Halliburton: iPhones Rule

Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) just suffered another huge blow: oil services giant Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) announced plans to replace employees’ BlackBerrys with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhones. Steve Jobs is somewhere smiling.

Don’t Miss: Microsoft Bringing CRM Apps to Numerous Providers in Second Quarter.

The Houston-based firm stated in an employee newsletter earlier this month, “Over the next year, we will begin expanding the use of our mobile technology by transitioning from the BlackBerry platform that we currently use to smartphone technology via the iPhone.”

After thoroughly researching both Apple’s and Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) operating systems, Halliburton concluded that the iOS platform was the way to go, offering “the best capabilities, controls and security for application development.”

With Halliburton’s staff of nearly 70,000 in more than 70 countries, it is looking to iOS devices to provide employees with secure mobile access to many of its internal applications from outside the company’s network. According to sources familiar with the issue, the demand for such flexibility was driven in part by Halliburton’s customers, who want mobile data-access apps for their own iPhone platforms.

BlackBerrys have been a Halliburton staple for more than 10 years. Before this announcement, Halliburton management could only choose between BlackBerries and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phones. The transition, which is expected to roll out over the next two years, will affect the estimated 4,500 Halliburton employees who currently use BlackBerrys.

This major client loss represents just one more nail in RIM’s coffin. Just last month, the company’s co-CEOs and chairmen stepped down because of the company’s struggles to compete with Apple’s iPhone and iPad, as well as the Google Android mobile platform. However, RIM’s new CEO, Thorsten Heins, told investors that he’s not diverging from the company’s current strategies for products such as the PlayBook tablet and the anticipated BlackBerry 10.

Business representatives hinted to The New York Times that Apple’s current CEO Tim Cook is “more at ease” in meeting with enterprise customers than his predecessor Steve Jobs, attributing the company’s rapid growth in part to the fact that it has become “easier to work with.”

Here’s how these smartphone shares are reacting to the news:

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): AAPL shares recently traded at $465.42, up $1.45, or 0.31%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $310.50 to $464.98. Volume today was 2,339,270 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 12,396,400 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 13.27, while trailing earnings are $35.14 per share.

Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM): RIMM shares recently traded at $16.64, up $0.06, or 0.36%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $12.45 to $70.54. Volume today was 2,239,718 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 24,028,200 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 3.92, while trailing earnings are $4.25 per share.

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG): GOOG shares recently traded at $604.65, down $4.44, or 0.73%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $473.02 to $670.25. Volume today was 453,284 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 3,061,670 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 20.38, while trailing earnings are $29.76 per share.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT): MSFT shares recently traded at $30.09, down $0.11, or 0.36%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $23.65 to $30.40. Volume today was 5,208,862 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 54,526,500 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 10.91, while trailing earnings are $2.76 per share.

Investor Insights:

Best Buy Stirs More Apple iTV Rumors.
Paradigm Shift: Smartphones Eclipsed PCs in Fourth Quarter.
PayPal Looks to the Cash Register and Beyond.

To contact the reporter on this story: at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com