and services in fiscal year 2008, up 98 per cent from fiscal 2007, topping analyst estimates which reckoned it wouldn't break through the $6bn barrier. Shares rose six per cent on the news.

Net income also bounced, rising to $1.29bn from $630m the year before.

"Heightened retail activities helped drive exceptional subscriber growth during the fourth quarter," said Jim Balsillie, one half of RIM's CEO double-act. "Looking forward, the prospects for RIM and the industry are more exciting than ever."

RIM most likely has that industry tightly defined, stretching little beyond its own monopolistic position.

Other handset makers, like Motorola, have been less fortunate. ®

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