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In the Black

BlackBerry users can breathe a sigh of relief. Your hand-held email device won’t fail–BlackBerry maker RIM settled its patent-infringement lawsuit with NTP. The final settlement calls for RIM to pay $612.5 million.

RIM’s problems may be far from over, though. The company also warned Friday that it had signed on fewer new customers than they previously forecasted for the quarter ending March 4. And as cellphones with email and IM become commonplace, RIM may find itself left behind. Competition from the likes of Palm’s Treo and Motorola’s Q phone is likely to be fierce, and with additional competitors like Good Technology gaining ground, RIM still needs to differentiate itself from the pack. Adding to the heat, Microsoft is rumored to be introducing an ultra-portable tablet PC next week and Apple will supposedly follow suit next month.

Do you think the BlackBerry will endure? What can RIM do to position itself for future growth?

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