Wednesday

The Future of BlackBerry: 4 Different Paths the Company Can Take

BlackBerry has seen better days. What used to
be Canada’s biggest company is having hard
time competing in today’s smartphone market.
BlackBerry OS 10 is a solid platform, built for
security but that doesn’t help the company
move enough of Z10s, Q10s and Q5s. So what
can BlackBerry do about it?
The way I see things there are four different
paths the company can take:
1. Keep things as they are
And by this I mean – don’t change the
ownership structure or strategy for the time
being. Push BlackBerrys to new places, pitch
enterprises (like KPMG) and governments,
hoping that the company can go on from the
limited user base. That’s possible in the short
term, but in the long run – other platforms
will get more secure and BlackBerry will be in
an even bigger trouble.
Recently, BlackBerry issued an open letter
saying to its user they can count on them.
That’s all nice, but as we said – their devices
aren’t selling that well. Perhaps the newly
launched Z30 will give some boost to the
company, perhaps not.
2. Take the company private
BlackBerry may sell its business to one of its
existing shareholders who would be interested
to keep the company going. Mike Lazaridis, one
of the founders, may be looking at something
like this. Another contender could be John
Sculley, former CEO of Apple though it’s
unclear whether he would want to take the
company private.
By delisting itself from the stock exchange,
BlackBerry could more easily manage its short-
term operations, focusing on the big picture
and long-term strategy, instead. On the other
hand, the lack of openness to the public could
deter government contracts.
3. Sell to another company
Although RIM’s patent portfolio isn’t as
impressive as the one owned by major handset
makers and the likes of Ericsson, it’s still worth
something. This is especially true if a company
that would potentially acquire BlackBerry is a
new player in the mobile game. Think: Chinese
phone makers. Some of them — like Lenovo,
Huawei and ZTE — are perfectly suited for this
deal. They get an enterprise-ready product
they can sell in China and other Asian
countries.
There is a downside of this deal, though. The
minute BlackBerry ends up in the hands of a
Chinese company, it would be less appealing to
governments and enterprises in the West. So to
make this work, any company that wants to
buy BlackBerry will have to be extra careful,
potentially leaving code development in
Canada. At least some part of it.
4. Split the company
This is what I call the worst case scenario .
Similarly to Apple, though on a smaller scale,
BlackBerry is made as a unified system with all
of its parts singing along in a perfect harmony.
That, of course, presumes you can live in the
“BlackBerry world.” Sure enough, BBM alone
could be worth a ton as a separate company,
but integrated inside the BlackBerry OS, it
adds extra value. Splitting the company could
potentially create an instant value for
shareholders, but would make us “die a little.”
Then again who asks us anything.
Now, which scenario you envision for
BlackBerry and why? Don’t hesitate to drop
your two cents in the comments form below

3 comments:

Seyi said...

This is the beginning of the end for blackberry, the earlier they sell RIM, the better for them....smh

Martha said...

I even heard the are planning to get bbm to work on Windows phone too.....who else in his ryt senses would wanna use a blackberry when they have better alternatives....I just feel for this company

Anonymous said...

When my grand ma for village no dey do me, I go leave Android, IPhone wey don get bbm with all d better better apps kon go buy bb....lae lae...make I die