Doubts persist about Research in Motion’s (Nasdaq: RIMM) ability to overcome a series of challenges, including winning back market share in the United States.
The stock slipped 11% at the open on Friday and didn’t improve as the trading day wore on.
Research in Motion hit a raw nerve when it warned that earnings will be down in the current quarter as it beefs up spending to launch the PlayBook tablet – its answer to the Apple iPad. The PlayBook goes on sale in North America on April 19.
But Research in Motion has a tough competitor in the iPad. iPad 2 went on sale internationally on Friday, less than a year after the original iPad went on sale.
Hundreds lined up outside of stores in Australia and New Zealand. Alex Lee, first in line in Sydney, Australia, said, ” I have an iPad 2 already. I have had previous iPads and I am actually getting an iPad for my sister and one for auction.”
But waning demand for the once ubiquitous BlackBerry is a bigger worry. Market share of the device is falling steadily as the iPhone and smartphones powered by Google’s Android software gain in popularity.
An upgraded BlackBerry device is not expected until the back end of this year.
Bottom line: Shares of Research in Motion tumble as investors question whether the device maker can overcome several challenges after warning of lower profits. The news is further evidence that, in the midst of The Mobile Revolution, software firms are more appealing investments than the device manufacturers.