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Research In Motion Drops the Torch

By Anders Bylund - Updated Apr 6, 2017 at 12:10PM

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As the BlackBerry empire lies dying, stores stay stocked with unsold phones.

This just in: The BlackBerry Torch isn't so hot.

If you've been pining for the latest and greatest BlackBerry out of Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM), you can take your sweet time making your way over to the mall. Most stores have plenty of BlackBerry Torches in inventory, and there were never any long lines to speak of to buy them.

This is a stark contrast to what happens whenever Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) delivers a new innovation to the masses, or when Verizon (NYSE: VZ) presents a new Android phone. Heck, even lowly Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) can hardly crank out its high-end models as fast as customers are snapping them up. And RIM itself is used to better treatment: The Storm did sell out in many stores and even inspired opening-day lines that would have felt right for a new Star Wars movie.

But in the words of Bob Dylan, "The times, they are a-changin'." Many hardcore CrackBerry addicts are switching to iPhones or Androids these days, and the consumer space looks like a lost cause for the BlackBerry faithful. The enterprise market is still a stronghold for the Canadians, but with the competition growing more business-friendly year after year, you have to wonder how much longer that strength will last.

This ain't your daddy's wireless market anymore, or even your older sibling's, considering how fast it moves. Nokia (NYSE: NOK) is losing ground on a global level, and RIM seems out of touch with its core American customers. What would it take to reverse the trend and make the BlackBerry desirable again -- or has that ship already sailed across the far horizon? I'm not sure, and the scary part is that RIM might not be, either.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. Nokia and Sprint Nextel are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Apple is a Stock Advisor choice. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.

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Stocks Mentioned

Apple Inc. Stock Quote
Apple Inc.
$164.87 (-0.29%) $0.48
Verizon Communications Inc. Stock Quote
Verizon Communications Inc.
$44.54 (-0.91%) $0.41
BlackBerry Stock Quote
$6.90 (2.22%) $0.15
Sprint Corporation Stock Quote
Sprint Corporation
Nokia Corporation Stock Quote
Nokia Corporation
$5.20 (-1.14%) $0.06

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