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Carriers worry over Android/iPhone, may return to BlackBerry

updated 12:15 pm EDT, Fri August 26, 2011

Analyst hears RIM may profit from carrier upset

RIM may see a bounce back in the market simply out of carrier worries of an Apple and Google duopoly, Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu learned on Friday. After talking to carriers, he heard that networks are worried about the "growing dominance" of Android and the iPhone and were sorely looking for a third option to keep competition up. With Nokia not due to ship its first Windows Phones until September, he said, the BlackBerry could benefit simply by being a well-established company with a recently revamped phone line.

The early phones were getting mixed to genuinely positive reviews which, while not as ideal as what Apple or Google received, was considerably better than the overall more hostile reviews for BlackBerry 6-era hardware. More devices like the just-shipped BlackBerry Curve 9360 would also help through the next three to six months. RIM's flagship, the Bold 9900, has been the best received of the group.

With the view that RIM had hit its floor, Wu broke from expectations and became one of the few analysts to recommend buying RIM stock. There was still a risk it would lose to Apple and Google, or that it would have to push prices down and skew more towards lower-end phones. The researcher saw that concern as already baked into the stock value and raised his target value to $35, up from the $28 it was at today.

RIM was once the preferred smartphone maker in North America and had the most prominent spot at most carriers. The company's inability to counter the iPhone with the Storm and original Bold, however, led to carriers eventually turning their backs and picking Android in hopes of a defense. Verizon deliberately timed the Motorola Droid's fall 2009 launch to overshadow the Storm2 and went from 80 percent of its smartphones being BlackBerrys to 20 percent or less.

by MacNN Staff



  1. prl99

    Joined: Dec 1969


    who cares what analysts think

    Carrier's only concern about a potential duopoly hinges on how much money they can make on phones and service contracts. It has nothing to do with a duopoly. As long as they get their cut, they don't care. Google and Apple is not a duopoly since Google doesn't "sell" anything. There are plenty of vendors selling phones. Nokia used to own the phone market, was it called a monopoly at that time? Analysts are only concerned with what they can "sell," which is a bunch of hooey. Get rid of analysts and we'd all be in better shape. They're the snake oil vendors of today. They push anything that will get them money. I won't say RIM is dead but as a company, they are going in the wrong direction (just like Microsoft). Having an analyst prop them up is simply a method to cover their projections. Dump analysts, dump the stock market and let companies that sell good products on their own survive.

  1. facebook_Robert

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Aug 2011



    I guess the carriers can do some giveaways and bogo offers, but beyond some limited tools, the market isn't looking to the carriers for guidance.

    That said, some people still like blackberry - they are basically relegated so preteens whose primary interest in a phone is blackberry messenger, and a a few corporate users where they need a blackberry for email.

    Of those two groups, bogo offers and free phones would only have an impact on one of them.

    So, if the premise of this article is accurate, we might see elevated blackberry sales to preteens and high school students for a short while.

    in the UK, blackberry is actually preferred by teenagers over the iPhone, but I'd say in the U.S. its only that blackberry has a somewhat stronger niche there- they wouldn't come out on top in any category.

  1. exca1ibur

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Why do they care?

    Why do they care what phone the customer has, as long as they can lock them into a 2 year contract. Plus they probably make more off iPhone and Android users s******* with their data and text messaging plans, like they do now.

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Carriers -> Dumb Pipes

    Cell carriers are the dumb pipe ISPs of the 21st century. The "real 4G" spec requires mobile voice an data to be combined into a single all-IP packet-switched stream, just like your ISP's data stream. The carriers are just trying to grab market share now, in an attempt to lock users in.

    Maybe the carriers are afraid of Apple becoming a MVNO. When iPhone becomes a true world phone, with CDMA and GSM built-in, what's to stop Apple from letting you switch carriers on the fly? If Verizon is stronger than AT&T in your area, your iPhone automatically switches to Verizon. If T-Mobile is stronger, it automatically switches to T-Mobile.

    You'd pay Apple every month instead of any one carrier. The carriers become generic commodity vendors, like different brands of toilet paper. I'd gladly pay a little more per month to see that happen.

  1. dpicardi

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's not up to the carriers

    It's up to the can't force them to buy an inferior product.

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