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Apple IS the Issue at RIM

In my earlier post about Research in Motion's bitter earnings miss, I speculated that before investors rush off to sell their Apple shares in sympathy -- worried that iPhone sales might also be slow too -- they may want to study RIM's reasons for its shortfall.

And that appears to be good advice.

On RIM's conference call, it admitted that an enormous marketing push to fend off the coming iPhone onslaught was a key factor in the earnings miss.

  • Who Owns RIM?
  • Who Owns Apple?
  • Apple Peers/Rivals

More specifically, RIM spent nearly $380 million on marketing and advertising its BlackBerry. It's an enormous figure no one was counting on. We had an inkling that costs might be on the rise, but certainly not something like this.

So, as RIM's shares fall, and Apple's begin to recover from their sympathy slide, take the news in stride: RIM appears not to be scared to spend money to make money. But it didn't work all that well, since device sales still fell short of expectations.

Bottomline: RIM is taking steps to ward off Apple. That's the good news. The bad news for RIM, and the good news for Apple: That RIM has to spend this kind of money to try to get that job done. And it still didn't work. Which means it'll have to spend more next quarter.

Ouch.

Questions? Comments? TechCheck@cnbc.com

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