Updated since 12:38 pm EDT with stock price and analyst comment.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Investors will try to read beyond Research In Motion's ( RIMM) top line for clues to the BlackBerry maker's business.

RIM reports after the bell Wednesday and analysts expect solid sales numbers for the fiscal fourth quarter. But the worriers have some concerns, mostly about the cost of those sales -- specifically the erosion of margins and phone prices.
RIMM

It's possible that peaking BlackBerry Bold sales in the U.S. and Europe and the growing popularity of the lower-priced BlackBerry Curve could cause RIM's sales to beat estimates. Analysts are looking for sales of $4.3 billion, up 10% from the $3.92 billion level in the prior quarter.

Analysts expect adjusted profit to be $1.28 a share and gross margin to be about 43.3%.

The weakness, if there is any, could come in phone pricing. In December, RIM forecast the average sales price or ASP for BlackBerries to increase to $320 from $317. But stiff competition from Apple's ( AAPL) iPhone and Google ( GOOG) Android phones may have caused RIM to cut prices in order to keep sales running at a brisk pace.

"Fire-sale prices of the Bold 9700 through AT&T ( T)" make gross margins a "wild card," says Rodman Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar.

But other observers say sales growth more than offsets the drop in average prices.

RIM's recent results support this thesis as third quarter revenue rose 12% quarter-over-quarter, while ASPs dropped by 8%, notes Morgan Stanley analyst Ehud Gelblum in a RIM preview report.

If gross margins narrow and phone prices slip, investors may not feel that the revenue growth is worth the sacrifice.

RIM's shares were down 1% to $74.48 in afternoon trading Wednesday.

--Written by Scott Moritz in New York

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