BlackBerry maker's shares fall to seven-year low

Research In Motion

RIM's slice of the lucrative U.S. smartphone market fell to 9 percent in the third quarter, down from 24 percent a year earlier, research firm Canalys said in a report this week.

Globally, the report placed RIM in fifth place among competitors, with 10 percent market share, compared to 15 percent a year earlier. It was the latest in a string of data points tracing RIM's dwindling global market share.

"There's no disputing that RIM are in a really difficult place at the moment," said Pete Cunningham, an analyst with Canalys.

RIM shares were down 3.2 percent to C$19.03 per share in midday trade on Wednesday, after falling more than 4 percent earlier in the day to as low as C$18.77. That was the lowest since March 24, 2004, when shares dropped as low as C$18.55.

RIM's stock has been battered over the last year as the company struggles to adapt its devices to a new operating platform known as QNX that is still months away from being available on its smartphones.

The stock fell 2.7 percent to $18.77 on the Nasdaq, a six-year low.

($1=1.01 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Pav Jordan; Editing by Frank McGurty)