updated 09:25 am EDT, Wed July 16, 2008
iPhone 3G threat to RIM
The iPhone 3G stands to deeply undermine leading smartphone maker Research in Motion, argue analysts with Needham & Co.. The firm contends that while RIM is firmly established in the enterprise world, and it has made dramatic gains in the consumer world with phones like the BlackBerry Pearl, this success has not been due to impressive new offerings so much as a lack of any substantial competition, including even the original iPhone. All this has changed with the 3G, says Needham.
With Apple having already announced 1 million in 3G sales, and demand remaining "unabated," according to Needham, the device is poised to eat into RIM's potential growth. Needham is thus shifting its rating of the company's stock from "hold" to "underperform," and lowering EPS (earnings per share) ratings for both 2008 and 2009.
It is believed, though, that RIM is unlikely to disappear from the smartphone realm. "Apple and RIM are not engaged in a zero-sum game," writes Needham, and as the smartphone market grows, it is possible that the two companies may settle into their own respective niches.