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BlackBerry Isn't a 10 for Investors

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Like many tech geeks, I have spent the last week reading everything I can about BlackBerry 10 and the various reviews. Research In Motion (RIMM) took its sweet time delivering to consumers (assuming they deliver on their latest release date promise).

It sounds awesome at every level. Cool language features, separate work and personal modes, peek-a-boo camera app, cascading (wish my phone did that), cool camera face adjustments through time travel and a smooth running experience.

OK, I admit the camera doesn't enable the user to travel through time, but short of time travel, the phone appears to bring RIM back into the game as a world-class producer, for now. It's the now that is the problem.

If you delare "BlackBerry 10 is as good as -- or better than -- any other phone on the market", you won't get much of a fight out of me. BlackBerry 10 may even be the best phone on the day it's released, but how long does that matter? One, two, maybe three months?

>>Also see: More BlackBerry 10 Rumors Swirl Around RIM

Nokia (NOK) released a "must have" phone about a year ago, and we haven't heard much since. During the summer of 2009, PALM also released the hottest phone. We all know how well that worked to bring PALM back. Do you even remember the name of the phone? (PRE)

Nokia has Microsoft (MSFT) to develop and provide an operating system for free. Imagine the cost advantage a phone maker has if the operating system is built and paid for by another company that is pushing for the phone maker to succeed.

It's a big cost advantage and one that Samsung is taking advantage of in its battle with Apple (AAPL). While Apple incurs the development costs of iOS, Google (GOOG) is happy to provide Android phone makers with as many copies as they can sell.

It's hard to say if Microsoft and Nokia's slight bump higher in market share gives RIM hope that it will regain lost market share, or if one more effective competitor will result in a much more difficult sales environment.

Since Apple is expected to deliver the next iPhone well before the holiday shopping season in 2013, and Google releases an updated new Android version every time I turn around, I believe BlackBerry 10 will need a follow up before the holiday season. Otherwise, as great as BlackBerry 10 is, it will become stale by the end of this year.

Stock quotes in this article: RIMM, AAPL, NOK, MSFT, GOOG 

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