Blackberry Sales Hit By Palm Pre & Apple's iPhone 3GS

After Gene Munster yesterday, another Piper Jaffray analyst, Michael Walkley, brings us news about Apple and incidentally Palm and how they are nibbling away at Research In Motion's smartphone sales.

RIM still sells one in every five smartphones on the planet and is second only to Finnish manufacturer Nokia. But Walkley reckons that the market is much more competitive with the new iPhone 3GS, the $99 iPhone 3G and the Palm Pre.

Sales of Blackberry handsets at AT&T and Sprint - which carry the iPhone and the Pre - were down while numbers at Verizon were weaker due partly to the end of a buy-one-get-one free promotion (which eroded margins anyway).

The Canadian manufacturer, which has been pushing out a number of new handsets like the Storm, the Bold and the Curve, could well face a rough second semester as other competitors including Samsung and LG launch a slew of smartphones, some of which will be based on Android.

Shares of the company fell during the day by 1.12 percent but managed to perform well after the close, currently up by 0.88 percent. RIM is hoping that the Blackberry Tour will revive its fortunes.

Apple insider is also reporting that a survey amongst 4000 smartphone buyers found out that 44 percent are planning to buy an iPhone compared to 23 percent for Blackberry and 8 percent for Palm.

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Our Comments

According to Changewave, which conducted the survey just after the iPhone 3GS was launched, this represents a 14 point increase over a previous survey in March. Not surprisingly, it is RIM which has been affected the most with its purchase intentions falling by 14 points.

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