“Research in Motion (RIMM) shares have roughly doubled in three months. Nokia (NOK) has doubled in five months,” Jack Hough writes for Barron’s. “An investor who believes turnarounds are afoot for both companies would also have to believe there is room for at least four major smartphone platforms: thriving iOS from Apple (AAPL) and Android from Google (GOOG); Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 8, which Nokia is betting its future on; and BlackBerry 10, a long-awaited upgrade from RIMM expected in January.”
MacDailyNews Take: “Android” is not a platform. It’s a bunch of forks incongruously referred to by a common name. Read more here.
“That’s unlikely — and RIMM holds a particularly weak hand. The Blackberry operating system’s market share is likely to slip to 4.6% this quarter, versus 5.3% for Microsoft and a combined 84% for iOS and Android, predicts Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley,” Hough writes. “If there’s room for a third major platform — a big if — Microsoft is the likeliest contender, because it has cash to lavish on developers, and because its phone software integrates nicely with its broad base of installed computer software. But even it won’t make rapid gains in phones. Next year, Microsoft’s phone market share should climb to 8.1%, while RIMM’s will slip to 3.2%, according to Walkley.”
Hough writes, “That raises the risk that RIMM is experiencing a Palm rally. Shares of that now-forgotten phone maker once soared from $3 to about $18 before plummeting back to $3 and change — all in the space of 18 months, points out UBS telecom analyst Phillip Huang in a recent research note. And even if Microsoft succeeds, Nokia won’t necessarily reap the benefits. HTC also makes a Windows phone, and Microsoft is reportedly testing its own hardware.”
Read more in the full article here.