Will the Blackberry 10 put the iPhone on "ICE?"

Jason is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

It seems that a giant may be about to arise from a long slumber, and if so it will be just in time to defend its turf.

Blackberry maker Research in Motion (NASDAQ: BBRY) is due to release its Blackberry 10 in January, and its arrival has caught the attention of a very “cool” client. Attention that seems to have been taken away from the iPhone. Not bad for a comeback.

Beware the iPhone Encroachment (or not…)

According to a report from CNET’s Lance Wittney, the U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, or “ICE,” announced back in October that it was intent on purchasing iPhones for its more than 17,000 employees. Wittney reports, “The agency praised Apple's hardware and OS as a better fit for its technology needs.”

None the less, this sounds as if it should have been a good ol’ Homer Simpson “Whoo-Hoo” for Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), right? Wrong.

The CNET report also states that “ICE” will be field testing the Blackberry 10.

The response from the Blackberry camp seems quite upbeat. Scott Totzke, Research in Motion’s Vice President for Blackberry Security, said this in a statement: "ICE has been a valued BlackBerry customer for years, and our commitment to government agencies has influenced the development of the BlackBerry 10 platform."  Blackberry 10 vs. iPhone--it’s on!

What this little spat could do for your portfolio

I’d say you pretty much can count on a government nod giving Research in Motion shares another boost from its already stellar three month turnaround of well over 80%; but beware, all the dents may not be quite out of the Blackberry’s armor.

Need I remind you of the day(s) Blackberry went dark?

Softpedia’s Cosmin Vasile shared a statement received from Research in Motion during that time: "The messaging and browsing delays being experienced by BlackBerry users in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India, Brazil, Chile and Argentina were caused by a core switch failure within RIM’s infrastructure.”  While this may not have caused “ICE” to bat an eye, investors just might if this sort of thing were to rear its ugly head again, especially if it appears on a larger scale.

That’s not to say that Apple is perfectly fit for “active duty” either, but with the recent restoration of its most infamous app (more on this later) it is once again looking like a complete package.

In either case, the news did little for the iPhone maker, as its shares continue to lag at this point, down over 22% in the last three months. 

Foolish Bottom Line

While Apple is a bit sour tasting right now, all this press is just sweetening Research in Motion’s “Berry” as investors new to the surge in its stock will most likely join the craze after learning the news; in the short term, this will most likely send shares higher. While this is all finr and dandy (especially if you’ve studied the ancient art of the exit strategy), I would have to advise investors to be on the lookout for a reversal in the fortunes of these companies in the coming year. 


MindOverMarket has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Is this post wrong? Click here. Think you can do better? Join us and write your own!

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