It seems every misstep by Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) sees Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) trading higher, and it’s no wonder given that the once ubiquitous BlackBerry smartphone is now being held up as a basis for comparison in the smartphone market, where it just can’t compete with Android and the iPhone.
Research in Motion’s announcement today that it is dealing with a BlackBerry outage in the Americas similar to service disruptions that have cropped up in other parts of the world comes just as Apple prepares to launch the new iPhone 4S. Apple’s newest iPhone received over 1 million pre-orders on Friday alone.
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The iPhone is already the single most dominant smartphone in the U.S., and will soon be available through not just Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T (NYSE:T), but also Sprint (NYSE:S). Furthermore, Apple’s 2 1/2 year-old iPhone 3GS will become the first free iPhone ever, available for customers signing up for a two-year contract with any of the three aforementioned carriers. The relatively high price of the iPhone was at least partially protecting RIM’s market share for lower-end devices, but such will no longer be the case.
Of course, lower-end Android phones have been available for some time now, and smartphones using Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android OS dominate the U.S. market with more shipments than any other mobile operating system. Even Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Nokia (NYSE:NOK) seem to have a better strategy than RIMM. It might already be too late for BlackBerry to reclaim its share of the market, but if the company’s new smartphones continue to pale in comparison to its rivals, in terms of both features and price, Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) will surely disappear into oblivion, leaving Apple and Google to scavenge its leftovers.