Analyst bullish on BlackBerry because of cross platform BBM

BBM for Everyone!
By Chris Umiastowski on 12 Jul 2013 08:04 am EDT

Earlier this week independent analyst Ed Zabitsky of ACI Research launched coverage of BlackBerry.  He has a strong buy rating on the stock and a $20 target price.

It’s worth pointing out that Zabitsky is not your typical analyst.  Not only because he runs his own firm and doesn’t do any trading or investment banking for clients. But also because he picks stocks almost exclusively based on technology product transitions. This means he doesn’t do so-called “channel checks” or anything remotely close to this. Instead, he works way harder than anyone I know to deeply understand the moving parts in the tech industries that he covers. Usually this means he can talk to you for hours about topics that Wall Street analysts don’t understand at all.

His deep understanding of product cycles has lead to exceptional results. He is pretty much the only guy I bother to talk to about short term trading ideas, largely because it is not my forte while his focus on product transitions has lead him to the correct conclusion on a stock more times than I can count.

He’s probably best known for his sell rating on Apple at a time when nobody else was bearish. In January 2012 he declared “A Whole New Galaxy”, rightly calling the rise of Samsung.

And now he thinks BlackBerry shares are ripe to be bought. His reasoning has nothing to do with Q10 or Q5 volume, rising gross margins on hardware or anything that most analysts talk about. Instead, he’s bullish because of cross platform BBM (which he calls “long overdue").

Interestingly, in a world where so many pundits see cross platform BBM as “too little too late”, Zabitsky isn’t comparing it to WhatsApp or other mobile-only platforms.  He seems (rightly so) more interested in the potential decline in Skype’s dominance. He points out that Microsoft, after buying Skype, has not done much in terms of cementing deep carrier relationships. He points out that this leaves the door open for BBM, and it’s quite evident that he’s now bullish on BlackBerry because BBM for iOS and Android will hit the market this summer.

The technology transition that Zabitsky thinks BlackBerry might be able to ride is that of OTT (over the top) communication apps on LTE networks. WhatsApp is a leading multi platform text chat tool. Skype is a leading multi platform voice and video chat tool and I never hear people talk about Skype as a great mobile text chat experience. BBM has the potential to deliver an amazing voice, video and text chat experience on all platforms, and BlackBerry might do a better job of cementing carrier relationships.

Personally, I would love to see BBM become the most popular way to communicate on mobile devices in the world. They already have the most reliable text chat platform and pretty darn good voice and video performance in a BlackBerry-only world. Take this cross platform, perhaps give me push to talk voice and video, and we could absolutely have a Skype, WhatsApp and Voxer killer on our hands. 

Ultimately, Zabitsky sees BlackBerry exiting the hardware market and establishing itself as a high value cross-platform web property. It’s refreshing to see someone talking about something other than OS market share and next quarter’s shipment numbers. 

Topics: BBRY BBM Editorial

Reader comments

Analyst bullish on BlackBerry because of cross platform BBM


CrackBerry should have a countdown to the last day of Summer. That way, we'll know exactly when to expect BBM X.

Plus add in BBM Money. Easy cheap money transfer across the world on BlackBerry NOC...
Using their tech it could be attached directly to your credit card attached to your SIM...

Posted via CB10

Thats good to know someone as him has hopes for bbm going cross platform i hope it kills off skype and also whats app. And they need to hurry up tooo summer has begun nw in england roll it out please!

BlackBerry Z10 CB10

Skype has one advantage though: cheap calls to land phones. If BlackBerry did a landing gateway for BBM that wouldv'e been a killer feature!

why wouldn't they ? The technology is open and BB even owns - exclusively - a network wide open once BIS is cleared ...
(and thanks Chris for the article !)

Skype sucks I was using it in Hong Kong, the fastest connection talking to a client in USA and the kept saying pardon me can you please repeat that... then they asked if I was on a voip. this was on a driod piece of junk sii, I switch to Ephone now on my z10 much better. And cheaper. I lost a lot of business because of Skype.

Posted via CB10

Now will be the perfect time for BBM, being that there is no privacy with Skype !

"According to an article published on Thursday by the British newspaper, internal National Security Agency memos show that Microsoft actually helped the federal government find a way to decrypt messages sent over select platforms, including Web chat, Hotmail email service, and Skype."

