BlackBerry move away from consumers unlikely to stem decline

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TORONTO — BlackBerry Ltd’s plan to retreat from the consumer market in favour of its traditional strength serving businesses and governments is widely seen as a desperate move that industry watchers warn will only accelerate its downward spiral.

Reuters

The strategic shift and dramatic restructuring are fuelling fears about BlackBerry’s long-term viability.

The uncertainty created could easily push a growing number of its telecom partners, business customers and consumers to abandon the platform.

“Perception is nine tenths of reality and if customer and supplier confidence continues to fall it doesn’t matter how much cash they have on the balance sheet. Things could get worse,” said GMP Securities analyst Deepak Kaushal.

The Canadian smartphone maker, once the leader in wireless email, announced the change in focus on Friday afternoon when it also said it will report a quarterly loss of close to $1 billion and slash more than a third of its workforce.

In response to queries about its future sales strategy BlackBerry said on Sunday it would provide more detail when it announces quarterly earnings on September 27.

On Friday, chief executive Thorsten Heins said the strategic shift to focus on so-called enterprise customers would play to the company’s strengths in security and reliability.

“Security matters and enterprises know the gold standard in enterprise mobility is BlackBerry,” he said in a statement.

Blackberry still has a substantial subscriber base — 72 million users globally at the end of June, though that did decline from 76 million three months earlier.

The company has struggled ever since Apple Inc’s iPhone and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd’s Galaxy phones, using Google’s Android software, grew to dominate a market that was previously BlackBerry’s and had once made it highly profitable.

BlackBerry bet heavily that its Z10 touch-screen smartphone — the first powered by its new BlackBerry 10 operating system — would help it recoup some of the luster it enjoyed when users of these devices were mostly lawyers, bankers and politicians.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Blackberry is long gone, it’s recent unveiling of it new flagship was an epic fail (blackberry Z30). Steve revolutionised the mobile phones you just need another game changer to turn the tables. RIP Blackberry

  2. The problem with Blackberry is not the phone or the BB10 plartform. The problem are the applications. They are just too few and the little available are just too expensive for most smartphone loving people. I would advice them to drop the BB plartform and use the Android one instead and continue with some f their services like BBM, I thought that the shift to make it available to android users was a test to see if this concerpt will actually work. I am a fan though of your keyboard and I’m actually using a bold 9700 and its has a fantastic keyboard.

  3. The problem with BB is its batteries are very poor they dnt last for the whole of wich its uses are forced to carry the chagers all the time and now adays BB is no faster on internet as it used before ..im using torch 9800 and general im longer enjoying the service of BB and something must to be done otherwys BB will continuosly loose its valuable costumers to Apple and sumsung Galaxy

  4. zvinhu zvino chinja shuwa 2008 bb was a market leader. today vari pakati pezi dombo neznvimbo yaka omarara. i think bb is still a nice phone but samsung and iphone are way better

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