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In this April 22, 2008 file photo, visitors look at a Cadillac Escalade SUV at the Auto China 2008 auto show in Beijing (Greg Baker)
In this April 22, 2008 file photo, visitors look at a Cadillac Escalade SUV at the Auto China 2008 auto show in Beijing (Greg Baker)

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RIM stock sinks but new BlackBerry 'closes the gap' Add to ...

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RIM unveils BlackBerry Torch Research In Motion Ltd. stock sank about 4 per cent in Toronto today after the company's eagerly awaited unveiling of a new touch screen BlackBerry with a slide-out keyboard. The stock sank despite an upbeat assessment from analysts, who noted that the launch closes the gap with RIM's competitors but painted it more of a catch-up move. The BlackBerry Torch also has a new operating system, the BlackBerry 6, and Web browser, all at boosting market share as RIM battles the likes of the iPhone from Apple Inc. and other new smart phones on the market. Here's what some analysts said:

  • "They finally caught up. They needed something sexy for the consumer. It didn't blow the doors off. But they're solidly on a level playing field." Maribel Lopez, Lopez Research, to Dow Jones Newswires
  • "It really closes the gap with Android and iPhone -- probably more Android, because Apple really offers something unique. But RIM really overhauled the user interface. I think they've regained their No. 2 position in terms of technology." Shaw Wu, Kaufman Brothers, to Reuters
  • "This gets them back in the game. It should slow the tide of people jumping ship." Ross Rubin, NPD Group, to Dow Jones Newswires
  • "The new OS catches up to the competition in many respects with an improved browser, touch interface, 5 [megapixel]camera, etc. However, the display resolution of 480x360 is not as high as those found on other competitive flagship smart phones (iPhone 960x640; Droid X 854x480) and, in our opinion, RIM still needs to improve its ecosystem." Phillip Huang, Maynard Um, UBS
  • "The fact that this device is going to be geared toward both enterprise and consumer, that will be a positive as people will feel that if they design for this device, they can hit two birds with one stone." Nick Agostino, Mackie Research Capital, to Reuters
  • "The Torch and OS6 put Research In Motion on firm competitive ground against Apple's iPhone and the Android devices, with a touch screen on par plus the BlackBerry keyboard. The key question is whether RIM can convince developers to prioritize this new platform above the competition." Charles Golvin, Forrester Research
  • "Developers want to go where the consumers are and consumers want to go where the developers are. RIM is going to have to tell a very compelling story to attract the first batch of developers." Michael Gartenberg, Altimeter Group, to Reuters

RIM's new BlackBerry Torch

The launch withAT&T Inc. in the United States, comes after a weekend flurry of controversy surrounding security concerns in several countries, notably the threat by the United Arab Emirates to shut down BlackBerry service in October if RIM doesn't take the measures needed to allow authorities to monitor communications.

In Dubai today, the UAE defended its decision, following the U.S. State Department's comments yesterday that it is disappointed by the move. "It is regrettable that after several years of discussions, BlackBerry is still not compliant with UAE regulatory requirements even as it complies with similar policies in other countries," Yousef al-Otaiba, the ambassador to Washington, was quoted as saying in local newspapers, according to Agence France Presse.

He said his country wants "exactly the same regulatory compliance" that RIM gives other governments.

RIM, not mentioning the UAE dispute directly, said in a statement today it has spent more than 10 years building a "very strong security architecture" and it wants to set the record straight:

"There is only one BlackBerry enterprise solution available to our customers around the world and it remains unchanged in all of the markets we operate in. RIM cooperates with all governments with a consistent standard and the same degree of respect. Any claims that we provide, or have ever provided, something unique to the government of one country that we have not offered to the governments of all countries, are unfounded."

What car thieves want most The 2007-2009 luxury Cadillac Escalade SUV, Ford F250 crew pickup, Infiniti G37 luxury car, and Dodge Charger with a HEMI engine rank at the top of the list for cars most stolen in the United States. Rates of theft for those vehicles run three to five times higher than the average for all vehicles, the Highway Loss Data Institute in Arlington, Va., said day. "Sedate family cars and fuel sippers aren't on the hot list," said Kim Hazelbaker, HLDI senior vice president. "Thieves are after chrome, horsepower, and HEMIs."

Highest losses:

  • Cadillac Escalade large SUV
  • Ford F-250 crew cab pickup
  • Infiniti G37 two-door luxury car
  • Dodge Charger (with HEMI engine) large car
  • Chevrolet Corvette Z06 sports car
  • Hummer H2 large SUV
  • Nissan Pathfinder/Armada large SUV
  • Chevrolet Avalanche 1500 truck
  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew cab pickup
  • GMC Yukon large SUV

Lowest losses:

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