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Why I Have Turned Bullish On $RIMM...

|Includes:BlackBerry Ltd. (BBRY), MSFT, NOK

I had bought Blackberry Playbook along with my Lumia 900 around July/August 2012 and back then I wasn't aware that Blackberry had a plan to release BB10 platform - how ignorant of me. What I was most impressed about the Playbook was its front and back 1080 camera and mini HDMI port along with their QNX operating system and BBM. I have worked in the past with real-time OS'es and had also implemented one myself (the one I wrote was good enough to run cruise control and other apps in a car with limited compute and memory resources) and I had studied early incarnation of QNX back then and was thoroughly impressed.

Around that time I was pretty impressed with my Lumia 900 and so I did a lot of technical due diligence on Windows Phone 8 platform and Nokia's differentiation at the level of hardware, application and eco-system and came out pretty impressed with what Microsoft and Nokia had done. Unfortunately because I wasn't aware about Blackberry's BB10 phone I didn't buy Blackberry when their stock was at $5.80. My only grip about Blackberry Playbook was that at that time I couldn't install and run Android applications (that support came later in the OS 2 release) - apparently BB10 now allows one to run Android applications (although my initial take away was that they were a bit slow). I also had found that their internet browser was slow as well. I did write about this on my earlier post. Over last two days I have seen all the latest demo videos out there and it has blown my mind on what BB10 provides as a platform.

As far as $RIMM goes I think they have truly carried forward the idea of Microsoft's Windows 8 Live Titles to a new level and have not only neatly integrated the Live Tiles UI with their Messaging Hub (BBM) but, have also truly changed the playing field in terms of application level integration.

Microsoft and Nokia have also achieved application level integration in the current Windows 8 platform but is currently limited to certain specific applications (e.g. look at Camera and the extensions that you can drop into it).

The differentiator as far as the BB10 platform goes is that they have integrated cross cutting features as "aspects" and make them available to any application (and these can be pulled in seamlessly with simple finger gestures).

Apart from some of the features like peek, flow, cascade, etc. they also seamlessly integrate all forms of messages (emails, tweets, etc.) as incoming events - which to me is a key differentiator over and above their secure email exchange. Microsoft/Nokia also supports this capability but as far as I know it is not bubbled up as transparently as on finds in the BB10 platform.

Last but not the least they provide means to run Android applications - I think this will be a key driver that will drive $RIMM sales and take a bite out of Samsung revenue. It won't be too far fetched to say that in the next few months BB10 will be to Android what Usain Bolt is to Sprint. If that was not all, they have made their entire platform open - which means a lot of school/college kids and hackers will also be gravitating towards it.

On the financial side, $RIMM has >$2B cash in hand and their market cap is 6B which means market is really valuing them at less than $4B - which is a 30% discount on $RIMM's current stock price!

IMO, BB10 doesn't necessarily have to be blockbuster for the stock to move higher (and that is why I took a long position in $RIMM at $11.98). With no debt on their books, I don't believe that $RIMM is going bankrupt; and, since their stocks outstanding (float) is comparatively small ~500M coupled with the fact that 65% of that is held by financial institutions and the short interest is ~30% - I think there is a very high possibility of a true short squeeze occurring on $RIMM's stock.

All in all, I am thoroughly impressed by the work that both $RIMM, $MSFT and $NOK have done to build an eco-system that can stand on its own and truly compete with the likes of $APPL, and Samsung. I am personally convinced that together $RIMM and $NOK will take a sizeable bite out of the share of Samsung (and to a much lesser extent Apple). Last but not the least I am also of the opinion that BB10 very likely will use $NOK maps.

I am long $NOK and now $RIMM.

Disclosure: I am long RIMM, NOK, MSFT.