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Research In Motion's Steady Steps Forward

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As I was saying just a few days ago, BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) is not down in the dumps as yet, as it goes all out to woo back customers with the Playbook upgrade and integration with the Android platform.  

While some may say the company has already become a no-go, thanks to the hype about Apple's new iPad launch, among other things, I think RIM is actually taking steady steps forward with the acquisition of technology provider Paratek Microwave. Does this mean we will now get to see 4G LTE connectivity on its new QNX-based handsets? That may gain back some market share from Apple.

What actually happened
Paratek is known for its RF (radio frequency) technology that enables mobile handsets to effortlessly connect to multiple wireless networks. But it's not just about supporting a variety of networks, it's also about doing that in a much smaller package. Paratek's technology involves a thin film that improves a phone's performance while reducing the need for a number of components. A part of that process involves miniature antennae that might lead to thinner, more powerful BlackBerrys in time. And that's not all.

Paratek's technology is said to sharply improve mobile call quality as well as prolong battery life. The latter is especially useful considering today's smartphone users, who believe multitasking to be the order of the day. After all, that's one of the benefits of having a smartphone, but then everybody also knows the consequent battery drain.

The Opera angle
BlackBerry is not content with the Paratek acquisition alone. The company seems to be focused on providing its existing users with a better Web browsing experience as well. With BlackBerry smartphones now getting access to the ever-popular Opera Mini browser, users can expect lower data rates, given the latter's widely known data compression capabilities. Opera's popularity in Asia and Africa, where lower browsing rates often make a big difference, does seem to make this a smart move indeed.

Foolish last words
BlackBerry is certainly trying to do all it can to wriggle out of the recent depressing scenario and the Paratek acquisition is a solid step forward in that direction. After all, a product range comprising the company's new QNX-based smartphones that seamlessly run on the revolutionary 4G LTE network should be enough to turn around BlackBerry's fortunes in the long run. I still have my hopes pinned on this stock. What about you?

 To stay updated on the latest developments about Research In Motion just add it to your watchlist. It's free. 

Fool contributor Subhadeep Ghose does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in 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.

Read/Post Comments (5) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On March 20, 2012, at 1:11 PM, lucasmonger wrote:

    Apple moves 3 million iPads in one weekend... From what I can tell, it looks like RIM will be lucky to hit 1M units in its first year of shipments, and that is after heavy discounting. RIM is still doomed.

  • Report this Comment On March 20, 2012, at 3:48 PM, mattysmitty wrote:

    The brand loyalty RIMM has will keep the company relevant, new hardware will rocket sales and this stock price.

  • Report this Comment On March 20, 2012, at 4:05 PM, marv08 wrote:

    They are still engineering driven, they always were. You just can't reverse a trend by staying the same course. RIMs growth markets are in countries without "4G" and they still sell tons of 2.5G devices (or 3G devices used on 2.5G/EDGE contracts), as their clients can't/don't want to afford even 3G.

    They will not overcome the "app gap" with this technology. They will not overcome the content gap with this technology. Everything people ignore them for remains unchanged. They move sidewards, not forward.

  • Report this Comment On March 20, 2012, at 10:39 PM, melegross wrote:

    RIM's sales in N. America have dropped substantially. Their growth in poor markets has dropped to 10%, from about 300% before. Their new phone OS is very late, as is the phone associated with it.

    Their tablet sales have been dismal, and have not improved since the new OS upgrade.

    They are running out of time.

  • Report this Comment On March 26, 2012, at 7:51 AM, webmind wrote:

    Yes, Apple will take over the world. OK.

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