With Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM)‘s upgraded BB10 OS and a couple of new phones on the horizon, it isn’t surprising that RIM shareholders are a bit giddy. With a share price that’s more than doubled the past three months, RIM’s given its long-suffering fans a lot to be excited about.
What should give Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM) fans a real shot in the arm, however, goes beyond its stellar stock performance of late. With the much-anticipated release of its new OS still a week away, RIM isn’t just running on momentum anymore. There’s some substance behind its performance.
RIM is getting more interesting
When CEO Thorsten Heins announced that RIM’s new BB10 OS will be here Jan. 30, the excitement was palpable. The only problem was that other than a whole bunch of beta testers, much of the good tidings surrounding BB10 is based on hope — not an ideal basis for investing your hard-earned money. Sure, with more than 1,600 corporate entities playing with a pre-release version of the new BB10, along with more than 100 government agencies, the test sample is a big one. But it’s just that: a test sample.
The reliance of RIM’s improving stock price on acceptance of its new OS, even before the general public has had a chance to take it through the paces, has kept me cautiously optimistic toward Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM); unknown quantities always make me uncomfortable. But now there’s a lot more for investors to hold on to, in addition to what has been positive feedback from the BB10 beta testers.
The recent upgrade of Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM) by a Jefferies analyst, increasing RIM’s target price to $19.50 a share from $13, is significant, in and of itself. What gives the upgrade substance, however, is the reason behind the change of heart: Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM) is expected to make its new BlackBerry email available to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)‘s iPhone and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)‘s Android OS users.
As more and more businesses get comfortable with the “bring your phone to work” concept, there are opportunities for OS providers to benefit, beyond supplying the hardware. Even before BB10, many saw RIM’s secure operating system as the commercial standard, and now Heins and team are exploring ways to use RIM’s OS and secure email service across multiple devices? The possibilities for RIM are intriguing, to say the least.
And speaking of any and all mobile devices, Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM) recently announced that Visa Inc (NYSE:V) has blessed its BB10 wireless payment solution, Secure Element Manager. Though RIM will hardly be the only mobile payment provider around — Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) and Google are testing a mobile payment solution, and Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) introduced a low-cost alternative recently, not to mention a host of other players already in the market — the payment service and Visa endorsement opens new doors for RIM.
But wait — there’s more
While the security of RIM’s proprietary OS is well known, the flip side has been the lack of apps, and the ability of third-party IT developers to create them. But with thousands of new apps from other OS platforms already developed, BB10 smartphones could hit the shelves packed with more goodies than ever before.
Though not necessarily surprising, confirmation from domestic wireless carriers that they intend to carry the new BlackBerry 10 phones also provided a boost for Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM). And, strange as it sounds, good news from Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) last week gave RIM aficionados more fuel for their fire. When Nokia CEO Stephen Elop announced sales of 4.4 million Windows 8 smartphones, it wasn’t only Nokia shareholders who breathed a sigh of relief — RIM fans were also feeling pretty good.