Posted via CB10

Hopefully BBM doesn't use as much battery as WhatsApp does. If it's better in that aspect, I'd love to have it.

But... He also says "Blackberry no longer making hardware"...

This makes me sad, especially if the guy has a stellar track record. I'm still waiting for the ultimate BlackBerry with a physical keyboard. :(

TH has hinted on moving away from the hardware many times. He see it as a perilous battle that will soon be akin to the PC industry (oops! That is already happening). I always said to let Sony or Nokia, if they break away from MS, make the hardware. This would also boost the stock price.

Posted via CB10

Thorsten is not up the the challenge of designing, manufacturing, and integrating hardware and software. He can't even marshal the BlackBerry Tablet OS and BlackBerry 10 development teams to deliver software. I expect to hear him announce an end to native BBM on BlackBerry smartphones; we'll have to use the Google Android version. Ha!

The citizens of CrackBerry Nation have given BlackBerry plenty of innovative, attention-grabbing ideas for advertisements and even more ideas about the mobile computing platform vision. Alas we were ignored yet again.

Would have been nice to get an update on the roll-out at the AGM. Can't wait to get BBM running on my S3.

The logic of his predictions also seem to carry over to enterprise with the introduction of secure workspace for iOS and Android...another way to generate high margin service revenue from non BlackBerry devices.

Posted via CB10

BBM / BBM Channels will be the most shared standard to Facebook , Twitter and LinkedIn plus the best Social e-Commerce Enterprise Brand Messenger period !!

I think it will all come down to implementation of BBM. For us BlackBerry users BBM is always on. If it isn't extremely easy and convenient for ios and android people won't bite. It does have legacy going for it though. Tons of people know about BBM. I know I am go G to be encouraging my Android and ios friends to get BBM.

If BBM is not integrated in an easy way pmn those platforms then I dunno how well it will work. For them, it needs to feel like a deluxe communication experience that is built into their phones existing system. I feel that if people are required to open and sign in to the app it could hurt BBM s potential.

Posted via CB10

Agree that implementation is going to be very important - if it's just an app that doesn't run in the background it is going to be DOA on those platforms. If Android and iOS users get the same experience as a user on a BlackBerry... it might have a shot. So knowing how it will work on those platforms is very important before anyone can really put a value on it... have we seen in a video or beta yet?

But I really don't see anyone wanting to "help" BlackBerry to create a new social network - or how do you grow a new one, when there are so many different existing ones that people are invested in. Wonder if BBRY might end up getting some "push back" from some of these other platforms.

+1 cool ideas are always thrown around but actual implementation is the real battle. I hope BBM would innovate beyond chatting (as a hub lode to all kind of communications?)

Posted via CB10

I've said it before that Skype should be looking over its shoulder when BBM goes cross platform. Disagree with exiting the hardware market. BlackBerry didn't invest that much in developing several new devices to just can them.

It is Google's Hangouts that Skype and BBM need to look out for.

So BlackBerry better do it right and execute quickly before Google enters the game.

Posted via me on my Z10

Google has a massive PR problem in various markets.

In the UK it's seen as a tax dodger, and elsewhere as invading our privacy.

Given the choice between BlackBerry - known for protecting privacy - and Google who'd give away their grandmother at the right price if she brought in ad revenue, I know which one I'd choose. And I'm sure a lot of people would feel the same way.

They should... but they don't. Androids market numbers speak easily to that fact. I'm not disagreeing with your assertions, just that people care less than you think.

Posted via CB10

Hangouts is annoying. There is no more concept of being online. Everything is synced. HATE IT. Sure, there's a green little bar, but you can hardly see it.

That's why I love Google Hangouts, and so do my friends. I can start a conversation here on one device and continue of end it on on one of four other devices. Moving across iOS, Android and Windows.

Don't know why the concept of being "online" bothers you.

The one thing I see missing in BBM is a Windows/OSX version. Skype works on every platform, not just mobile, sometimes the good old PC is the only tool available.

We need BBM to come on Samsung, I'm sure that bbm going cross platform is going to wipe whatsapp and Skype :D

Posted via CB10

I had 10 and now 3. Hopefully when it gets cross platform it will go back to 10, because all of them went to Samsung.

