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Old 05-05-2008, 11:02 AM   #15 (permalink)
Alex Alexzander
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I completely understand the notion of "not another BlackBerry killer." That same kind of thing happens with the iPod from Apple. So many iPod killers have come and gone that I often feel like just replying to anything with, "Get in line."

That being said, the Palm was once king, and Windows CE based devices overtook them. Made Palm look old and outdated.

I still content that the iPhone will do the same to the BlackBerry. I understand the argument of great email and security, but I think too much is made of the security part. The company I work for uses simple POP3/SMTP for mail. And a great many companies I have worked for, large and small, allow POP3 access. And that alone shows you that they will not at all be alarmed with iPhone, which can do POP3 and Exchange with ActiveSync which is much more secure than POP3. It might not be as secure as BlackBerry, but I would estimate that for the bulk of companies it's going to be good enough.

I also say email is better on the iPhone than the BlackBerry. Not faster, but closer to a desktop application. The attachments in my opinion are superior. PDFs and Excel files are much better. And that includes the use of 3rd party software such as RepliGo. I much prefer the email these days on the iPhone to what I had on the BlackBerry. True Push was all the BlackBerry has over the iPhone.

I also think the software coming in June is going to far out-class the software on the BlackBerry. And BlackBerry gets about 38% of its revenue from consumers who are using BIS anyway. I doubt email is as huge a sticking point to those users. And I bet the web, music, movies, audible books, camera, photos, etc are all going to become more appealing to them on the iPhone than on the BlackBerry.

I still own an 8800 and an 8310. And my employer was just asking me about the BlackBerry vs. the iPhone. I say, wait till June, and see what you think when the 2.0 software for the iPhone comes out before you decide. I was using the BB again this weekend to see if I truly missed it, or missed the software. Not at all. It "was" nice, but I think the iPhone is clearly the next generation. I don't think RIM is going to catch up at all. That 9000 is pretty weak in my opinion. Nothing more than a pretty face-lift on the same old technology. And I watched those on the Boy Genius Report going bananas for it. But as someone who is using the iPhone, and looking at that 9000 and comparing it to prior BlackBerry devices and the iPhone, I see nothing in that device that makes me want to return to the BlackBerry. Which doesn't look good for RIM. If their aim was to attract those attracted to the iPhone, which would be me, they have failed. And if this is the best the can do to fend off the iPhone, then I am more convinced they are going to lose marketshare to Apple's iPhone.

That being said, I think RIM will continue to rise. At least for another 3 to 6 months. I think it takes a while for anyone as large as RIM to lose anything. There is simply too many people who willing to say great things about the product for a long time to come. And that word of mouth will carry RIM for a good while. But in terms of technology, I think RIM is going to lose marketshare to Apple. Not any time soon, but perhaps 6 months from now. Which means you won't see it reported until about the 9th month. So perhaps around the start of 2009, I think you'll see this. I have been thinking a lot of a very long-term short of RIM's stock. Something that extends into 2010, because I think RIM is peaking now and will continue to rise, but I think things will be very different by 2010.

Right now, I see RIM giving away phones. And that will work for a while. And people will hold out for the 9000, and even another phone after that. But after they become convinced that RIM cannot compete with Apple's next generation, they will start to leave. All of that takes a long time. But I absolutely believe that the momentum will get started in June for Apple.

-Alex Alexzander
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