Even though some investors have written off Research In Motion, the company is grabbing smartphone market share outside the U.S., mostly at the expense of
. Analysts will be watching to see if the launch of Apple's iPhone on the
network has crimped Research In Motion sales. To compete against the iPhone, the company has been delivering higher-priced products such as the Torch and Curve.
Then there's the PlayBook.
stores will begin carrying the tablet on April 19, with prices starting at $499 and topping out at $699. It will be supported by
, Verizon and
as well as Cellular South. Analysts at
said the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet's cost was "higher than expected." Goldman said the company had contended throughout production that the PlayBook would be competitively priced with the tablet standard, Apple's iPad2.
"Moreover, RIM's Wi-Fi version will only be able to connect to corporate email by tethering to a BlackBerry smartphone, thus limiting the enterprise use case to its installed base," the investment bank said.
As for Best Buy, its earnings will be announced before the opening bell. Analysts estimate earnings per share of $1.85, up marginally from earlier forecasts of $1.84. Best Buy is shutting its branded stores in China and Turkey, and getting into the wireless-service business. The company will sell wireless services using a network built by
. Testing begins in early 2012.
Also before the market opens,
plans to release earnings. The video-game retailer has already released November and December sales, and January's probably won't show much of a change. The
3DS launch will help, but since it's priced pretty high, it may not be the kind of blowout product the original DS was. Gamers are increasingly playing online instead of on consoles. Also, game sales have been soft due to a lack of new titles. Sales may remain flat until June, when console makers might cut prices.
Stock Market, March 24: What's on Tap
On the economic calendar, durable-goods orders and initial jobless claims will be released at 8:30 a.m. Durable-goods orders bounced back in January -- mostly as a result of a jump in orders for civilian aircraft. Durables orders in January rebounded a revised 3.2%, following a 0.6% dip in December. Transportation led January's overall gain, surging a monthly 27% after a 12% decrease in December. Outside of transportation, components were mixed. Looking ahead, major manufacturing surveys show strong levels for new orders for February, including ISM, Philly and New York Fed.
The monthly employment figures will likely give a clearer indication of the job market. As an example, initial jobless claims in the March 12 week gave back half of the prior week's rise with a 16,000 decline to 385,000. The four-week average was down 7,000 to 386,250 for its best reading of the recovery. Continuing claims data for the March 5 week fell 80,000 to 3.706 million in another recovery best. Still, some job seekers were no longer counted, muddying the picture.
-- Written by Debra Borchardt in New York.
>To contact the writer of this article, click here:
>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to
>To submit a news tip, send an email to:
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.