Investors love to fulfill their own prophecies. In 2011, they
believed in Apple (NASDAQ:
), bought into the company's story and turned it into one of the
most successful stocks of the year. In 2012, they expressed doubt
and abandoned the stock even as new Apple products continued to
break sales records
Now investors seem to be giving Research In Motion (NASDAQ:
) the prophecy fulfillment treatment. On Friday the stock jumped
more than 10 percent. This rise came despite a
that affected BlackBerry customers on Vodafone's (NASDAQ:
Investors seem to be unfazed by a new report from BMO Capital
downgraded its rating
on Research In Motion from Market Perform to Underperform and
lowered the price target from $12 to $9.
The investor love fest (which has raised the stock's value by 60
percent since September) should continue for the next few weeks.
After that it will be up to Research In Motion -- and the
long-awaited BlackBerry 10 operating system -- to ensure the
If it has any chance of overtaking Apple's next iPhone, however,
BB10 must have the following five things.
Exclusive and Revolutionary Apps
On January 3, Harris Interactive released the results of a
that asked consumers about their smartphone priorities. Social
media, texting, e-mail, navigation and free downloads proved to be
the most popular features.
While all of those features are different, there is one thing
they have in common: none of them are exclusive to Android or
If Research In Motion wants to attain and maintain a large fan
base, it needs to create at least one exclusive and revolutionary
feature to add to that list. It must produce something that no
other smartphone maker has thought of, and it must be a feature
that is not easy to copy. It needs to be something as big as social
media and as important as texting and e-mail. With it, Research In
Motion would instantly grab the world's attention.
The World's Best Camera
In developing the new Lumia phones, Nokia (NYSE:
) worked hard to provide them with the best smartphone camera every
other unique features
. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was
by the Lumia 920, arguing that it "crushes" the iPhone 5.
This is a solid endorsement. However, while Lumia sales are
beginning to pick up
, they are still a far cry from the iPhone. The Nokia brand --
which has been damaged by a plethora of lackluster releases -- will
take time to recover.
If Nokia had chosen to develop a less-than-stellar camera for
the Lumia handsets, it would have had one less standout feature to
attract customers. Consequently, unit sales may have been
Unfortunately for Research In Motion, BB10's camera is currently
laggy and glitchy
. If these problems are not fixed by the time the first BB10
devices are shipped, the company could be in trouble.
One of the best things about iOS is that it is instantly
intuitive. There's no learning curve. Consumers are able to pick up
the iPhone and start using it without second-guessing their
If at any time they have to stop and think about what they are
doing while using BB10, the OS is doomed.
An Operating System that Changes Everything
Android and iOS are popular because they changed the way
consumers interact with their phones. Prior to their release,
mobile phones were limited to RAZR flip phones and other primitive
and repetitive concepts.
Research In Motion cannot afford to simply release another
"good" or "great" OS. It needs to build the best mobile OS of all
time. That is no easy task, but it is vital if Research In Motion
has any hope of taking the lead.
Genuine Consumer Appeal
One of the biggest problems with BlackBerry is that it does not
have any consumer appeal. While the brand may have a few million
loyal followers, most people prefer Android and iOS. Both platforms
have cool phones, cool commercials and likable manufacturers. iOS
is obviously limited to Apple smartphones, but Android can appear
on any device.
This is a bigger problem for Research In Motion than investors
may realize. Unlike Microsoft (NASDAQ:
), which can afford to spend five years catching up to Android and
iOS, Research In Motion no longer has that luxury. It must compel
users to buy its devices right now.
Research In Motion needs to come out with the coolest and most
attractive phones ever produced. It must launch them with the most
brilliant marketing campaign in the history of smartphones.
Otherwise there is no way that the company will be able to convince
consumers to part with their Android or iOS handset.
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice.
All rights reserved.
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