Is BlackBerry maker Research in Motion on the verge of becoming obsolete, or is it the next big thing in tech? Investors can’t seem to make up their minds.
Shares of RIM (RIMM) are down 9% this year. The stock took a nasty tumble over the summer on concerns that sales growth may slow in the wake of competition from Apple’s (AAPL, Fortune 500) iPhone and iPad as well as an army of Google (GOOG, Fortune 500)-enabled Android phones and tablets from the likes of Motorola (MOT, Fortune 500), Samsung and others.
Some investors wondered if RIM was destined for the same fate as Palm. That company once ruled the mobile world, but its Pre and Pixi smartphones didn't capture the public’s fancy. Palm wound up selling out to Hewlett-Packard (HPQ, Fortune 500) earlier this year for $1.2 billion, a fraction of what the company was once worth.
But RIM has surged nearly 45% since hitting a 52-week low in August. During that timeframe, the stock has outperformed mighty Apple.
Much of the newfound RIM excitement is centered on the company’s PlayBook tablet. RIM officially unveiled it in September and the device is slated to go on sale in early 2011.