So we underestimated Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) again. And by "we" I mean me, you, and everybody else.

The BlackBerry maker's third quarter shocked us all with strong results. Year-over-year revenue growth of 40% brought sales to $5.5 billion, comfortably above the $5.4 billion analyst consensus. RIM beat expectations ever so slightly in both the number of units sold and the average price per unit, though the company added just a hair fewer net new subscribers than predicted. This means RIM is preaching to the BlackBerry choir somewhat more than analysts assumed -- but 5.1 million new subscribers is nothing to sneeze at. In fact, rapid-growth phenom Netflix would sell its grandmother for that kind of growth.

The strong sales and equally impressive pricing power trickled down to the bottom line in the form of $1.74 in earnings per share -- again far ahead of the $1.65 per share consensus estimate.

These numbers seem to show strong adoption of the recently introduced Torch smartphone, despite early reports of slow sales. But if that were the case, you'd expect the company to trumpet this fact from the rooftops as its latest and greatest innovation is meeting with huge customer acceptance. Instead, the press release never mentioned the Torch by name. In the earnings call, co-CEO Jim Balsillie simply stated that the "Torch and BlackBerry 6 are receiving strong support from our partners." There was no break-out of unit numbers, which makes me think that the sales weren't as impressive as RIM had hoped.

So RIM is delivering strong results even as it loses smartphone market share to Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhones and to Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Androids. The growth story isn't exactly over yet, but the company is nevertheless becoming an also-ran -- a rising smartphone tide lifts all boats, but RIM needs to come up with something new in order to sustain that boost. And I'd be far more comfortable with RIM's outperformance if the company would be more forthcoming with where the growth came from.

Add RIM to your Foolish watchlist to keep a close eye on how this story plays out.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares of Netflix but holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. Google is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Apple and Netflix are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. The Fool owns shares of Apple and Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.