Research In Motion ( RIMM), the Canadian maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, is seeing competition from other smartphone makers such as iPhone maker Apple erode its market share just as sales for such devices is growing by 50% annually.

And once smartphone users switch to other makers, they tend to stick, so this could be a sinking ship. The BlackBerry was plagued by a series of service outages in the U.S. and internationally early in October. And on Thursday, its top executive in India resigned.

Co-CEO Jim Balsillie, 50, once a billionaire, is now reportedly down to his last $800 million, but that hasn't kept him from trying to buy a National Hockey League team, so shed no tears for him. But the company's shares are down 67% this year and that's got to put a dent in that fortune.

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