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RIM Shares Fall After U.S. Market Share Shrinks to 1.6%

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Nov. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Research In Motion Ltd. fell the most since June after the BlackBerry’s U.S. market share shrank to 1.6 percent, hurt by Apple Inc.’s iPhone winning more customers.

The stock dropped 11 percent to $10.72 at the close in New York, the biggest decline since June 29. While the shares have rallied more than 35 percent in November, they are still down 26 percent this year.

The device’s market share fell 6.9 percentage points over the 12-week period ended Oct. 28 from a year earlier, Kantar Worldpanel ComTech said today in a report. The iPhone’s share more than doubled to 48 percent, fueled by the debut of a new model.

RIM had been climbing this month amid growing optimism that the company’s BlackBerry 10 smartphones will be successful. The new lineup, due early next year, is the linchpin of RIM’s plan to challenge the iPhone and Google Inc.’s Android operating system in a market that it once led.

RIM was hurt as more customers dumped their BlackBerrys and switched to the iPhone 5, adding to the ranks of previous Apple customers who also upgraded to the latest model, said Dominic Sunnebo, a Kantar analyst.

“Apple has always managed to maintain loyalty levels far above the competition,” he said.

RIM has said the BlackBerry 10 models will go on sale in February on multiple continents and are currently being tested by more than 50 carriers. That has triggered at least three upgrades from analysts. Until the debut, sales are set to struggle as BlackBerry faithful hold off on upgrading to await the newer models.

Sales probably fell 49 percent last quarter to $2.65 billion, according to the average analyst estimate in a Bloomberg survey. RIM reports earnings on Dec. 20.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hugo Miller in Toronto at hugomiller@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net