RIM shares hit by iPhone announcement

Shares of Research in Motion fell almost eight per cent Tuesday as investors bet that Apple Inc.'s new iPhone could eat into RIM's lucrative BlackBerry business.

Shares of Research in Motion fell almost eight per cent Tuesday in the wake of Apple Inc.'s unveiling of its iPhone.

In TSX trading, RIM stock closed at$154.01, down $12.82.Even with that drop, RIM shares have still doubled over the last year.

Apple's new iPhone is a mobile phone thatCEO Steve Jobs claims will "revolutionize" smartphone technology because it doesn't use a keyboard or a stylus. Instead, it has a touch screen.It plays and downloads music, incorporating the features of Apple's popular iPod. It alsoallows users to access the internet.

The iPhone will offer free "push" e-mail from Yahoo. That makes it a competitor for RIM's BlackBerry device, as well as RIM'srecently launched BlackBerry Pearl, which is aimed atthe consumer market.

There had been speculation that RIM and Apple might announce some kind of collaboration on an "iBerry" device. Some analysts speculated thatinvestors may have been disappointed that there was no such announcement, Dow Jones reported Tuesday.

Makers of other smartphones also saw their share prices drop. Shares of Palm, maker of the Treo smartphone, fell six per cent in Nasdaq trading. Shares of traditional mobile phone makers Nokia and Motorola also fell, but by smaller amounts.

Apple shares, on the other hand,jumped more than eight per cent inNasdaq trading — rising $7.10 to $92.57 US.