A tale of 2 smartphones
And I don't want either of them.
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 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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Until then: I'll stick with my LG non-smart phone.
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
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.
The most important thing is that you need the best phone when you are being eaten by your hogs. Just sayin'.
"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.
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There are some picks in this sector that have excellent valuations and strong earnings growth.
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