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By Jason Stipp | 10-14-2011 11:00 AM

Backing Down

As economic and corporate pressure heats up, will some players back down?

Jason Stipp: I'm Jason Stipp for Morningstar, and welcome to the Friday Five.

As economic and corporate pressure heats up this week, we saw some players back down.

Here with me to offer the detail is Morningstar markets editor Jeremy Glaser.

Jeremy, thanks for being here.

Jeremy Glaser: You're welcome Jason.

Stipp: So what do you have for the Friday Five this week?

Glaser: This week, we're going to take a look at Research in Motion, Universal Studios, earnings, the trade gap with China, and finally at the European Union.

Stipp: So, Jeremy, just when things really couldn't get much worse for Research In Motion, BlackBerry had some technical problems this week--another big issue facing this Canadian company. What's the future for them? What's going on?

Glaser: It's really been incredible. Research In Motion has, as you said, had a lot of problems. They haven't been able to get out new phones, that can compete with the newest Android handsets, with the newest iPhone. To say their tablet had a lackluster debut would probably be a bit of an understatement. They have two CEOs, neither of whom really seem to be in charge. They really seem to be having a lot of problems.

And this week really their bread and butter broke--the BlackBerry servers that push e-mail and push BlackBerry messages out to their users went down for days. About half of BlackBerry users, maybe even more, were impacted across the entire globe, and BlackBerry isn't really sure what happened. It took them days to get it back; they finally did on Thursday. It'll take a while for that backlog of e-mails to get delivered, but they don't know what happened, and they've apologized, but I mean other than that, it really cuts to the core of their business.

People still use BlackBerry today not because it's the flashiest but because they think it's the most secure, because enterprises are comfortable deploying it to lots of workers. And if they keep having these kind of technical problems, and people don't trust their e-mail systems anymore when their colleagues' iPhones are working great, that's not going to be great for future sales. I think they are already struggling. I think this is only going to make it more difficult for them.

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