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RIM is now worth less than its assets

Troubled BlackBerry maker's shares dip

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A fall in the share price of battered BlackBerry maker RIM puts the firm's market value below the value of all its stuff today.

With a share price of $18.59 at 12.21 EDT, Research in Motion's total stock added up to less than what its property, patents and other assets are worth, according to the book value of $18.92 a share calculated by Bloomberg at the end of last quarter.

RIM has taken a number of hits in the last couple of months, with dramatic cuts in its fondleslab offering, a massive network outage in EMEA that was a public relations disaster and the recent news that an update for the aforementioned tablet, the PlayBook, was being postponed.

The Canadian company's tablet product has become increasingly difficult to shift from the shelves, with retailers first slashing prices and then touting them in a buy-one-get-one-free offer.

One of the issues with the device is its lack of a native email client, a situation the company was supposed to be remedying with an update over the summer. Last week, however, RIM announced that it was deferring the OS upgrade until February next year. Even worse, that update still won't include BlackBerry Messenger.

Meanwhile, its massive network FAIL in Europe, the Middle East and parts of Asia last month went on for three days while the company danced around the issue, initially refusing to hand out information, then continuously insisting the network was back up as it failed once more and then going back to not giving out much information again.

While not having access to online services on their BlackBerrys was driving most users mad, the poor response from RIM seemed designed to needle them even more and drive punters to rival Apple's iPhone.

The combination of problems, added to RIM's failure to come up with an adequate response to the new kind of consumer-led smartphones, have prompted the sale of stock as the company reported a fall in its revenues for the quarter ending in September, the first time it's had to do that in nine years. ®

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