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 MarketWatch: BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion looks vulnerable to Apple iPhone 3G

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PostSubject: MarketWatch: BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion looks vulnerable to Apple iPhone 3G   Tue Jul 29, 2008 10:06 am

BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion's (RIM) "investors seem worried," Therese Poletti reports for MarketWatch. "RIM's high-flying shares have sold off more than 20% since peaking above $148 in mid-June. The stock took a sharp dip on the week that Apple launched its much-more competitive, lower-cost 3G iPhone on July 11."

"Adding more pressure to the stock are reports from the blogosphere about problems with a new touch-screen BlackBerry -- a product that the Waterloo, Ontario-based company has never even officially announced. But the touch-screen BlackBerry is real enough to RIM's shareholders and to Wall Street, where many analysts already have baked the release of the product into the company's outlook. On Monday, a RIM spokeswoman declined to comment on rumors," Poletti reports.

"In short, rumors about a product the company has never even claimed to have are contributing to a sell-off that's wiped out about $14 billion of its market value," Poletti reports. "'RIM's counting on new iPhone look-alikes to stem the tide,' wrote Charlie Wolf, a Needham & Co. analyst who downgraded RIM to a sell rating two weeks ago. 'While these models should enjoy some success, they have no hope of matching the secret sauce of the iPhone -- the tight integration of hardware and software that creates a unique user experience.'"

Poletti reports, "RIM and Apple appear to be on a collision course. Apple's new 3G iPhone now presents an even greater threat to RIM and its hard-core corporate users... The latest version of the iPhone software has more corporate-friendly functions in a sleeker package.... Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs has taken pains to single out the BlackBerry directly -- and publicly -- as his main target in the push to expand the user base of the iPhone."

"It is not a coincidence that one sharp drop in Research In Motion's stock came a few days after news that Apple sold 1 million units in the first weekend of 3G iPhone sales," Poletti reports. "The device continues to sell like hotcakes. Stores are still drawing long lines, with many selling out on a daily basis."

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