Apple, RIM Shares Slide

Shares of Apple and Research In Motion fell Tuesday, just a day after the BlackBerry maker entered the tablet market.
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Publish date:

Updated to include closing prices.

CUPERTINO, Calif. (

TheStreet

) -- Shares of

Research In Motion

(RIMM)

and

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

finished lower on Tuesday, just a day after the BlackBerry maker entered the tablet market.

RIM, which launched its

eagerly-anticipated PlayBook tablet

on Monday, saw its stock fall 3% to close at $46.91 in Tuesday's trading.

RIM's decline is hardly out of the blue. Sell-offs after major launches are common in the tech sector, given that

stocks typically accelerate heading into product announcements.

Based on Monday's close at $48.36, RIM shares were up almost 13% in September, outpacing gains in the broad market.

For their part, Apple shares got as low as $275 early in the session amid speculation that Tim Cook, its chief operating officer, would leave the company to become the new CEO of

Hewlett Packard

(HPQ) - Get Report

. But the stock bounced back from those levels and managed to finish down just 1.5%, or $4.30, at $286.86 as the

talk got squelched.

HP met with analysts and institutional investors on Tuesday and gave a

bullish fiscal 2011 outlook

but didn't announce its next leader.

PlayBook vs. iPad

RIM is touting the PlayBook as a viable challenger to the

Apple iPad

. The Canadian phone giant has described the PlayBook as a "professional-grade" tablet device, and is clearly hoping to capitalize on the BlackBerry's popularity in corporate America.

"The PlayBook's big advantage over the iPad for enterprise customers is that many businesses already have BlackBerry smartphones deployed and are using the BlackBerry Enterprise Server product to manage their connectivity," explained Ovum analyst Tim Renowden, in an email to

TheStreet

. "Enterprise IT managers understand the security and device management advantages that BlackBerry has over Apple, and RIM will maintain these advantages with the PlayBook, which is fully compatible with existing BlackBerry services."

The tablet, which supports

Adobe

(ADBE) - Get Report

Flash Player 10.1, can link up with users' BlackBerry devices via a Bluetooth connection. Users can therefore use their tablet and smartphone interchangeably without worrying about syncing or duplicating data.

The PlayBook's impressive-sounding features still don't trump the fact that Apple has racked up a massive lead in the tablet space. As analysts scramble to raise their 2011 iPad estimates, RIM isn't even out of the gate yet -- the BlackPad won't launch until early next year.

"The danger for RIM is that Apple already has a big head start in the tablet market, and the buzz around its apps and 'cool factor' is significant," explained Ovum's Renowden. "Many business users will want to bring their own iPads into the work environment, so this is going to be a long and hard fought battle for RIM."

RIM has not yet released its PlayBook pricing, which will prove key in clawing tablet share from Apple. The

San Francisco Chronicle

says that the device could cost between $400 and $500. Apple's iPad pricing starts at $499.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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