BlackBerry can handle a Verizon iPhone

By Hibah Yousuf, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- BlackBerry maker Research in Motion continues to command the largest smartphone market share, and it's likely to hold a leading position even if the rumor that Apple is developing an iPhone to run on the Verizon Wireless network proves true.

Shares of RIM (RIMM) slipped almost 1.3% Tuesday on the Verizon iPhone speculation, but analysts maintained upbeat views of the Canadian company, noting that RIM and Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) can both continue to gain market share.

While the iPhone attracts users interested in a multimedia experience and web surfing, the BlackBerry targets customers focused on messaging and enterprise.

"Ultimately with just 6% combined share of the cellphone market, both RIM and Apple have enough headroom to grow and prosper," said Bank of America research analyst Vivek Arya in a research note.

By converting more users from feature phones to smartphones or luring in dissatisfied AT&T iPhone users, Arya added that an iPhone on the CDMA carrier could just expand Verizon's smartphone pie, rather than cutting into RIM's slice at Verizon.

And last quarter, when Verizon (VZ, Fortune 500) promoted Motorola's (MOT, Fortune 500) Droid smartphone that runs Google's (GOOG, Fortune 500) Android platform, RIM still managed to ship a record 3.3 million BlackBerry devices to the carrier, 30% more than a year earlier. It also maintained strong sales at Sprint (S, Fortune 500).

According to a recent report from technology data tracker comScore, RIM dominates 43% of the U.S. smartphone space and its share is growing at a faster pace than Apple's 25%.

RIM also boasts a competitive edge in international markets. The company's shipments outside of the United States and Canada soared 80% in 2009 from a year earlier, accounting for almost a third of total shipments.

Despite the robust growth, RIM only holds 9% of international market share, leaving plenty of room to grow, said Arya.

RIM is expected to report fiscal fourth-quarter earnings Wednesday after the market closes.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the company's earnings will surge 42% to $1.28 per share. Revenue is expected to climb 24% to $4.3 billion from a year earlier.  To top of page

Just the hot list include
Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 24,700.21 -287.26 -1.15%
Nasdaq 7,725.58 -21.44 -0.28%
S&P 500 2,762.59 -11.16 -0.40%
Treasuries 2.89 0.00 0.00%
Data as of 4:13am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Advanced Micro Devic... 16.69 -0.42 -2.45%
AT&T Inc 32.39 0.20 0.62%
General Electric Co 12.95 -0.25 -1.89%
Bank of America Corp... 29.26 -0.14 -0.48%
Micron Technology In... 59.25 0.80 1.37%
Data as of Jun 19
Sponsors

Sections

The two automakers said they are "exploring a strategic alliance" to work on joint projects, including commercial vehicles. More

While patents are intended to protect intellectual property, they're also seen in the tech industry as a way to boost the brands of companies and their employees. More

The state's booming industries will be looking for skilled workers and this online community college intends to retrain them. More