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Apple's App Store Now Worth More Than All of RIM

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As 2011 winds to a close, things couldn't look much worse for Research in Motion (RIMM).

Co-CEOs Michael Lazaridis and James Balsillie have led the company into technological obsolescence and obscurity, dwarfed by the powerful performances of Android (GOOG) and iOS (AAPL) devices. Even the partnership between Nokia (NOK) and Windows Phone (MSFT) shows more promise than RIM's stubborn refusal to innovate. RIM's future looks even more bleak as the company announced that its next platform, BlackBerry 10, won't stock start shipping until the second half of 2012 -- an eternity considering the Android and iOS devices set to be released before then.

RIM's stock is now trading at 52 week lows, marking a 75% loss year-to-date, and finished last week with a total value of $7.04 billion. To put that into perspective, the entirety of Research in Motion is now worth less than Apple's App Store alone.

Author and analyst Brian S. Hall noted that if the value of the App Store represents 2% of Apple's $354 billion market cap -- a percentage estimated by analysis from Trefis -- that means Cupertino's online marketplace contributes $7.08 billion to the bottom line.

"The App Store is probably worth more than BlackBerry," Hall wrote. "All of BlackBerry. Just the App Store. Nothing else. Not the iPhone or iPod. Not Mac. Just the App Store."

In the last year alone, RIM developers are jumping ship, employees are revolting, the company is forcing subpar devices onto carriers like AT&T (T) and Rogers (RCI), and Lazaridis and Balsillie couldn't be more pleased with their performances.

If the company can't correct itself after a year like this, what's it going to take?

(See also: RIM's Co-CEOs Congratulate Each Other for Disastrous Performance and More RIM Employees Join the Mutiny)
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