RIM shares down 10% amid BlackBerry's loss in market share in key U.S. market

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WATERLOO, Ont. - Research In Motion shares took a substantial step back Tuesday from recent gains, closing down 10 per cent amid a report that BlackBerry's share of the U.S. market has fallen to just two per cent.

Shares in the Waterloo, Ont.,-based tech company closed down $1.20 to $10.70 in heavy trading of 10.4 million shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Until Tuesday, the stock had risen about 50 per cent in November as several analysts upgraded their views of the company after it set a firm launch date for its upcoming BlackBerry device.

But the latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech showed BlackBerry market share in the U.S has fallen to 1.6 per cent in the 12-week period ending Oct. 28. That's compared to 8.5 per cent in the three-months ended last October.

The loss came as Apple's iPhone made a 25.7 per cent gain, now capturing 22.4 per cent of the crucial consumer market. The iPhone's gain also came at the expense of Android phones, whose market share fell 16.6 per cent to 46.7 per cent of the market.

Apple launched its hotly anticipated iPhone 5 in September, on the same day BlackBerry users in Europe, the Middle East and Africa experienced a massive outage.

The research firm said six per cent of iPhone 5 sales came from former BlackBerry users switching devices.

RIM has under 10 per cent of market share in the tech-savvy North American market. Its new operating system, expected to better browse the web and be app friendly, is considered a make-or-break product for RIM.

Its market share also fell in other countries studied in the report. It was down 11.1 per cent in the U.K., nine per cent in France, 20.3 per cent in Spain and six per cent in Brazil. There was no data on market share in Canada.

RIM is scheduled to release its next financial report on Dec. 20, for the fiscal third quarter ending on Dec. 1.