Early Christmas Or April Fool’s?

Today many people are celebrating Christmas. But Christmas seemed to come early for Research In Motion. Last week the BlackBerry-maker said it expects revenue of $3.5 billion for the quarter ending in February, well above the $3 billion forecast by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. At...

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Today many people are celebrating Christmas. But Christmas seemed to come early for Research In Motion.

Last week the BlackBerry-maker said it expects revenue of $3.5 billion for the quarter ending in February, well above the $3 billion forecast by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. At the same time, tech-watchers were buzzing about Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ no-show announcement for Macworld, where he’s given the keynote for years–leading to more speculation about Mr. Jobs’ health and what will happen if he can no longer run the i-juggernaut.

On Wednesday RIM and Apple shares both closed down just under 2 percent. On Monday RIM shares closed down 2.9 percent and Apple shares, down 4.73 percent, indicating that investors seemed to have more confidence in the former. Increased sales and the struggles of its biggest rival: All this can mean nothing but good news for RIM, right?

Maybe not. Arguments continue over whether Apple’s device is superior to the BlackBerry Bold and Storm. And the iPhone represents 10 percent of all mobile ad requests in the United States, more than any other phone, says AdMob, showing why the handset remains important to mobile marketers. Meanwhile Apple may have learned from the first time Mr. Jobs left the company, and no one had the power to make seemingly-impossible demands and have final say on all products. “Decision by committee” may work on inane Hollywood blockbusters, but it proved a poor way to create new Apple gadgets. Perhaps right now Mr. Jobs has his successor–bestowed with his omnipotent authority–in place.

What do you think? Was this a premature Christmas for RIM–or an early April Fool’s?

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