Research in Motion Limited (RIMM) has crossed categories with its latest BlackBerry offering, the Tour. This new model is described as falling between the BlackBerry Curve and the BlackBerry Bold. The Bold targeted the high-end corporate BlackBerry user, while the Curve was aimed at the everyday consumer. The Tour goes after both.
RIMM's CEO Jim Balsillie said that the new device will launch with Verizon and Sprint in the United States and Telus and BCE's Bell in Canada.
Balsillie called the Tour a "big step forward," although it isn't drastically different from other BlackBerry offerings. The company calls the Tour a "world phone," as it can easily access voice and data services on networks outside the user's home country -- a popular option for business users. The retail market may be impressed with the multimedia features (including a photo and video camera, as well as a media player) offered by the Tour.
RIMM can't afford to alienate its corporate users, the main consumers of smartphones. And it seems that the company understands where its money comes from. That said, the main driver for the Tour is going to be price. As rivals like Apple and Palm use aggressive pricing to attract customers, RIMM will have to do the same if it wants to duplicate their success.
The company is set to report earnings later this week. The consensus estimate calls for 93 cents per share from the tech titan. A useful strategy ahead of earnings is to take a look at the company's technical performance and determine what could happen if the company tops or misses expectations.
Should earnings top expectations, the stock could enjoy a nice quick rally. There is little overhead resistance facing RIMM, although the shares have battled with the $80 region of late. Positive reaction to an earnings surprise could propel the stock through this resistance. Further north of the $80 region is the $95 level. Of course, this level is well north of the equity's current position, so there is time before it would come into play.
What about an earnings disappointment? If the shares need support, their 10-week moving average could step in and fill the roll. This trendline has ushered the stock higher since the end of March. With this trendline currently ascending through the $75 level, the underlying support isn't too far away. Theoretically, a technical examination of the stock suggests there is little downside to the stock, thanks to the underlying support.