As a Canadian I feel sad about this. It seems like it's been a never ending stream of great companies - Corel, ATI, Nortel, and now RIM that reach a certain level of success and then get gobbled up by the American behemoths down south.
I use an iPhone at work, mostly because our President wanted one and I had to support it - but 99% of our users run Blackberry's. I honestly think Blackberry's are a better product in the corporate world, but as we all know Apple is the media darling so gets all the headlines and therefore mindshare.
I can sympathize with you here (tho I am "south of the border" ). The problem is not that Apple has "gobbled up" RIMM, but rather that RIMM shot itself in the foot - and now the head it seems.
They had an opportunity to move forward with good, well designed products, but they blew it big time. Nokia came to them (or so I have read) offering to join together with MeeGo a Linux based alternative that was free of exterior motivations/entanglements. But they rejected that out of what I can only see as pride and arrogance. They had no experience in developing real GUI operating systems, and they thought they could just jump in and do it. That was big-time foolish.
Apple does not care about competition. They welcome it (as long as it does not rip off their IP). They compete by their drive to develop the best products, incorporating the greatest technology. They are happy to do this.
But RIMM just flubbed big time. I agree - kinda sad.