RIM’s Fall Stalls as BlackBerry 10 Gets More Kudos Ahead of Release Date

Another day, another optimistic view of Research In Motion’s pending BlackBerry 10 operating system.

The Canada-based smartphone manufacturer isn’t set to release its wave of devices based on the new platform until Jan. 30, 2013, but that isn’t stopping brokerage firm Goldman Sachs from raising RIM’s rating based on the potential success of BlackBerry 10.

RIM’s stock price peaked at about $145 in June 2008, but started a steep decline as Apple’s iPhone and a bevy of devices running on Google’s Android operating system began to dominate the market. It bottomed out at $6.31 in September right after Apple unveiled the iPhone 5.

Don’t look now, but RIM might might be making a comeback. A flurry of optimism has brought its stock price back up to $11.50 (as of 3:28 p.m. ET Thursday). That’s up more than 3 percent for the day and about 80 percent in the last two months. Goldman raised its price target for RIM from $9 to $16, giving it a "buy" rating, up from "neutral," according to Reuters.

"With these [BlackBerry 10] devices RIM appears to finally be aiming for the leading edge hardware performance that was missing from its prior generations," Goldman analyst Simona Jankowski wrote in a note to investors.

This news just days after Jeffries & Co. upgraded RIM stock.

But is it false hope? RIM’s last OS, BlackBerry 7, was widely panned and poor sales followed. And we learned Wednesday that the future for BlackBerrys in the enterprise space is gloomy.

Meantime, RIM is being sued by Nokia in the U.S., the U.K. and Canada. The Finland-based company says the BlackBerry maker is in violation of patents related to Wi-Fi technology in its devices. Nokia wants a ruling from a Stockholm arbitrator to be enforced, one that might stop RIM from selling such gadgets. Nokia also wants royalties from RIM’s sales, the Wall Street Journal said.

The two companies might very well find themselves in a battle for third place in smartphone market share next year behind Samsung and Apple after RIM rolls out BlackBerry 10 devices and Nokia’s partnership with Microsoft and its Windows Phone starts to take hold.


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