Apple's Problems Spotlight Hot Handheld Appliance Sector - TheStreet

Updated from 12:34 p.m. ET

Apple's

(AAPL) - Get Report

earnings

warning caused more damage in the already bruised PC sector. But it also had some very beneficial effects on some handheld appliance stocks.

The most dramatic gains came from

Research in Motion

(RIMM)

, which makes the

Blackberry

souped-up pager. The stock Friday finished regular trading up $15.13, or 18%, to $98.56 after the company reported stronger-than-expected revenue and a smaller-than-expected loss Thursday night.

One other handheld bet climbed, too, though not as hyperbolically as Research in Motion.

Palm Computing

(PALM)

was up 81 cents, or 1.6%, to $52.94.

Handspring

(HAND)

, in the midst of a phenomenal run sparked by excitement over its forthcoming

VisorPhone

module, was down, however, falling $7.31, or 9.6%, to $69.06 after being up about 2% near noon.

Meanwhile, PC makers led by Apple were heading down on demand concerns.

Apple was off $27.75, or 52%, to $25.75;

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

dropped $2.63, or 7.9%, to $30.81; and

Compaq

(CPQ)

was off 73 cents, or 2.6%, to $27.52.

It's hard to deny that the newly formed handheld-appliance sector has been making some exaggerated moves lately. But it's also impossible to challenge the fundamental story that's underpinning their recent divergence from the old-guard boxmakers: The former group is experiencing phenomenal revenue growth as the latter group slows.