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RIM's Consumer Craving

10:40 AM -- One reason why focusing on consumer smartphones, such as the rumored 9000 series, makes sense for BlackBerry right now are fears that the Canadian company may see a slowdown in sales to the financial services market, thanks to the dreaded credit crunch. (See RIM's Touching New BlackBerry Plans.)

UBS Research put out a report this morning suggesting that consumer sales would likely make up any shortfall in sales in the financial market, a traditionally strong vertical for the BlackBerry maker.

UBS still views the "consumer as the story through the holidays," writes analyst Maynard Um. "Though we're not dismissive of a financial vertical impact to RIM, we think consumer growth could offset." UBS is maintaining its Buy rating and $150 target for RIM's stock.

Mobile enterprise email maven RIM has been growing its mass-market consumer base in 2007 with devices such as the Pearl and Curve. The 9000 series could potentially continue that process through 2008. The Pearl in particular represented almost 55 per cent of RIM’s total shipments in the first quarter of 2007. (See BlackBerry Bumper Crop in '08.)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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