The New York Times dropped its downloadable application for BlackBerry users, dealing a setback to Research In Motion Ltd. as it races to introduce a new version of the mobile device early next year.
BlackBerry users can still access the newspaper through the mobile website, which will become the focus of its electronic-publishing efforts, New York Times Co. said in a message on its site. Users of Apple Inc.’s iPhone and devices built on Google Inc.’s Android software can still get their New York Times news through dedicated apps.
RIM is fighting to stay relevant to U.S. consumers after sales in the country fell 47 percent last year. The company’s share of the U.S. smartphone market shrank to 12 percent in the first quarter, from 16 percent in the previous three months, according to research firm ComScore Inc. Google’s Android accounted for 51 percent, while Apple had 31 percent.
Google said in November it would stop supporting its Gmail application for BlackBerry devices.
RIM dropped 1.7 percent to $6.81 at the close today in New York. The stock has lost 95 percent of its value since reaching a closing high in 2008 of $147.55.
RIM offers its users more than 2,100 news and information apps to BlackBerry users and RIM’s base of BlackBerry software suppliers grew 157 percent last year, Marty Mallick, vice president of global alliance and business development, said in an e-mailed statement.
“Applications and content are strategic areas in which RIM continues to invest as we work to build the future of the BlackBerry platform.”