Posted by Z10

BlackBerry says it will come out this summer. Do you think that means we'll see it before 2014?

Posted via CB10

By "this summer" they mean *soon*, by "cross platform" they mean *other products 'cause ours are failing*, by "released" they mean *pipe dream*.

20 bucks per share? Who is he fooling. All downhill now for BlackBerry. They screwed their loyal base for the last time!

Where's my FULL BRIDGE Mr. Heins? Please return it!

When you buy a product, you should not expect an upgrade. And I don't. But I had full Bridge and it was a fantastic solution. Wasn't marketed properly. Anyhow that was taken away. Just want it back. Till then no need to get over it.

Where's my FULL BRIDGE Mr. Heins? Please return it!

Yes that I totally understand. Just want the bridge back or at least make us a glass tablet. Simply project my phone on a dummy tablet via bridge so I can do my work.

Where's my FULL BRIDGE Mr. Heins? Please return it!

Really hope so! Still a huge BlackBerry fan, but Heins needs to take some heat from BlackBerry Nation for a bit. Produce a glass tablet and let us get back to a true mobile solution. I don't need a laptop on the fly. My PB and old bold was my mobile solution. You just can't work on docs, spreadsheets, pdf, drawings etc on a phone. Not even on a phablet.

Where's my FULL BRIDGE Mr. Heins? Please return it!

Bah this has been said before, and not just about BlackBerry, lots of big corporations have had this said about them and they're still around... even if Microsoft had to bail them out...

BBM Channels for one. But there'll be other services. Get on the Beta if you want to check it out.

How do they make money off of BBM Channels? Advertising, charging companies? I'm on Beta but I don't use BBM, so I'll just wait until it gets pushed to me in it's final release.

Well I think he's on the money. Thanks to BBM going cross platform, I might just hop over to Android.

Posted via CB10

Me too for my next phone but if blackberry isn't making money on the phones then they shouldn't care.

However... if BlackBerry would allow us to run Android apps out of the box (not BAR) then it wouldn't think about switching.

Posted via CB10

Here's a thought, if cross platform on iOD and Android is going to help why wouldn't they also bring out a desktop version? Would this not be a death blow to the beloved skype?

Posted via CB10

For Macs, yeah. But BlackBerry has been snubbing all things Microsoft for a while now. This feels like an iOS/Android/BlackBerry concert against Windows.

Posted via CB10

They haven't been snubbing Microsoft. They are close partners with Microsoft. Despite Microsoft's mobile aspirations they have worked closely with RIM over the years and RIM has not tread into certain Microsoft arenas as a courtesy. However they no longer have a choice if they want to remain relevant.

BBM will trump Skype if they make a Desktop version.

Also, I don't see BlackBerry exiting the hardware business. They will be there for many years to come.

Blackberry Faithful - #TeamBlackBerry

Yes you're right. I'm going to dump all my Skype contacts and hope 700 million people sign up for BBM, so they are about the same. The problem with BBM will be to get noticed in the market when there are alternatives that work well. There are generations of people that know nothing about BBM, but have grown up on Skype, Whatsapp, etc...

theres one feature I will love BBM to have.. which I like from Whats App.. and is to tell you when you online, and when was the last time, date the user was online

With BBM, you're always online, that is unless your phone is turned off or somewhere with no reception. Also, you already have an indication of when someone is out of reach: the dreaded Grey checkmark, not a R, not a D, just a grey checkmark.

Posted via CB10

Yikes!! that's the one feature i detest about Whatsapp "last seen at 0:00pm" lol. To each his own i guess

Ugh, I hate that stalking feature, had this crazy girl stalked me and as soon as my last online was one minute ago, she'd msg me.

Posted via CB10

Highly interesting opinion.

I think this gentleman's predictions are going to prove mostly accurate.

Chris, great insight (and looks like you have some good contacts too!).

I think the negative commentary towards Blackberry is to a large extent 'iPhone nationalism', and is thus loaded with subjective bias - the demise of Blackberry has almost become a religious prophecy to the iPhone nationalists.

Nice to see some objective thinking going into the analysis of the company. I agree with him too that they should sell the hardware unit and focus on software.

BBM will never be popular if it doesn't support all platform and devices.

