Citing expected gains by Apple and Android, BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion is getting a Wall Street downgrade.
Gleacher & Co., an investment banking firm, has dropped RIM from buy” to neutral.” Analyst Mark McKechnie clearly anticipates that a much-expected iPhone from Verizon will be rough on the Canada giant when he writes, We expect RIMM to lose share in the high-growth smartphone market as Apple and Android expand carriers and product breadth.” We’re expecting to see that device in Q1 2011. McKechnie added, We see increased competition in 2011 as smart phones move to the mid-range, alternative solutions penetrate the enterprise, and RIMM’s bandwidth efficiency has not yet translated to the consumer.”
The BlackBerry Torch, launched as an AT&T exclusive in August, will give RIM a temporary lift as more than 200 carriers worldwide will offer it by February 2011, but that success will be short-lived, McKechnie says, as the upgrade cycle completes and competition accelerates.” In fact, the analyst says BlackBerry is really just fighting for No. 3 in smartphones now, alongside Nokia, Palm and Windows 7.