So I see this member's question on TickerHound the other day:
In the details of the question he goes on to reference a blog post by the New York based venture capitalist, Fred Wilson, where he openly asks for feedback on what people think of the iPhone versus the BlackBerry. There's some great insight in Fred's post (and the comments to it) so I recommend you read it.
But I thought I'd share some of my own thoughts on the iPhone vs. BalckBerry issue here:
The iPhone is unequivocally the most beautifully designed mobile phone I've ever seen. The web browsing experience is like nothing I've ever used on a handheld device, and through the flawless marketing effort on the part of Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) and AT&T (NYSE: T) it has already become somewhat of a status symbol in the geek-chic crowd.
But for those of you who have used one for any period of time, you've obviously noticed some of the flaws in this "flawless" product.
- Sending a text message or an email becomes an exercise in finger tip precision and dexterity. Basically, you must have the most narrow and most accurate thumbs in the world to try and type a message longer than 2 words on this phone. For business users or active text'rs (read: teenagers), this is certainly NOT the phone to have.
- I've dropped my BrickBerry more times than I can count and it's still tickin' - it's like the little energizer bunny. The same can NOT be said of the iPhone. From what I've seen, heard and personally witnessed, a strong breeze causes this phone's screen to shatter. In fact if you check out Fred Wilson's blog post, you'll see what his daughter's phone looked like, post-drop.
- Even though there are "hacks" out there, you're still locked into using AT&T/Cingular as a carrier. While the service is good, I'm always one for having more options. The fact that I can use my BlackBerry with my T-mobile account, and be able to keep the phone if I decide to switch carriers (or if my company switches carriers) makes me very comfortable.
But the story isn't quite that cut and dry...
There's a rumor going around that Apple has a new version of the iPhone coming out on June 9th. Apple's a popular company in tech circles, and therefore the rumor-mill is usually in full effect whenever Mr. Jobs gets up to speak. Most of the time the hype falls far short of the real announcement, but this time I think the rumors are going to turn out to be true.
I think on June 9th we'll get the announcement that Apple is launching a 3G enabled iPhone. Essentially what that means is that the iPhone will now let its subscribers download data faster than ever before.
However, given the serious flaws the company has with the phone design, I'm not sure what impact (if any) this will have on subscriber numbers. Especially when we take RIM's announcement into account...
Last week, RIM announced the upcoming BlackBerry Bold phone - the first 3G phone from the CrackBerry maker. I'm personally looking forward to this one and it seems like the rest of the market's feeling the same: the stock is up 6.35% as I write this article.
But that isn't to say Apple won't see some serious benefits via its 3G initiatives. I just don't think those benefits will be solely in the form of an increase in iPhone subscribers. I think Apple could see a serious increase in iTunes sales as well.
Picture this: when you hear a good song and want it on your iPod immediately, all you'll have to do is login to iTunes with your 3G phone and you'll be listening to the song in seconds.
So if Apple's strategy is to secure more iTunes purchases, I think they're still executing their marketing efforts flawlessly. If the company really wants to compete with RIM, however, they'll really need to do something about the phone's design. Touch screens are "cool", but certainly not functional.
Regardless of who gets the most subscribers, I think both announcements will be great for RIM's and Apple's stock prices.
What do you think? Click here to weigh in now!
This Last Week on TickerHound...
We had some great questions on the site this week, I was really pleased to see some new members stepping up and answering some of them too. So here are the 10 most popular questions for the last 7 days:
- Can retail investor borrow money for low interest from international market?
- BlackBerry or the iPhone?
- Do you think after reading this, stock investing is futile?
- Do advisories just sell hype?
- Is AAPL going to break its resistance or is it going to pull back? What do TAs say?
- 7million7years-What vehicles did you use to obtain your wealth. I.E- any day trading, currencies,futures,etc?
- Is it better to work with a local full service broker or is it ok to work over the phone?
- How do you take a company public?
- Has anyone ever tried our Robert Hsu's China Strategy newsletter?
- Housing starts coming out this morning -- a bottom in sight?
Forget Top TickerHounds this week - I'm going to talk about the most interesting TickerHounds. The reason these guys are the more interesting is because they responded to my request last week for an explanation of their TickerHound usernames.
I'm still accepting submissions so feel free to send me your "username story" and I'll share it right here with everybody. Emails go to email@example.com
First up we have TickerHound member gap - I originally wondered if he got his username from Gap Stores (NYSE: GPS)... I really thought I had guessed right.
But it turns out he got his name from his initials. I'll leave out his last name for privacy reasons, but Gaurav is an accomplished Indian equities investor and he's here to make sure people don't "make the same mistakes that he did". So if you have questions on Indian equities, Gaurav has 20 years experience and hopefully the answers you need!
Next up we heard from another member who uses his initials, mgspony. Well, that's not the whole story... only the first 3 letters of his username are his initials. The "pony" comes from his job: he works with horses.
And finally we heard from DaveDiggz - Dave's his name and the "Diggz" comes from a childhood nickname one of his friends gave him.
All very interesting stories and that's why these guys are the Top TickerHounds this week! Thanks for sharing everybody!
Last Week's TickerHound Challenge Winners
For last week's first question, "Why should I set up a retirement account? What's the benefit?", the Best Answer went to Oldman! Click here to read Oldman's answer now.
On our second question , "Why should I even bother investing in the market?", the top spot went to (and this was really tough) to Grudun! Click here to read Grudun's extremely convincing answer!
For our final question, "If Buffett says individual investors would be better buying index funds then why should I buy stocks?", the winner - and this was even tougher than the previous question - is Sundarkambam! Click here to read Sundar's answer.
Congratulations everybody, that was some amazing work this week!
This Week's Challenge
For this week I wanted to get deep inside of all of your heads. I want to know what you do when you're deciding to make the leap and buy a stock. What questions do you ask? What's your thought process? Whether you're a technical analyst or a value investor, I think the TickerHound community would get some phenomenal insight by reading your investing process. And, as always, the Best Answers are rewarded with 50 bonus points!
The Tycoon Report