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  • Playing the Angel

    • 8 out of 10
    • Depeche Mode
    • Oddly enough, Playing The Angel is a return to form for Depeche Mode, even though it may well be argued that they never truly deviated from their roots in their more recent offerings. In the

  • Is This It

    • 10 out of 10
    • The Strokes
    • The Strokes set the music world on fire with this 2001 album, with headlines declaring that the New York band was here to save Rock and Roll. While the band hasn't made as much of a splash since t

  • Haunted

    • 10 out of 10
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    • Dropping like a bomb on some of the blah musical offerings of her contemporaries, Haunted was one of the best albums of 2000, obliterating the competition.

      Ostensibly a tie-in to her brot

  • Trouble

    • 8 out of 10
    • Ray LaMontagne
    • At first, Ray LaMontagne might strike you as just another breathy-voiced knockoff of folk/rock guitarists like John Mayer and Jack Johnson. But he's actually got a better voice than either, he tell

  • Life's Rich Pageant

    • 8 out of 10
    • R.E.M.
    • In the long series of R.E.M.'s evolution, this album (finally?) showcases their ability to capture on tape what had been happening in the live for years: heartfelt, sweat-filled performances that just

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Needham: iPhone Threatens RIM BlackBerry

Needham & Company’s Charlie Wolf downgraded his rating on Research in Motion, Canadian makers of the BlackBerry, based on the threat from explosive sales of the Apple iPhone 3G.

"Sales of Apple’s iPhone 3G appear poised to blow through everyone’s forecasts," Mr. Wolf wrote in a research note to his clients on Wednesday. "While RIM’s dominance of the enterprise market appears secure, at least for now, the company’s great growth driver - the consumer market - is bound to come under siege because of the iPhone."

Mr. Wolf argues that RIM’s success so far has been been by default, a lack of competitive offerings for the enterprise. "That ended on July 11 with the introduction of the iPhone 3G," Mr. Wolf wrote. "Apple and RIM are not engaged in a zero-sum game. Nonetheless, the iPhone is bound to cut into BlackBerry’s incredible growth in the consumer smartphone market."

The Needham analyst is also skeptical that RIM can match Apple’s tight integration of the hardware and software as well as the application development program Apple has launched.

Mr. Wolf downgraded his Earnings Per Share (EPS) estimate for RIM from US$4.05 to $3.70 for 2008 and from $6.25 to $4.80 in 2009.

In the most recent ChangeWave Research report, RIM’s market share was hovering around 42 percent, while the Apple iPhone commanded about 9 percent. However, that was back in March. Even then, the percentage of buyers planning to buy an iPhone was rising, and with the recent launch of the iPhone 3G, the perception, now reinforced by Mr. Wolf, is that Apple is poised to take market share away from RIM.

Mr. Wolf made a good point. Apple has developed and sought a patent on a new gesture language, added significant features to the iPhone 3G for the enterprise, nourished a vigorous developer program and has a robust OS X-based smartphone OS and software development kit (SDK). One has to wonder what Apple’s competitors have been doing since June 30, 2007 to create encouraging prospects.

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