Has to be on PC, Tablets, Smartphones with Voice and Video and can be securely connected to BES for corporate clients.

Whatsapp got successful not because it's a good app, because it was of the first to support all platforms.

Until that happens BBM will become a relic of the past. Blackberry is moving too slow on opportunity and too fast where it needs to be more cautious like launching bunch of new phones no one seems to want.

Yup, all of the wildly popular messaging service has one thing in common, cross-platform and that's just the basic thing. Let's see how BB would stand out at competition.

Posted via CB10

I can see BBm evolving into a monster for BlackBerry. They should have some kind of incentive plan for the current base of 60 million BBM users to attract non BB users to BBM. Maybe offer BlackBerry App World credits for every new customer they can invite to BBM for the first 30 days. Imagine if each of the 60 million current BBM users was able to invite 10 friends from iOS/Droid to BBM....600 million users in a very short period of time would give BBM a monster user base. When you have a large user base it attracts the $$. BBM Channels is an opportunity to become eveolve BBM into a social/ecommerce/messaging hybrid and THAT is worth some big money. Tie it all in to QNX in cars etc and its BB EVERYWHERE.

I want to believe, however, I am stumped in trying to understand the business model in monetizing BBM.

Would BBRY incorporate small ads at the top or bottom of the BBM page?

Would BBRY try and sell 'long distance' credits to allow BBM to call to phone numbers, like Skype does right now?

For that matter, how does Whatsapp make money? My wife has the App on her phone. Never paid for it. Never saw any advertising. Is it a non-profit, supported by charitable contributions? I dunno....can't wrap my brain around it.

The use of cross platform BBM doesn't have to sell adds to make money. If you're communicating using BBM over mobile network you're incurring data charges great for your mobile provider this gives BlackBerry leverage with its carriers because they make more money because of BlackBerry.
Carriers want to make money and they will push the phones that make the best return for them that is why BlackBerry data compression while good for the consumer the carriers hated it.

Posted via CB10

You're making 0 sense, since all these data-based messengers do the same thing. In fact, Cross Platform BBM is actually worse since it is missing the VoIP and Video Chat features, which use much more data than chat does - those same features carriers were blocking on their branded devices, mind you.

No logic in this post.

Revenue generation will come from BBM Channels. They'll sell commercial version channels. No doubt with different grades of services.

The Beta desktop web UI already has analytics in place.

Anytime you have large network of users there is opportunity to make money and this is the key.

Some kind of advertising scheme from channels may be one, but I see more revenue potential from a service like BBM money for example -- I hope BBM becomes the world standard for money transfer. Imagine the revenue potential if BlackBerry collects a very small fee on each transaction. I can see BBM as the next paypal.

Posted via CB10

Skype will be integral to xbox one, and Microsoft's desire to own the living room. This is part of the reason why Microsoft is including the kinect2 as mandatory for every system sold even if it allows Sony to sell a basic ps4 for $100 less. Skype is only now getting started. faulty reasoning.Not much of an analyst.

Would you go talk to Verizon and ask where the update is since you were the one that said it was coming a few weeks ago? BBM will not do well if we exist in a world like this with no updates and no marketing.

Crackberry, please help us. Get some information that is reliable. Do something for us other than advertising for BlackBerry and apps. We need help!!!!

I am ready to return the Z10 over this.

Posted via CB10

Verizon and AT&T don't care about their BlackBerry subscribers. That's why I'm glad I switched to T-Mobile.

Posted via CB10

And the problem for BlackBerry is they can't expose updates except via the carrier because otherwise the carrier will get upset and be even less cooperative.

Until BlackBerry generates some leverage in the market the US carriers will continue to ignore the product. The weird thing is why. It makes no sense except as Mr Heins said recently, of the 6 million phones AT&T moved, 5.2 million were iPhones. (He didn't say AT&T but it's clear that's who he meant).

I think they have to open up updates, or at least "leak" more releases.

I like the idea of BBM going cross platform, channels, groups etc. However since they need to monetize the products I expect we will see some advertising showing up. My thought is that if you have committed to actually purchasing a BlackBerry phone you should be exempt from most of the advertising... this might give a few of the iOS and Android peeps a reason to actually move to a Blackberry phone.

