Yesterday, RIMM ramped up it's promotion of the upcoming Blackberry 10 operation system and phones, by setting the worldwide Blackberry web homepage to the Blackberry 10 info page. RIMM provided a sneak peak of what the phone will look like and some small videos of the OS in use. With the phone's release scheduled for January, the key question is if RIMM stock is a good buy at its current some $12 a share.
Being somewhat of a techie, I've spent the past few months and weeks reading up on Blackberry 10 and gauging the interest of the tech world. The response is mixed. The general consensus is that Blackberry 10 will have to be something truly amazing to make Blackberry remain somewhat relevant. Sadly though, while Techies are more than a bit excited with Blackberry 10, the general population does not seem to be. The Blackberry operating system has remained dormant for far too long and has been taken over by Apple, Android and the new player on the block: Windows.
Some analysts have been slow to write off Blackberry, citing Blackberry's high volume of sale in Europe and Asia. What they fail to realize is that the phone is popular due to its price. Blackberry's are a highly capable smart phone which are not as expensive as an Android or Iphone. The new Blackberry 10 phones will not sell well in Asia and Europe, as its pricing will be comparable to that of more popular smartphones such as the Iphone.
Therefore, in all appearances, Blackberry 10 may provide RIMM with a short spike in stock price, only to fall shortly afterwards. The new phones and operating will not save RIMM in the long run. The only reason why RIMM may be a good buy is due to their patent portfolio. With Google now making it own phones and Amazon rumored to someday soon produce its own phone, RIMM's patents will be worth quite a bit. RIMM will undoubtedly be swallowed by a Google or Amazon within the next year or two, unless something truly shocking happens.
All in all, RIMM at $12 can go either way. You can buy now hoping to sell of right after Blackberry 10 is released, hoping that the release will prompt a spike in prices. That is barring the possibility of horrible reviews on the phone (something which will most probably not happen, as people have so far liked what they have seen). The other option is to wait a few months until prices fall after the release hype passes and then hope for a buyout. I will be waiting.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.