BlackBerry loses its sheen as demand slows

Research In Motion (RIM), the BlackBerry maker, faced up on Wednesday to the reality of slowing demand for its smartphones amid the economic turmoil and cut its third-quarter profit and revenue outlook.

Shares in the Canadian company fell by up to 7 per cent as it gave warning of weaker margins and lower than expected uptake of its new phones.

Consumer demand for high-end smartphones has been energised this year by the introduction of Apple's 3G iPhone. RIM, with its grip on the enterprise market, hit back with a series of launches, including the BlackBerry Bold and the touchscreen BlackBerry Storm, aimed more at consumers.

RIM said that it had enjoyed a record number of weekly net new subscribers in the final week of November after release of the Storm in the United States. The device has prompted queues at stores, but reviews have been mixed.

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