Forget RIM Vs. Apple...More Like RIM Vs. Palm

Wednesday, 27 Jul 2011 | 3:38 PM ET

There are debates that in retrospect seem mighty silly. Prince vs. Michael Jackson. Vince Carter vs. Kobe Bryant. RIM vs. Apple.

RIM's market cap now stands at a paltry $13 billion, down from $70 billion just three years ago. Put another way, RIM's total market cap stands at half of what rival Apple sells in a quarter.

So how much lower can it go?

"The pain is just beginning," said Dan Nathanof Riskreversal.com, who's been bearish on the name for some time. "When Apple introduces its new i-Message service, it's over for BlackBerry."

The bullish case for the stock has always centered on the fact that if the company got cheap enough, someone would buy them.

But $14 billion is still a big chunk of change, and as Colin Gillis of BGC Partners points out, "management seems more inclined to be a buyer than a seller," referring to the company's repurchase plan. (Gillis has a SELL on the stock).

So maybe the better comparison is with Palm, not Apple. That company held out selling itself until the bitter end, eventually settling for Hewlett-Packard's $1.2 billion offer.

"Could it be the next Palm?" asked Gillis. "Absolutely."

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