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Apple set to unveil iPad2
Published on 8 Dec. 2010 9:08 PM IST
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Shares of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) have retreated after two brokerages downgraded the Canadian wireless giant in view of the stiff competition from Apple's iPhone and Google Android devices.
RIM stock closed Tuesday at $62.12, slipping about two percent immediately after its downgrading by CSLA brokerage to "underperform" and by Gleacher & Co to "neutral" for 2011.
Its shares had registered big gains last weak after RIM touted its yet-to-be-launched PlayBook tablet as a better performer than Apple's iPad.
The RIM downgrading also came amid reports that Apple is set to release a new version of the iPad early next year even before the BlackBerry's PlayBook hits the US market in the first quarter of 2011.
According to Digitimes, Taiwan's Foxconn Electronics, which makes Apple products, will ship the iPad2 "within the next 100 days with initial shipments to reach 400,000-600,000 units".
Digitimes said: "The iPad 2 will ship as soon as the end of February in 2011. Apple originally planned to start mass production in January, but because the device's firmware is currently still in testing, Apple has been postponing the schedule."
After sinking below $50, RIM stock rose last week after its intense video campaign to promote the PlayBook tablet and positive reports about the Torch 9800 smart phone.
In a 3-minute video last month, RIM showed how its PlayBook will beat Apple's iPad in terms of features, size and performance. In fact, RIM shares shot up 5.40 percent last Tuesday on these positive reports.
But the two brokerage firms see shrinking of RIM's share in the smart phone markets as the iPhone and Google Android devices continue their onslaught on the BlackBerry.
The RIM smart phone, which till last year dominated the US market, has been overtaken by both the iPhone and Google Android devices.
Since RIM's BlackBerry App World is no comparison to Apple's, RIM Tuesday said it started accepting new apps from independent developers. In a statement, RIM said developers can become eligible to get a free BlackBerry PlayBook if their app is submitted and approved for distribution on BlackBerry App World prior to the launch of the PlayBook early next year.

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