Is This the End of BlackBerry's Competitive Advantage?

Reversals of fortune occur all the time in the stock market. Take Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) and BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY  ) . The Mac maker is off 12% year to date, while the company formerly known as Research In Motion has soared 27%.

And yet, if news reports are to be believed, the two may switch places again soon. Government contractor CACI International (NYSE: CACI  ) has altered thousands of iPads to make them secure enough for government work, Bloomberg reports. The news follows on the heels of Defense Department officials announcing plans to allow workers to use iPhones and Android handsets. Add it up, and it seems as though BlackBerry's long-held security advantage is eroding as fast as its share of the North American smartphone market.

Should you be short BlackBerry? Long Apple? Tim Beyers of Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova addresses these questions and more in the video below. Please watch, and then be sure to leave a comment to let us know what you think.

As big a factor as the iPhone is for the company, there are dozens of data points to consider in deciding whether Apple remains a buy. Fortunately, The Motley Fool's senior technology analyst and managing bureau chief, Eric Bleeker, is prepared to fill you in on both reasons to buy and reasons to sell Apple, and what opportunities are left for the company (and more importantly, your portfolio) going forward. To get instant access to his latest thinking on Apple, simply click here now.


Read/Post Comments (14) | Recommend This Article (9)

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 February 15, 2013, at 9:03 PM, applesucks wrote:

    Do you actually believe that government agencies will approve something that is new. It will take years to get through all the red tape. But why not take another shot at blackberry,the os is great but let's not talk too much about that. Too scary for appletarts.

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2013, at 9:49 PM, NotAfoolHere wrote:

    Lets thinks about this. They are going to buy the most expensive mobile pad or mobile phone system on the market, send it to a "for profit defense contractor" so they can modify it (aka neutering) then resell a unproven, untested and casterated product to the US government with the defense contractor expenses and profit margin added on or simply buy a proven high security OS system direct from the manufacture.

    Must make sense to the federal government to go the more expensive and lower quality way.

    With a defense contractor's cost of lobbing, election donations and over all high cost why not.

    What wrong with it, they can buy $65,000.00 tolites, $6,000.00 screws and a private jet for more generals than the rest of the world combined. Who knows with the largest military budget in the world why not spend, spend and spend more. It just money. The US govenment has lots.

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2013, at 9:50 PM, infektu wrote:

    Better not talk about the security issues on the Apple platform. One does not even need to be a hacker to get inside an ipod phone.

    And wow, some firm has to cludge together another thick layer of paste to make the ipads look secure. That looks reassuring alright.

    Why don't you guys talk about the 1,000,000 notepad apps, you seem to be doing that better.

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2013, at 11:51 PM, NotAfoolHere wrote:

    I would suggest "InfoThatHelp" should research the facts before making hollow comments meant only to insult a specific group.

    Proven means "Research In Motion Ltd. won a much-coveted U.S. government security clearance for its yet-to-be-launched platform for BlackBerry 10 devices, due to hit store shelves in the first quarter of 2013.

    BlackBerry 10 platform has received the FIPS 140-2 certification that would allow government agencies to deploy the devices, along with the new enterprise management platform on which they run, as soon as the new smartphones are launched."

    I guess that is proven!

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2013, at 12:02 AM, shirtbrigade wrote:

    Completely disagree. Motorola had a secure phone too. BBRY beat them out on styling, performance, features. Feds want competition and CACI phone will cost excessively. If the BBRY phones have better reception, better audio, survive being dropped or used heavily much better, then the customer will choose. Plus, I suspect apps applied to make a phone more secure, not part of the OS, will bog the phone down. Last gen Apple iPhone notorious for slow down and poor performance. Let's load um up and compare. No one owns the entirety of any market. Feds want competition. This is a meaningless development. Consultants will point out to the Feds, an OS with security BUILT IN, is vastly superior. Was Windows XP "secure"? How many engineers developed that, and it was an OS! Iphones are easily hacked and I sincerely doubt all the holes are plugged. Plus CACI started 2 years ago, these new BBRY phones were developed by the manufacturer to include security. Apple just did not care to address the fed need and market. Its a kluge and the bottom line will be, BBRY will get its chance to shine.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2013, at 7:56 AM, Arthur1111 wrote:

    So! Apple and Google can't secure their devices? they rely on a third party? and that is supposed to be great news for Apple and Google and bad news for BlackBerry?

    Wow! Tim Beyers is really a smart guy. I am jealous.

    How about this scenario:

    BlackBerry 10 is very successful operating system that BlackBerry plans to make Playbook 10. The US government will start using the more secure playbook 10 and replace their ipads.

