First Halliburton, Now NOAA: iPhone Trounces Blackberry Again
Amanda is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
There just seems to be no end to the sob story that is Research in Motion (NASDAQ: BBRY). Halliburton, the energy giant that became a household name during the Bush Jr. administration, has officially dumped the Blackberry in favor of the iPhone. The company will begin to phase out the old and integrate the new over the next year or so. Now, the U.S. government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is following suit. In a memo dated Feb. 3, the department announced that support for the doomed device will cease after May 12, 2012 in favor of the iPhone 4 and iPad 2.
Are you surprised? Well, if you have been following the trials and tribulations of RIM over the past few months, I’m sure you are not. The company has only itself to blame for this situation, of course. It has steadfastly and obstinately refused to update and improve the Blackberry, instead choosing to offer a mind-numbing array of slightly different looking — but not performing — models of the smartphone. What was once a mainstay of big government and corporate America is being shunted aside as its usefulness has declined.
The change has been coming for some time. A Washington Post story published last May focused on how the federal government has been segueing into the Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) culture, as officials make use of this company’s superior technology. Blackberrys are discarded for iPhones and iPads are supplanting laptops in many government offices. Employees who use Apple products for personal use are fed up with having to rely on the Blackberry for work and have been using their own devices for both. Now, government is starting to offer employees a choice between the two, and they’re choosing Apple.
Blackberry was the smartphone of choice for large companies for many years, as well. Halliburton used the device for more than 10 years before deciding that Apple’s iOS platform offers more of what the company needs than does Google’s Android. A company spokesperson told AppleInsider that 4,500 employees have Blackberrys that will be changed over to the iPhone over the next two years.
The number of Apple devices that could be sold to NOAA over the next few weeks is even greater. Between employees and contractors, 10,000 iPhones and iPads could conceivably be passed around by May Day. Administration officials also commented that transitioning the iPhone into NOAA’s computer system will cost less than the current Blackberry vendor.
When comparing RIM’s stock, which has lost 75% of its value from one year ago, to Apple, which has gained nearly 38% during the same time period, it’s not hard to figure out who is the windshield and who is the bug. While great changes keep happening at Apple, I foresee only one significant change happening for RIM: trading in the “M” for a “P”. Fire sale, anyone?
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