No advertising. It isn't necessary. They'll provide Channels that you can subscribe to. And Channels can be promoted in many ways.

Way better for advertisers because we'll have subscribed willingly to the Channels rather than having the ads pushed upon us.

Quite honestly, what's the incentive for Android users to move to BB devices once they've got BBM? With what rim have to offer, it would be the communication equivalent of them going back to outside toilets.

Now all BlackBerry had to do is deliver an authentic BBM experience on iOS and Android...but I have a feeling it will be a watered down experience with expected improvements "soon"...and we already know what soon means" in the world of Blackberry...

Posted via CB10

BBM in PC and Apple all products iPad etc and all tablets. I hope that brings people back to BlackBerry device so BlackBerry doesn't go out from hardware.

Posted by Z10

This just begs one question: when, WHEN will they release BBM for iOS and android? There is no solid timetable, no betas! Is this another broken promise? I hope not!

Posted via CB10

If BB10 can generate revenue and buzz, it could be a saving grace for BlackBerry. Let's hope. Get all your friends on BBM!!

Posted via CB10

The thing that BlackBerry needs to try to do is release a fully baked BBM product on the other platforms. They announced only groups and chat will be available when it is initially released, but they need to release it with all of the bells and, voice, etc. Why? It will be perceived as half a product with solutions already available on the other platforms that do messaging "just fine" for their needs. I want BBM to succeed but my feeling is that they may be pushing it out just to meet the back to school rush in the hopes those masses will switch over...will they?

I would LOVE to see what would happen to the share price IF a credible rumour circulated that BB was going to adopt full Android. It would be the death knell for the company but I bet the share price would rise.

"Cross Platform BBM" is less useful than "Cross Platform BBID" and all the eCommerce possibilities and NFC jiggerypokery that brings.

I would like to commend BB Ltd. for marketing this properly: "Cross Platform BBM" is really the bait-and-switch to get users on all platforms to register for a BlackBerry ID, but they're not "pitching" BBID because that doesn't have the marketing caché. But really, what BlackBerry wants is a billion BBIDs associated with mobile devices that have NFC antennas built in.

Imagine going to a coffee shop and, instead of waiting for YOUR bank to get NFC credit card payments or issue a payment app, you set up your credit card with your BBID and then ANYONE running BBM on a device with NFC hardware can use ANY credit card (including PayPal) for NFC payments... and for every transaction, BB Ltd. gets 2¢.

In a word. CHA-CHING! Literally and figuratively.

And, for the "stock analysts" in the crowd: both Google and Apple have "IDs" tied to the devices, and both of those "IDs" have credit cards / payment methods associated with them... but neither of them, with all their resources and vast lead in market position, have even APPROACHED doing this.


Because they lack the infrastructure that BB has, and they can NOT POSSIBLY build it out: BB had the advantage of carriers WANTING their infrastructure and WANTING their devices on their network... and building out the BB infrastructure was the price the carriers had to play to get in the "push email" game... now that the BB infrastructure exists, not much reason to rip it all out.

But iOS and Android don't "require" this infrastructure, and there's no incentive for carriers to deploy it now. So, for NFC payments that pass through a carrier's network, BB gets 2¢ and the carrier gets .5¢, or they sell a "unlimited NFC payments" add on for $2 per month. I'm sure the carriers will be mighty pleased.

I've been saying for quite some time that BB's worldwide infrastructure (no, not some centralized "cloud" servers) will be their salvation... this is just the beginning. If you ask me. Which you didn't. But there it is. Anyway.

So you don't think Microsoft has this infrastructure? One id for Office, Windows, WP, Xbox, etc... all tied into their servers that except payments.

One fantastic addition to BBM (6 I believe) was requiring a BBID in order to use it so that RIM could take care of backing up your contacts to the cloud, etc. One of the issues though, is not everyone wants a BBID. It was great previously when you just opened BBM and was ready to use. I firmly believe that's why the uptake was so fast years ago. Anyone could pick up a BlackBerry and start BBMing instantly. It was the best experience and easy to use. Now, not so much.
If in the transition to iOS and Android, people will need to create a BBID (and I believe they will, just like us), I don't know how much it will really take off. I'm betting the vast majority of them won't bother as it's yet another username and password to enter and remember on top of their Apple ID or Google ID's.

