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Blackberry To Give iPhone Run For The Money?

The traders are keeping a close eye on RIM ahead of a hot new gadget release. And early chatter suggests it could spell trouble for Apple .

According to published reports, on Tuesday the BlackBerry maker will raise the curtain in dramatic fashion and reveal a state of the art device that can finally do battle with the iPhone.

Some are even suggesting the gadget could be an iPhone killer.

Bite Out Of Apple

Called the Slider 9800 reports say the handset will be carried exclusively by AT&T and should go on sale in time for the holiday season and perhaps even in time for back-to-school.

We keep citing published reports, because RIM appears to be ripping a page from Apple’s playbook. Although the company has invited reporters to an invitation-only event they’re being completely closed lipped about any details.

Could it be a sign they’re hoping to capture some of the frenzy Steve Jobs creates around Apple's product launches?

"I think they are trying to create a little drama," says Michael Gartenberg, partner at research and advisory firm Altimeter Group in a Reuters interview. "(But) when you raise expectations like that, you really then have to deliver."

If bloggers and analysts have it right, deliver they will.

The gadget is said to feature a touchscreen as well as a full slide-out keyboard, a revamped operating system, a more user-friendly browser and other features that consumers want and older BlackBerry gadgets lack.

Overseas Drama

Meanwhile, RIM is making headlines in another way entirely. Over the weekend the UAE said it would suspend some BlackBerry service beginning Oct. 11 unless the government could get access to encrypted messages.

According to our news partner Reuters, Saudi Arabia has taken similar steps and India has also expressed concerns.

The nations were concerned because encrypted data sent on the devices is moved abroad, where it cannot be monitored for illegal activity. But the decision raises questions about whether the conservative Gulf nations are trying to further control content they deem politically or morally objectionable

Responding to the developments RIM said it would not compromise BlackBerry Security.

What’s the trade?

I think the 9800 brings BlackBerry back into being an innovator, says Jon Najarian, and I think it could help them recapture lost market share. True, Apple has gone from 18% to 23% of the smartphone market and RIM is down from 50% to 38% - but whose the big dog? It’s Blackberry, says Najarian.

I agree that the new gadget may generate positive momentum in the stock, says Joe Terranova. The valuation of RIM look relatively cheap to me, says Joe Terranova. I'm a buyer; I think it should be closer to $65.

My clients are selling into the strength, says Steve Grasso on the Halftime Report, but that’s because the stock usually ramps up into a gadget launch.

I wanted to learn about the new device and found interesting info about it on Blackberrycool.com, says Karen Finerman on Friday's Fast Money. From what I can tell, this could be a turnaround story. The new device seem to be pretty impressive.




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Trader disclosure: On Aug 2, 2010, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Seymour owns (AAPL), (F), (GOOG), (POT), (BAC), (C); Grasso owns (ASTM), (ABK), (BAC), (BA), (BGP), (C), (CSCO), (DYN), (JPM), (LPX), (MO), (NDAQ), (PFE), (PRST); Terranova owns (AKAM), (APA), (AXP), (BAX), (BBY), (BMO), (C), (COP), (CREE), (CSX), (CVS), (EMC), (FCX), (GOOG), (GS), (JNPR), (JOYG), (KOL), (MMM), (MOS), (MSFT), (PCP), (PEP), (PFE), (POT), (RIMM), (TER), (SKX), (SU), (UAUA), (WYNN), (XBI); Edwards own (RIMM)

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Citigroup Global Markets Inc. or its affiliates has received compensation for investment banking services provided within the past 12 months from ArvinMeritor, Inc., BorgWarner Inc, Lear Corporation, Magna International Inc.

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