(AAPL) iPhone Bigger Threat to (PALM) than (RIMM), Says Citi

Citi banging drum on Research in Motion (RIMM) ahead of the company’s annual “Capital Markets Day” conference on May 12, despite noise around the upcoming Apple (AAPL) iPhone 3G launch. Citi notes that RIMM shares have historically done well during the period:

Investors should be long RIMM heading into CMD (+14% average return over the 25 trading days following CMD) & expected continued positive news on fundamentals (Verizon Curve shipping in May).

[Most of those 25 days are gone, unfortunately.] But don’t expect any new products. rumours swirling about a big new product launch at the conference (namely, Meteor, iPhone killer) are overblown, says Citi:

Expectations for a 3G, touchscreen, or 9000 series product releases change daily. We do not expect any new product launches at CMD despite the noise. However, our sources indicate that Verizon will begin shipping the Curve in May (+ catalyst).

Finally, Citi encourages investors to be wary of Apple iPhone (AAPL) news:

We acknowledge Apple’s success with iPhone, opening its SDK, and June 9 Developer Conference which could cause more volatility in RIMM shares in June. We see the iPhone as a bigger threat to PALM.

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