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Google's Strategy: Look Like Apple

In the U.S., people laugh at Microsoft-Nokia with extremely close to 0% market share, but it is a bigger force around the world. From an anti-trust perspective, the U.S. government should view it/them as far behind Google and Apple, and perhaps even RIM. As such, if Microsoft-Nokia feels that this is the time to go for the jugular in the mobile space, it also has only one move left on the chessboard: acquire RIM.

While RIM has modeled its new QNX operating system on offering compatibility with Android apps starting in a few months, it also has a close relationship with Microsoft. RIM's enterprise server (BES - BlackBerry Enterprise Server) works best with Microsoft Exchange, and RIM announced in early May that it will use Bing in future BlackBerry devices, and is already doing so on the PlayBook. Steve Ballmer was even a keynote speaker at RIM's annual developer/user group meeting at that early May event!

The bottom line: Look beyond Google's immediate need to shore up its patent portfolio in order to defend Android. This is all about Google wanting to look exactly like Apple, and that just so happens to be what I would do if I were in charge of Google.
At the time of publication, Wahlman was long Apple, Google and Research In Motion.

Anton Wahlman was a sell-side equity research analyst covering the communications technology industries from 1996 to 2008: UBS 1996-2002, Needham & Company 2002-2006, and ThinkEquity 2006-2008.
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