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Credit crunch could hurt RIM's BlackBerry

The financial crisis gripping the world's banks is likely to have a negative effect on mobile phone sales, according to analysts.

Reuters is reporting that the possible 40,000 lost banking jobs could mean that those who are addicted to emailing and spreadsheet checking on the train will no longer have a reason to do so.

Forty per cent of all RIM handsets were taken by large corporations in the last quarter, despite models such as the Bold doing well in helping to expand the appeal of RIM's devices.

RIM at risk

"RIM probably looks most exposed to any downside risk in this segment," said analyst Neil Mawston from research firm Strategy Analytic. He also pointed to firms like HP and Palm as most at risk from the current situation.

Given the saturated nature of the handset market, operators in the US are being forced to up the level of subsidy offered with high-end smartphones in a bid to increase sales.

However, the subsidy levels are being cut in Western Europe, with sales declining sharply in the first half of 2008.

But overall the mobile handset market is expected to survive the financial instability thanks to emerging markets like India clamouring for the cheaper handsets.