RIMM shares took a beating Monday after weeks of rallying from a 52-week high of $6.22 to a recent year-long high of $18.32, spurred in part last week by a Lenovo executive’s comments that the world’s No. 2 PC maker was considering a deal for Research In Motion.

Shares in the BlackBerry maker (Nasdaq: RIMM) fell nearly 8 percent after Lenovo backed away from talk about a possible buyout and concerns also grew that the new BlackBerry 10 that is being released Wednesday won’t right the company’s fortunes.

“We are aware that Lenovo’s CFO Wong Wai Ming was speaking broadly about M&A strategy in a recent interview,” Lenovo said in a statement. “RIM was raised as a potential target by the journalist and Mr. Wong repeatedly answered in a manner consistent with all of our previous statements on M&A strategy: Lenovo is very focused on growing its business, both organically and through M&A. When inorganic ideas arise, we explore them to see if there is a strategic fit.”

PC Magazine reported the Lenovo statement.

RIM laos tried to downplay such talk with its own statement.

“As [RIM CEO Thorsten Heins] said on our most recent results conference call on December 20th, we continue to examine all available options to ‘create new opportunities, focusing on areas where we will be more effective partnering rather than going it alone, and ultimately maximizing value for all stakeholders,'” RIM said in a statement published at The Next Web. “We do not have anything new to report on our strategic review at this time.”

The shares fell to $16.18 at the close in New York, the biggest decline in more than a month. Before the drop, the stock had climbed almost 50 percent this year, fueled by optimism that the BlackBerry 10 can put the company on the path to recovery.

“Everything we’ve seen suggests they are catching up to the competition, but there’s nothing here that says this is why you need this device more than anything else,” said Jan Dawson, chief telecommunications analyst with the New York office of London-based Ovum Ltd.

RIM’s Heins will unveil new BlackBerry 10 phones Jan. 30 in in New York. The new product line is RIM’s attempt to maintain its current customers and win back people who have switched to Apple Inc.’s iPhone and Samsung Electronics Co.’s Galaxy, which runs on Google Inc.’s popular Android platform.

Apple and Android phones represented 92 percent of smartphone shipments in the fourth quarter, according to a report today from Strategy Analytics. Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM’s BlackBerry subscribers numbered 79 million at the end of the last quarter, down about 1 million from the previous three- month period.

“The new phones will give them a good year in 2013 selling mostly to the BlackBerry faithful, but that is a shrinking niche of customers,” said Dawson.

The stock has posted declines of at least 6 percent 10 times in the past year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

RIM maintains a research and development office in the Triangle.

Lenovo operates its executive headquarters in Morrisville. 

[LENOVO ARCHIVE: Check out eight years of Lenovo stories as reported in WRAL Tech Wire.]