The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: BlackBerry, Microsoft, AT&T, Sprint Nextel and Google

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: BlackBerry, Microsoft, AT&T, Sprint Nextel
                                  and Google

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Feb. 6, 2013

CHICAGO, Feb. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ announces the list of stocks
featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts
discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.
Stocks recently featured in the blog include BlackBerry (Nasdaq:BBRY),
Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq:MSFT), AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), Sprint Nextel Corp.
(NYSE:S) and Google (Nasdaq:GOOG).


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Here are highlights from Tuesday's Analyst Blog:

Can BlackBerry 10 Turn the Tide?

Following its rechristening as BlackBerry (Nasdaq:BBRY), (formerly known as
Research in Motion), the company added a fresh twist to proceedings by naming
pop music entertainer Alicia Keys as its Global Creative Director.

Widely expected to launch a touchscreen-based device, the company did not
disappoint, unveiling the Z10. It has also launched another model, a familiar
physical keyboard based device named the Q10 aimed at its tribe of BlackBerry

But the fact that it faces an uphill task emerged almost immediately following
a gaffe from Keys. According to The New York Times, she was using an iPhone
only three days before the launch date of the Q10 and the Z10. Clearly,
BlackBerry had failed to get their new team member on board before the launch

The incident is symptomatic of the uphill task the company faces. According to
Kantar Worldpanel, BlackBerry's market share in the US had dropped to 1.1% in
December from 1.4% in November. In Europe, BlackBerry's share declined to 4.0%
from 4.4%.

Meanwhile, Microsoft Corporation's (Nasdaq:MSFT) Windows Phone's average share
increased to 5.4% from 4.7%. Even though Windows Phone also lost out in the
US, with its market share falling to 2.7% from 2.6%, substantial marketing
support and new models from AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) are expected to boost market
share shortly.

The new BlackBerry 10 models are expected to be launched in the US only during
mid-March. In contrast, when Samsung's Galaxy S III was announced on June 4,
T-Mobile and Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE:S) said they were releasing the model
on June 21.

As of today, U.S. carriers are only collecting email addresses for the
BlackBerry 10 phones; they are still not taking presales orders. Possibly,
there is a silver lining to this. The company can iron out glitches and
enlarge its applications catalog before its US launch.

Meanwhile, AT&T seems to be the most supportive among carriers. However, it
has yet to announce a firm launch date, though the company's site allows you
to sign up to be notified when the Z10 will be available. All of this could
potentially result in lost sales for a company which is yet to recover from
the losses incurred due to delays in launching the BlackBerry 10.

Even so, BlackBerry 10 is the company's best chance to recover lost glory.
Initial reviews have widely praised the Z10's touch interface and other
features such as the TimeShift camera, better multitasking and video chat
features which allow users to share complex data on the go. And even as we
speak its application base continues to grow. 

Coming back to the Alicia Keys incident, the report by The Times also states
that her Twitter account had photographs taken using Instagram, an app which
is still unavailable on BlackBerry. BlackBerry's biggest challenge is possibly
to develop an ecosystem that can take on its powerful adversaries.

While BlackBerry races to enlarge its applications base for its two new
models, Apple has 10 times as many apps and Google (Nasdaq:GOOG) has a large
choice of devices at various price points. Microsoft integrates with platforms
like Xbox, Office and Exchange. Clearly, the company needs to provide consumer
with better reasons to switch to BlackBerry 10.

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