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BlackBerry Bold distant second to iPhone 3G demand

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iPhone 3G

According to the latest RBC Capital Markets report, 56% of consumers looking to pick up a smartphone in the next three months having the iPhone 3G at the top of their list, with the BlackBerry Bold following up at 23%. Ouch. So does this mean the iPhone’s features are wowing buyers? Not quite. The biggest factor influencing these decisions is the announced price cut of $199 on the 8 GB model and $299 for the 16 GB iPhone 3G. The extra speed from 3G was a close second point of interest, while GPS was the third most important factor. It’s bizzarre, considering the BlackBerry 9000 will be covering all of these bases, too – T-Mobile Germany’s price point for the Bold has been revealed, putting it in the same ballpark as the iPhone. Maybe if we had clearer information on BlackBerry Bold pricing, folks would be more inclined to consider it a competitor to the iPhone…

RIM tops Canadian brand rankings

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GraphWe already know RIM’s brand growth has been ungodly, but it couldn’t quite oust Apple’s King-of-the-Hill status. If we’re sticking to Canada though, BlackBerry is ruling the roost according to a study by Interbrand, with a brand value of $5,607.6 million. So not only is RIM topping the Toronto Stock Exchange, but they’re also the most recognizable Canadian company out there. Appropriately enough, the Royal Bank of Canada, previously numero uno on the stock exchange is also number two on the brand rankings. Check out the whole report here to check out the other big names in Canada.

RIM announces $150 million BlackBerry Partners Fund

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MoneyWhew, this maybe isn’t as sexy as a new device release, but this might just be bigger news over the long term. RIM today (tonight? This morning? Man, am I not going to enjoy my flight…) announced a joint initiative to create a fund investing in mobile applications and services. Here’s what RIM co-CEO, Jim Balsillie, had to say:

"The mobile world has evolved well beyond phone calls and simple messaging to require more empowering and liberating solutions that connect people to everything that matters most to them, wherever and whenever they want,” said Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO, Research In Motion. “RIM, RBC and Thomson Reuters share the common belief that mobile applications and services will propel the industry forward and the BlackBerry Partners Fund is being formed to help fuel innovation and activity in the mobile ecosystem."

Translation? ‘Oh man, we’ve been talking about moving beyond email for years now, but if we don’t invest more in our partners to maintain BlackBerry as a viable enterprise and consumer platform, Apple is going to eat our shorts.’ Still, $150 million is nothing to sneeze at; hey RIM, where do we sign up? www.blackberrypartnersfund.com? Sweet!

Royal Bank of Canada launches mobile site

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RBC logoThe RBC, or Royal Bank of Canada, has launched a new mobile site for their customers. A completely stripped down home page allows you to access your online banking with all the features that entails, the main RBC site, and their terms and conditions. For those Canadians banking from the Quebec side, it even has a French version. Last year RIM overtook RBC as the largest Canadian company out there. I guess if you can’t beat ‘em, might as well join ‘em.

RIM stock hits 52-week high

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Stock marketRIM’s stock hit a wooping $137.01 yesterday, marking a new peak for our buddies in Waterloo. A big part of the rally could be attributed to Credit Suisse for upgraded their old neutral rating and RBC Capital Markets for bumping their target price up to $180 from $120. You know, we’d love to do more stock news, but seems like every time we check out the ticker, it’s nothing beyond “yep, RIM’s doing awesome”. C’mon RIM, give us poor bloggers something catastrophic to work with, here. As of this morning, RIMM sits at $130.50.

UPDATE: RIM’s stock seems to be taking a pretty hefty drop today, despite the high yesterday. It’s down to 117.08… I guess this is the dive I was asking for, huh?

RIM is now Canada’s largest company

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RIMWell, the stock rush from yesterday has earned RIM status as Canada’s biggest company by market share value. The Royal Bank of Canada used to hold the spot as top dog on the Toronto Stock Exchange, but after falling to $53.58, RIM’s 1.1% climb was enough to make it king of the hill. Tech hasn’t been this big since Nortel, back in the heady days of 2000, and as both a Canadian and tech enthusiast that’s some pretty good news. Now we just have to wait and see if the Chinese release of BlackBerrys which spurred the rally was worth all the hype. It’s hard to imagine BlackBerry doing poorly over there, but you never know…