Shares of BlackBerry manufacturer RIM hit lowest point since 2003

Beleaguered BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion reached another low earlier this week after seeing its share price stumble to under $10 US (£6.45), marking the lowest financial level for the struggling company since 2003.

RIM's value fell by 5.8 per cent to $9.66 (£6.24) on the NASDAQ market at the close of business in New York on Monday evening, and has only experienced only a slight bounce back since - the troubled Canadian smartphone maker's stock started today trading at $10.07 (£6.51).

The four-day plummet in share value comes after the company admitted it was forecasting an operating loss for the quarter and following news that it was employing banks to help develop new strategic options. At the peak of its influence in the smartphone market, RIM reached a high of over $147 (£95).

With RIM's corridors of power in clear turmoil following new CEO Thorsten Heins' global restructuring drive, mass layoffs are expected in the near future following the recent departures of several high ranking executives.

This week's financial news will hardly assuage fears that BlackBerry handsets could feature as relatively high-spec doorstops in the future, with legal woes compounding RIM's headaches - a lawsuit alleging its network infringes on intellectual property was filed by Mobile Telecommunications Technologies LLC last week.

Now more than ever, the general consensus is that the incoming BB10 platform and flagship phones are make-or-break products for the company.