    That makes more sense doesn't it?

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2013, at 9:55 AM, sammycooool wrote:

    InfoThatStinks - Apple is dead, it has nothing to offer consumers but failed products. They are hacked all the time now, just what our governments need. When you fail as badly as Apple is failing today you open doors for superior companies like BlackBerry. BlackBerry is the mosr secure platform in the world. Apple can't compete in a secure environment. One needs to talk about perceived security i.e. Apple, and real security like BB.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2013, at 9:56 AM, etgh wrote:

    Wow, I'm completely shocked........

    InfoThatHelp is using complete sentences and is actually constructing understandable thoughts ! See what happens when you get your meds right ?

    There's no way a retrofit solution is going the pass the security certifications for no other reason that by adding a third party severely increases the risks, not to mention cost. Why would you pay more for an already overpriced iPad when you can get a fully FIPS-2 certified tablet (and smartphone btw) off-the-shelf ?

    This is nothing more than some security company's hopes and dreams.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2013, at 10:24 AM, tonyrenier wrote:

    Now I will speak as a former Industrial Salesman and not the Health Care Professional I am today. But some principles remain the same "relationships" are the key.

    Companies don't buy from companies, people buy from people, this may be the dynamic you don't understand.

    The old RIM is at home in the IT department and CIO's office. They speak the same language and share the same goals.

    A whining, entitled employee who wants what he/she wants gets to be a liability because he/she doesn't understand what makes security or why it matters till they have no employer.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2013, at 11:39 AM, tqrockefeller wrote:

    Couldn't even watch the whole video. Seriously? The iphone needs a hack to be "secure enough." Yes, by all means, do min, do mine. I've developed software on QNX (for PCs) for 25 years now. It's an awesome OS that just keeps getting better. The developers I know at RIM love the work and the product. The one I know at Apple is under constant stress and works insane hours. No wonder bugs present.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2013, at 3:11 PM, TMFMileHigh wrote:

    All,

    Thanks for the comments. I'm unsurprised by the number of vehement arguments for an against BlackBerry's devices.

    However, the point remains that the DoD is allowing alternative devices where they hadn't before. I think that's an important consideration for investors.

    FWIW and Foolish best,

    Tim

    --

    TMFMileHigh

    @milehighfool on Twitter

    http://timbeyers.me

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2013, at 3:14 PM, Craigdeh wrote:

    I agree that it is possible to make IPhone secure and governments have the resources to do this still Blackberry has an advantage because they do not need to be modified and the Z10 appears to be on par with Apple and Google. My take is that Blackberry users with older handsets will race to exchange existing phones, which are completely outdated to get the z10 (upcoming Q10). Also, it appears that many companies, are having employees bring their own device which could help bbry with their dual mode capabilities allowing people to have only 1 phone.

    I purchase some bbry options near the close Feb 15th.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2013, at 6:54 PM, santiagofre wrote:

    Just enter to the profile of the author and see he is long on AAPL is enough to know that he is loosing a lot of money in apple and is desperate to make people buy a lie (apple of course) and short a real company like blackberry.

    is that legal??

    anyways everyone who wanna know more about this guy please enter here and express him what do u think about people who try to manipulate other to benefices himself.

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tim-Beyers-Freelance-Writer/45...

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2013, at 9:46 PM, santiagofre wrote:

    Apple professional?? HAHAHAHAHA...yes of course!! is so professional than had to go beg Steve Jobs to save them... that is really pro! Apple had, has and will be a joke.....and Steve Jobs the best marketing guy ever...now that he is no anymore people start realizing what apple really is.. just see the iwatch (blackberry created that in 2009). Apple will be in the university books as the biggest techno bubble ever.. if you think different go and buy all your money in apple stocks right now and stop talking bad things of other companies. American marketing and seller office.. (american media) has been trying to manipulate people to short bbry and long aapl in the last 3 month. Do you need an example? why nobody speak about this in friday? http://finance.yahoo.com/news/blackberry-nears-voip-deal-uae... and still that the "new" was about the last ex.ceo has sold all his stake (when this has happened in March 2012).

    The only thing im asking is a clean game and lets people think for themselves. And is not just a defense of bbry. The hole market is been manipulating. Europe is starting a recession and a real possibly default of national debts country, China is in deceleration and USA is a time bomb..last GDP negative and markets going up.. American media abuse that a lot of investors do not have university preparation, nobody KNOW about economy for real...clear game guys! if you win money.. winning because you earn it.. not because you are stealing others!

    Thanks.

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