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Analysts Predict Imminent Apple, BlackBerry Brawl

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Consider it a battle less for hearts and minds than for thumbs and ears. That's what may ensue between Apple (AAPL) and Research In Motion (RIMM), judging from recent Wall Street analysis and the performance of the companies' shares and marquee products.

Apple's iPhone is expected to sell 10 million units by the end of 2008. Meanwhile, RIM has 12 million subscribers, and its iconic BlackBerry is selling at a rate of about 4 million units a quarter. Shares in Apple have been trading near a record $200, while RIM reached a split-adjusted record of $137 in November.

Target markets for the iPhone and BlackBerry are starting to overlap as well. The iPhone is a media consumer's dream, playing movies and music with ease. But it's not as finely tuned for the corporate user; large companies have resisted letting employees use iPhones on corporate networks, and IT consultant Gartner (IT) has advised corporate clients to avoid the iPhone for now. Still, analysts speculate that Apple is working on a corporate-friendly version of its e-mail software or that Apple will announce that it's working with a third party to handle the job.

Read the whole story at BusinessWeek