A tale of 2 smartphones

And I don't want either of them.

By Jim Cramer Oct 1, 2012 9:07AM

TheStreet.com logoJacqueline Veissid, Photodisc, Getty ImagesTwo phones I don't want. Two phones that had better sell well or else their stocks won't rally. That's how I feel about Apple's (AAPL) iPhone 5 and Research In Motion's (RIMM) BlackBerry 10.


Apple came clean with CEO Tim Cook's offering an apology for an Apple Maps application that has been universally panned. While Cook said the feature will get better as Apple gets more data, I'm not holding my breath, and you have to count me out as a buyer. I'm thrilled with my iPhone 4S, and there's no way I'm going to trade up to an iPhone 5 if the Maps app is a trade down. I use the Google (GOOG) Maps application pretty much every time I'm on the road or in a strange surrounding. I have always felt OK with directions -- not great, not bad. But my 4S has made my navigation best in class. I have no desire to return to a world in which I simply don't know where I'm walking or driving.


Plus, there's no way to bridge it. You can't put Google Maps in if you want to, which is horrendous, as it makes me feel that Apple has morphed into Microsoft (MSFT) in the days when it jammed you with an inferior browser because it simply could. What a terrible about-face from a terrific company that has always been willing to integrate the other guy's stuff if it was better than what Apple had made.


As far as the BlackBerry 10, it sounds like a dynamite device, and I like the RIMM keyboard style very much, much more than the Apple's touchscreen.

But after listening to Becky Quick grill CEO Thorsten Heins last week, I'm not sure when the darned thing is going to come out. His refusal to commit to a date, other than some vague first-quarter assertion, makes me think we could go six months before we see it. Who can wait for that?


I have hated Research In Motion's stock almost as long as I have liked Apple's stock. I think this black eye for Apple is temporary. However, I have been worried ever since Steve Jobs died that the company would compromise on what it gives users. Jobs hated Google, so I can understand the desire to supplant it with a better map application. But Jobs never liked to sell a device before its time, and this one is, by Cook's own admission, not ready for its millions of Maps users.


Still, I think the stock remains investible. But there is no hurry to buy, because it lacks catalysts other than this negative one, which could clearly turn off buyers on the fence.


Research In Motion, on the other hand, may not have the BlackBerry 10 in hand, but it sure has the cash on hand, and I am convinced after its quarterly report that this stock has become a better long than a short. Now that the bleeding has stopped, Research In Motion might catch a bid for just its intellectual property, including a great keyboard and its 80-million-strong subscriber list alone. I would not normally recommend any stock on a takeover basis, but I think many bidders are hoping Research In Motion will go the way of Kodak or Nortel and could be bought on the cheap. This quarter put that scenario to rest; therefore, it put the short story to rest, too.


Jim Cramer, The Street.com


Jim Cramer is a co-founder of TheStreet and contributes daily market commentary to the financial news network's sites. Follow his trades for Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust and is long AAPL.




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Oct 1, 2012 11:52AM
I'm being smart and waiting for the iPhone 9,000+. I hear it has a high speed neurojack interface that will synchronize with your cerebral cortex and let you talk/text all your thoughts to everybody! It'll be the envy of Facebook when it comes to invasion of your privacy!

Until then: I'll stick with my LG non-smart phone.

Oct 1, 2012 1:18PM
apple is a joke. first ur the cutting edge technology, then you take away the best thing that ever happen to an iphone google maps, youtube, calling and the ability to be on the web at the same time. whats next your going to change the charging plugs, wait you did that too...Apple can you please stop being so greedy and make a solid product that is not screwing everyone( consumers, the chinese).  



just the other day Cramer was saying that AAPL would hit $800 a share and now he doubts if AAPL will survive the year and get like RIMM

Oct 1, 2012 2:24PM
Does Jim actually own an iPhone 4S, because if so he better avoid software updates, since that is what causes the only problem he seems to have with the iPhone 5 (maps app) not the actual phone itself. Which makes me believe he actually has no idea what he's talking about and only half understood what is going on and decided he would post on it because he could get readers.
Oct 1, 2012 4:46PM
Jim, you do know that despite MS "jamming you with an inferior browser" you were never precluded from loading a 3rd party browser.  If Apple wants to ship their own map app, let them, but shame on them if you cannot load another.
I have family members and friends who have the latest of all the fancy phones while paying phone companies over a $100 per month and living pay check to pay check. I will stick with my Motorola flip phone and continue to buy $10 worth of minutes, which I don't use up, each year. I find it more enjoyable to put my $1,200 per year in Verizon stock and enjoy the $60 dividends plus stock appreciation. I also have to listen to family and friends say how lucky I am.
Oct 1, 2012 4:48PM
If Cramer says buy, you sell.  If he says sell, you buy.   That's how you make money in the market.
Oct 1, 2012 6:32PM

I am still using my flip phone "free" 4 years ago without a camera.  I can call and leave a voice mail.  A person can call me and leave a voice mail.  This works for me and if people can only text me then I guess I am not important to them, so it does not matter. 


The world has gotten to inpersonal for me.  My cell bill for 2 phones is $73 a month taxes included and I use U.S. Cellular.  This is a regional carrier, that cares about customers and is flexible when need be.  I have used this carrier since 1998.


Those that wish to continue to let their cell carrier charge them $100's a month are not smart, but they sure are getting hosed by the cell carriers.


There are way to many other things more important to me.  I have never paid for a phone.

Oct 1, 2012 5:06PM
I agree, Jim. Actual productivity is in the gutter from electronic device distraction. Time to get rid of toys and work on re-employment. The generations that worked are digging in dumpsters, the social network crowd is a dud.
Oct 1, 2012 2:54PM
Can't believe Jim uses the phone for nav, are you not wealthy enough to have GPS in your fancy new car?
Oct 1, 2012 10:55PM


The most important thing is that you need the best phone when you are being eaten by your hogs.  Just sayin'.



Oct 2, 2012 6:33AM
Hi Jim,

Really love your post. Thanks for the great article. (although I have to say that I love one of the two phones)

Wondering if you’ve had time to checked out newly launched MarketConsensus .com?  It seems to be going viral and possibly is poised to change the entire dynamics of individual investing. Is it possible that the site could be a major disruption to the world of Wall Street investing?

Oct 1, 2012 11:27AM

"in the days when it jammed you with an inferior browser because it simply could"


Wow, now Jimmy's working for the socialists in the EU. He thinks APPL AND MSFT should give everybody a potpourri of competing products rather than promote and sell their own products. All browsers are within 10% of each other as they don't do anything but slam visual noise at you. Apple's all about consumer electronics and has little to do witrh real technology. They can't afford to let Google control their own destiny for the good of consuming monkeys no more than Microsoft.


Jimmy, if you really have a pair of big ones you'd breah from the herd and go but the best smart phone on the market today, a Nokia Lumia 920.

Oct 1, 2012 1:38PM
Jim, I was a fan of yours.., and then not. However, this might be the best observation that you have offered, to date. Concise and definitive. Thank you.
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