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A Tale of Two Smartphones
Posted at 11:45 a.m. EDT on Friday, Sept. 28Two phones I don't want. Two phones that had better sell well or else their stocks won't be able to rally. That's how I feel today about both the Apple (AAPL - Get Report) iPhone 5 and BlackBerry 10 from Research In Motion (RIMM). Apple came clean this morning with CEO Tim Cook offering an apology for an Apple Maps application that has been universally panned. While Cook said that the feature will get better as Apple gets more data, I am not holding my breath, and you have to count me out as a buyer. I am thrilled with my iPhone 4S, and there's no way I am going to trade up to an iPhone 5 if the Maps app is a trade down. I use the Google (GOOG) Maps application pretty much every time I am on the road or in a strange surrounding. I have always felt OK with directions -- not great, not bad. But my 4S has made my navigation best in class. I have no desire to return to a world where I simply don't know where I am walking or driving. Plus, there's no way to bridge it: You can't put Google Maps in if you want to, which is horrendous as it makes me feel that Apple's morphed into Microsoft (MSFT) in the days when it jammed you with an inferior browser because it simply could. What a terrible about-face from a terrific company that has always been willing to integrate the other guy's stuff if it was better than what they had made themselves. As far as the BlackBerry 10, it sounds like a dynamite device, and I like the RIMM keyboard style very much, much more than the Apple's touchscreen. But, after listening to Becky Quick grill CEO Thorsten Heins this morning, I am not sure when the darned thing is going to come out. His refusal to commit to a date, other than some vague first-quarter assertion makes me think that we could go six months before we see the device. Who can wait for that?