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Research in Motion Collapsing Under Android's Weight

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In March of this year, smartphone owners were polled on their loyalty for their particular device. Not surprisingly, Apple users showed the most dedication to the iPhone with 92% claiming they would keep Steve Jobs' baby. Android users also proved to be overwhelmingly loyal with 87% of respondents planning to re-up with Google.

However, BlackBerry owners showed little allegiance with the Research in Motion line. Nearly two out of five users said they "definitely or probably would" switch over to the iPhone, 34% would change to an Android device, and roughly half of BlackBerry users had no preference -- they just wanted something another than a BlackBerry.

Well, it's nine months later and that dissatisfaction has snowballed into a huge problem for Research in Motion. ITG Investment Research analyst Matthew Goodman took a look at Verizon's latest sales metrics and, despite RIM's market rally since September, things don't look good for the company's future.

Over the course of thirteen months, BlackBerry's share had gone from 94% of Verizon smartphone sales to just under 20% -- taking a massive nosedive as Motorola debuted its original Droid in November 2009. And as Google is now activating 300,000 Android devices per day -- not to mention the likely Verizon iPhone -- it seems unlikely BlackBerry will ever reclaim the carrier's top spot. Especially when it's relying on products like the Torch to remain relevant.

Worse yet, Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu told All Things Digital last week, "Verizon does not believe the pending launch of BlackBerry 6 on its network is likely to have a material impact." So if this attempted reinvention and rejuvenation of the device line won't cut it, how many more tries will it take? Does RIM know what to do? Can it even afford to try?

With each passing month, Research in Motion's desperate need to connect with customers wanting a fun device has become increasingly more critical. But as Google and Apple have that down pat -- with Microsoft getting closer -- being months or years behind is absolute suicide.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.