Research In Motion Ltd (BBRY): How BlackBerry Decided to Beat Apple Inc. (AAPL)

Page 1 of 2

Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)
CEO Thorsten Heins thinks the iPhone is very 2008. Over the past month, the beleaguered smartphone maker’s chief executive has been a rah-rah cheerleader, even while consumers and analysts have yet to be convinced the company has turned a corner. Now, there is something to be said for aggressively optimistic CEOs, as long as their evidence is based in reality. With a mysterious million-phone purchase and plenty of corporate grandstanding, does Heins know something about Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) that everyone else doesn’t?

Research In Motion Ltd (BBRY)

Confessions of a BlackBerry bull
Before we get to the good stuff, you should know that I’ve been a BlackBerry fan throughout its reorganization. A year ago, I highlighted the tremendous value of the company’s patents, its licensing potential, and major support for the company from Canada’s greatest investor. Things didn’t play out exactly like I imagined, though.

The more than 100% growth in Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s stock price over the past year was not a deep-value crisis, sell-the-conference-table price correction. Despite some very opinionated haters, BlackBerry has slowly but surely convinced enough investors and analysts that not only was the company severely undervalued in the $6-$7 range, but that this was the rebirth of a disruptive tech giant. There remain plenty today who still believe BlackBerry is doomed, but the argument is more balanced and with the support of a tremendous rally. Without much hard evidence of a rebound, though, is it too early to break out the champagne?

Anonymous donor
Though the recent turnaround was really the fruit of a multiyear effort, things have heated up in just the past couple of weeks. Yet, in typical BlackBerry fashion, it hasn’t been the most conventional path.

Preempting its own upcoming earnings release by about two weeks, Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) issued a press release regarding the sale of 1 million handsets to a “buyer,” with shipments starting immediately. It’s common for a company to keep its buyers anonymous, but this announcement was particularly vague. For one thing, it did not mention which BB10 handset (there are two: the Z10 and the Q10) was just picked to be America’s Next Top Smartphone. And given the extremely large order, it is also a total mystery as to who bought all of them. The major U.S. carriers with which BlackBerry does business – AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), and Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) — all declined to comment on whether they had a hand in the transaction.

According to a Bloomberg report, the only carrier that did comment was T-Mobile, saying that it was excited to offer the device, but that it did not buy the 1 million phones. Corporations still use Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)s quite extensively, but very few would be distributing 1 million phones to employees. For reference, retail behemoth Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) employs 2.2 million people, but most of them would not be eligible for corporate phones.

Being the single largest purchase in the company’s history, the million-phone order is certainly encouraging for BlackBerry fans and investors, but it would be a little more comforting if we knew anything else about it.

iPhone sucks, BlackBerry is awesome
This week, Heins made quick headlines in his interview with the Australian Financial Review. In short, Heins believes Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)‘s iPhone has been eclipsed by a more aggressive, more innovative global market.

I happen to agree, on a casual-discussion basis, that the iPhone has slowed down in its rock-your-socks-off features and moron-proof user experience. But these are pretty bold words coming from the chief of a company whose phones went from global dominance to near irrelevance in a startlingly short period of time.

Page 1 of 2
blog comments powered by Disqus
Insider Monkey Headlines
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months. Our beta is only 1.2 (don't click this link if beating the market isn't important to you).

Lists

Picture Perfect: The 6 Smartphones with the Best Cameras

The 10 Best Countries To Work In the World

A Profitable Day At The Track: 5 Tips For Betting On Horses

Tearing You Apart: 6 Bad Habits That Ruin Relationships

Learning on the Job: The 6 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make

Shopaholics Rejoice: The 12 Biggest Malls in the World

Fright Night: 10 Horror Movies Based on True Stories

Mach Mania: The 10 Fastest Jets in the World

Military Heavyweights: The 10 Countries with the Most Tanks

All In: The 7 Richest Poker Players in the World

Abracadabra: The 10 Best Magicians in the World

The 10 Richest Asian Countries in the World in 2014

Eyes in the Sky: 10 Things You Need to Know About Drones

Rising Stars: The 6 Best Silicon Valley Startups

Military Muscle: The 5 Most Advanced Armies in South America

All that Glitters: The 7 Most Luxurious Jewelry Brands in the World

5 Things You Didn’t Know About ISIS but Should

Empowering Your Money: The 5 Best Energy Stocks to Invest In

The 11 Best Android Apps You Can’t Get on iOS

The 10 Most Important International Conflicts in 2014

Mood Enhancers: The 20 Most Uplifting Songs of all Time

Lover Beware: The 8 Countries that Cheat the Most

Breath of Fresh Air: The 25 Countries with the Best Air Quality on the Planet

Singles Beware: The 8 Worst Mistakes Made on First Dates

Healthy and Happy: The 10 Countries with Lowest Healthcare Costs

The 6 Best Company Team Building Activities to Build Workplace Camaraderie

Ships Ahoy: The 10 Busiest Shipping Ports in the World

10 Productivity Tips to Save You Time and Help You Do More With Less

Grab a Bite: The Most Popular Fast Food Restaurants in America

Friday Night Thirst: The 10 Most Popular Cocktails in the World

The 6 Greatest Unsolved Mysteries We May Never Figure Out

7 Useless Products You Never Should’ve Bought

The 5 Reasons Why You’re Single and Miserable

The 7 Most Addictive Foods in the World We Can’t Stop Eating (Even Though We Should)

5 Amazing Places You Can Swim with Dolphins

The Top 7 Most Livable Countries In The World

The 10 Most Expensive Baseball Cards Ever Pulled From A Pack

The 5 Easiest Second Languages to Learn for English Speakers

Silver Spoon: The 6 Richest Families in the World

The 20 Countries with the Largest Prison Populations in the World

The Top 10 Richest Actors in the World

The 10 Best Airline Stocks to Invest In Before They Fly Too High

Burger Kings: The 10 Most Expensive Burgers in the World

The 10 Most Ethnically Diverse Countries in the World

The 10 Most Exclusive Credit Cards in the World

The 10 Most Expensive Cruise Ships in the World

The 10 Fastest Supercomputers in the World

The 10 Best Countries for Doing Business 2015

6 Most Expensive Fruits In The World

10 Worst Airlines in the World

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!