Research In Motion Ltd (BBRY) and Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Fighting for 3rd Place in Mobile

But I think the winner will come down to something far simpler — brand.

The market share leader is rarely the most-loved device, something Apple enjoyed for a surprisingly long time. With iOS aging and other emerging operating systems superior in many ways, we could see the underdog become the hot item. At this point in its history, Apple doesn’t play the underdog role. This leaves an opening for BlackBerry or Microsoft.

BlackBerry’s problem playing the underdog is that it wasn’t long ago it was top dog. BlackBerry isn’t a cool name among the kids these days. It’s not even a cool name among the business community. Business heard the cries of employees and opened up email and other systems to iOS and Android so people could get away from the clickity-clack of BlackBerry phones. Going back now would be so… uncool.

Somehow, Microsoft gets to play the underdog role here. I even find myself rooting for Windows 8 to succeed in mobile, despite the fact that I’m tied to all things Apple.

I don’t know if Microsoft will take a reasonable amount of share from Apple and Google in 2013, but I give it a better shot than BlackBerry. We’ve beaten up on Microsoft for more than a decade so maybe now is the time for something of a comeback story.

The article Microsoft and BlackBerry Fighting for 3rd Place in Mobile originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Travis Hoium.

Fool contributor Travis Hoium manages an account that owns shares of Apple and Microsoft. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Google. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google, and Microsoft.

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