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BLOG: Just when you thought Research in Motion and Nokia were set to complete their death spirals they are both showing signs of life.
RIM (RIM-T, RIMM-Q) and Nokia (NOK-N) have been surging lately as market sentiment turns from extremely negative to mildly positive.
Four short years ago, RIM and Nokia were on top of the mobile phone world. The Canadian company was a pioneer in push email and the company's phones were used by bankers, lawyers and politicians. Blackberrys had cultural cache and were addictive to the point that they were famously called 'Crackberrys.'
At the same time, Nokia was the best at pushing product out the door and having their phones snapped up by willing consumers.
Then, as most people know, Apple unveiled the iPhone and everything changed. The declines by RIM and Nokia in sales, relevance and share price were slow, steady and painful for shareholders.
So what's changed?
Well, the situations for both companies seemed so hopeless that most investors had thrown in the towel. So any rays of light are met with a buying surge and short covering by investors who had bet against the stocks.
RIM is now having its Blackberry 10 system tested by 50 carriers around the world and its demonstrations of the new features are getting some decent reviews. Some positive analyst notes have propelled the stock as well.
The same goes for Nokia. Early reviews and sales of some of their new Windows-based phones have been positive. A New York Times reviewer called the company's Lumia 920 and 820 phones ''awesome.''
So RIM and Nokia have destroyed billions in shareholder value and looked close to death, but a few sales here and some market share gains there and the companies may be back on the right track.