Apple’s iPhone may be in the ascendant, but competing players continue to face problems in the space, with Research In Motion shares falling 11 per cent on the pre-market this morning and the recently-introduced Palm Pre Phone this morning discounted to just $100 on Amazon.

Palm Pre carrier, Sprint, recently cut the cost of the Pre to $150 (after rebate on a 24-month contract), but Amazon today discounted that. That’s a $400 saving on the original retail price…and probably not a pretty sign for Pre…

Palm was in the news a lot this week, with market rumours speculating Nokia may make a bid to take over the company emerging at the same time as Palm issued a major tranche of new stock options in an attempt to pull in cold, hard investment cash.

The company also took a hit this week when the USB Forum declared it in the wrong to establish iTunes syncing on the Pre, and demanded to know why it was using Apple’s USB Vendor ID number in order to achieve this without Apple’s permission. The company now has only a few days to explain itself.

Over at Research In Motion, strong device sales in the just-gone quarter couldn’t hide Wall Street’s disappointment at the company’s confession it expected to miss analyst targets in its Q3 cycle.

Net profit declined 4% from this time last year to $475.6m on sales of $3.53bn (up 4% y-o-y). But analysts weren’t convinced the company could maintain momentum, particularly as it chases the low-end markets, with Goldman Sachs, Raymond James and Deutsche Bank all issuing downgrades, driving a sell-off in company stock.

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