Can BlackBerry Play David to Apple’s Goliath?

BlackBerry 10“BlackBerry Crushed Apple,” read a surprising headline from CNBC on Monday.

The struggling smartphone manufacturer — working hard to stay afloat and be relevant in a market that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Samsung (SSNLF.PK), and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) are dividing amongst themselves — is angling to be David to Apple’s Goliath. With a market capitalization of just $7 billion compared to Apple’s $400 billion, for BlackBerry’s (NASDAQ:BBRY), making that story a reality will be no easy task. But winning the “Squawk Box Money Madness” stock tournament by beating Apple has enabled the manufacturer to begin representing itself as a David-like character.

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BlackBerry captured 16,000 votes that were cast on CNBC’s Facebook page and the network’s Squawk Box show page. When the competition began three weeks ago — pitting 16 of the most popular stocks on CNBC.com head-to-head, the website asked visitors in a daily poll to answer this question: “Which stock will have the best gains from the start of the second quarter to the end of the year?” Based on their performances so far this year, the best stocks competed against the worst.

Apple’s recent slump on the stock chart — shares of the iPhone maker have slumped 20 percent since 2013 began — made it a number four seeded company on its side of the bracket. In comparison, BlackBerry’s 24 percent gain this year to date, earned it a top seeded position on the opposing side. The company beat out Nokia (NYSE:NOK), International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM), and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) to reach the final, while Apple knocked out Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), General Electric (NYSE:GE), and Bank of America (NYSE:BAC)…

However, even though BlackBerry handled Apple in the Money Madness Tournament, the company is only a shadow of its former self. In the summer of 2007, its stock price peaked at more than $230 per share, while it now trades for around $14 share. At one time, BlackBerry led innovation in the smartphone arena, and in fact, the company is often credited for putting the first smartphone on the market. Its recently released BlackBerry 10 — or BB10 — operating system and new devices were meant to breath new life into the brand. However, Blackberry remains firmly in third place in global rankings, holding just a 5.4 percent market share, according to data from ComScore. Devices running on Google’s Android operating system dominate the market with a nearly 52 percent share, and Apple holds a 39 percent share.

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Until Apple released its iconic iPhone, BlackBerry’s position was secured. When the first iPhone hit the market in June of 2007, the device ushered in a revolution, and the BlackBerry maker has not recovered significantly. But BlackBerry may now have a chance to carve out a larger smartphone market share; Apple has only updated the iPhone incrementally recently, and as a result, investors have become less enthusiastic about the company’s stock. While shares hit an all-time high of $705 last September, the stock has fallen back down to trade around the $420-per-share level — where it traded in January of 2012.

During that time, when Apple was trading at its all-time highs, BlackBerry shares were bottoming out as investors thought the company was left for dead, according to CNBC.

Now the story is different. It may be a long shot for BlackBerry to model itself as David in the often retold biblical story of the young man who killed a giant, but the company’s shares have managed to double in value while Apple’s have tanked by 40 percent.

Don’t Miss: BlackBerry Releases Keyboarded Q10 in UK.