Frankly, I am indifferent as to which of the three major smartphone companies you may want to own. Palm's the most volatile and perhaps the most risky. It has the shortest track record of the three--from the time the Pre launched, it's been a darling but the company's long-term record doesn't give you much comfort. Still, this is the company that is most likely to be acquired for its technology by an outfit like
or Ericsson or Samsung because it is so revolutionary. Research in Motion is just a well-oiled machine, one of these companies that reinvents itself with each new iteration of Blackberry. The company, with superb, intense management, reminds me of the Intel of old, the one that doubled and double and doubled again with each new product.
Apple's simply the best-run company in America, with or without Steve Jobs, and in many ways it is the complete package as the iPhone just complements Mac computers and the iPod/iTunes business. But Apple's the most known and therefore, perhaps, the most played out. Still, I would own it in a heartbeat if I were younger and wanted to bet that the company will maintain its market leadership, and expand it beyond individuals to corporations, something it's been unable to do until now.
When you get a product cycle that strong and multi-year, it spreads and lifts all kinds of ancillary plays--everything that goes into one of these phones or supports the networks they rely on can go higher. As I say on Mad Money when I go to my soundboard and press the sound of a bowler nailing a strike, there is tremendous "pin-action" off of each of these devices.