BlackBerry Ltd.: Now Officially Out of Apple's League

The one-time smartphone king dumps T-Mobile and cements its status as a niche smartphone supplier.

Apr 4, 2014 at 7:24PM

In dumping T-Mobile USA (NASDAQ:TMUS) as a carrier, BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ:BBRY) has left the ranks of major smartphone suppliers. Apple, Google, and Microsoft all sell smartphones through each of the four major U.S. telecom carriers. Fool contributor Tim Beyers explains the implications for BlackBerry in the following video.

There isn't much for either company to mourn. BlackBerry now accounts for near zero U.S. market share according to the latest figures from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. T-Mobile, meanwhile, is the nation's fourth-largest carrier. Parting ways may be more of a PR problem than a profit problem.

What caused the rift? Promotions strategy. In September, T-Mobile stopped carrying BlackBerry handsets in its stores. Months later, the carrier began running ads prompting users to switch to the iPhone. BlackBerry responded by terminating the relationship.

Investors' reactions to the news have been mixed. Shares of BlackBerry fell more than 10% between March 28 and April 3, a period that included mediocre earnings news. T-Mobile stock rose modestly during the same period.

Tim says the BlackBerry sell-off is probably an overreaction given the company's newfound emphasis on software and services, which should naturally reduce its dependence on carrier whimsy. Continued approval of BlackBerry handsets by U.S. Defense Department employees should also provide a buffer.

Even so, Tim says this is a stock story in transition from that of a major international smartphone supplier to that of a niche supplier of mobile software and services. Do you agree? Please leave a comment below to let us know what you think, and whether you would buy, sell, or short BlackBerry stock at current prices

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Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Apple, Google (A shares), and Google (C shares) at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool recommends Apple, Google (A shares), and Google (C shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google (A shares), Google (C shares), and Microsoft. 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.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't 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.

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