Investors dump BlackBerry as iMessage seen major threat

June 8th, 2011 - 12:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, May 8 (IANS) Apple’s iMessage took its toll on the BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) Tuesday when its stock sank below $37 - the lowest level since 2007.

iMessage announced by Apple Monday will challenge RIM’s highly popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) instant chat service which has given the Canadian company an edge over its rivals.

An Internet-based service, the iCloud will allow users to have access to their data across their Apple devices - from the iPhone to the iPad to the iPod.

The Apple announcement made investors more jittery, plunging RIM stock on both the Toronto Stock Exchange and Wall Street Tuesday. It slipped more than three percent in Toronto to close at $36.92, and 2.8 percent on Nasdaq to close at $37.82.

Analyst Mike Abramsky of RBC Capital Markets - an investment bank of the top Royal Bank of Canada - who in April downgraded BlackBerry stock to ’sector perform’ with the price target of $55, said Tuesday that iMessage may create uncertainty among investors about “RIM’s long-term competitive position for BBM.”

The RIM stock has sunk more than 35 percent this year alone.

However, amid so much negative news about its future, the BlackBerry maker has acquired San Francisco-based company Scoreloop Inc. that specializes in mobile social games and weaving social media into mobile games.

“We’re excited that the Scoreloop team is joining the BlackBerry Developer team and bringing their expertise in creating social and collaborative gaming toolkits for mobile developers to the BlackBerry platform,” wrote Tyler Lessard, vice president of global alliances and developer relations, on RIM’s official developer blog.

“Scoreloop is a pioneer in mobile social gaming and offers a customizable and cross-platform social mobile gaming developer tool kit.”

Scoreloop said its acquisition by RIM will out it “in the unique position to integrate deeply into BlackBerry platforms to take mobile gaming to the next level altogether.”

It is in the battle of apps that RIM is way behind Apple and Google Android devices.

(Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at

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