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Melanie Rodier
Melanie Rodier
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BlackBerry: From Wall Street Staple To A Relic Of The Past?

Some analysts believe RIM's next earnings report, due Thursday, could spell the end of an era.

Until recently, you probably couldn’t name a Wall Street executive who could go a few minutes without tapping away on his BlackBerry. Today, it seems the BlackBerry could go the way of floppy disks.

On Thursday, Research In Motion, the maker of BlackBerry, will be releasing what could be its most important quarterly earnings in its history. The company, co-founded by wireless visionary Mike Lazaridis, has struggled to compete with Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android, and hired a new CEO in January. Some believe tomorrow’s report could mark the beginning of the end.

When I interviewed Lazaridis last year, he said he had always braced himself for the rise of BlackBerry’s competitors. RIM " believed very strongly that the industry would move very quickly to smartphones. We're at the center of a tornado," he noted.

[For more on Mike Lazaridis's thoughts on the BlackBerry and what could be the next big thing Mike Lazaridis: Wireless Visionary .]

But now, the tornado seems to have almost blown RIM away. Analysts say the BlackBerry 7 smartphones are aging rapidly and the company’s attempt to make inroads in the tablet market with the PlayBook have stumbled. RIM is also facing a potential class action lawsuit in Canada after a global service outage last October, which temporarily shut down the firm’s email, messaging and web service across the world. The outlook for the company seems bleak.

But while many analysts aren't convinced RIM has turned itself around, others say the BlackBerry might not be doomed yet, according to this MarketPlace Morning report.

Melanie Rodier has worked as a print and broadcast journalist for over 10 years, covering business and finance, general news, and film trade news. Prior to joining Wall Street & Technology in April 2007, Melanie lived in Paris, where she worked for the International Herald ... View Full Bio
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