They do have the most powerful platform but the problem is ? that they don't release it !!! how is it going to get popular if is not on any app store. they don't get it

I think the buzz words are, "It's coming," and "Soon."

Standard response for BB. Now let's see if they can actually deliver a market ready product on time.

I think it's a good time to buy. Most analysts tend to overreact and find negative where they can. I think BlackBerry Is on a solid course and the stock will recover...again.

Posted via CB10

"Ultimately, Zabitsky sees BlackBerry exiting the hardware market and establishing itself as a high value cross-platform web property"

I think that good foresight to where blackberry is going and needs to go. I know so many people just waiting for BBM to go cross platform .Blackberry will exit the hardware and be "a high value cross-platform web property". I like the sound of that.

Whatsapp has the cross platform messaging covered. Skype has established itself as a decent business communication tool. As someone else pointed out, those of us with huge bbm contact lists 8 or 9 years ago now only have a handful of them due to so many people moving to android devices.
I'd agree with the article, that if BBM (big if) can take off on cross platform, and make the company huge profits, the hardware side will eventually become non existent. Realistically, BlackBerry just aren't making enough competitive moves to take away market share from android phone manufacturers.

FWIW I've had BlackBerry's since 2003, and when my Bold 9900 comes up for renewal in 3 months, I'll finally make the switch to android. BBM just isn't that important to me anymore, as I've become more used (and forced) to using Whatsapp.
The phone is so much more than just a business tool now, and there's so much choice out there to take advantage of.
Sub par devices released way too late, and lack of apps choices when compared to android, all means that instead of leading, BlackBerry aren't even keeping up with the pack anymore .

Some good points. However, I chuckle everytime someone mentions the lack of apps in the BBRY ecosystem because having purchased a Galaxy Tab 2, I find the apps I use on there are also on my Z10 natively, ported, or sideloaded. I also find the Android OS to be sluggish with constant app closures and tablet reboots. So while BBRY continues to work out the kinks in the OS and its ecosystem, let us not pretend that Android or iOS is perfect. As the saying goes, the grass always look greener on the other side until we get over there and realize it is crabgrass.

Android's Tablet App ecosystem is pathetic. It is not the same as for smartphones, so you're comparing apples to oranges. The only Tablet with a decent App Ecosystem is the iPad. TBH, I don't think Android is all that much better than Windows 8 at this point for Tablet App Ecosystem, largely because Microsoft used Windows 8 as a catalyst to eventually force developers to support their tablets by baking the Tablet parts into the desktop Operating system.

However, if you compare the Android SMARTPHONE App ecosystem to BB10 (or even the WP8 ecosystem to BB10), it is obviously in a worse position. If you compare to iOS then it's a complete blowout. Even Android is still missing some really, really great apps that are available on iOS only.

BBM cross platform is the right decision although it should have been done 3 years ago. But The key is execution - QUALITY.

As we all witnessed in recent years, RIM's problem is execution. And one of the two major reasons of poor execution is labor shortage.

For example, recently, Microsoft grabs interns from U. Waterloo with $40 an hour pay while RIM cannot compete with $28 an hour. As those who are familiar with RIM's operations know that RIM relies on U. Waterloo. The university used to supply a lot super smart interns who actually did some brilliant work in the old BlackBerry. Once the supply is cut, here you go. This example is just the tip of the iceberg of RIM's labor shortage problem at home. Yet, Heins brags about Waterloo, unwillingly so, since he is hired by the people there.

Even Microsoft doesn't have this smart way of killing RIM, it is a problem that RIM relies on one university alone and fosters a culture of isolation (I am sorry if my words are too harsh here - just hope people realize the problem).

So, unless RIM starts addressing its root problems I don't think anything can bring RIM back to its former glory.

RIM should walk out of Waterloo (no pun intended). The people in Waterloo and those who support the community and hold a big chuck of RIM shares (those who have voting power. Please, Mike) should support RIM's expansion in Europe and Asia and U.S.. Please support RIM in attracting young blood from all top universities around the world. At the end of the day if RIM returns to its former glory the town of Waterloo benefits the most. And we BB users will never forget Waterloo.

In high tech, every thing boils down to the competition for human resources. It is not a matter of a product or a feature like BBM.

BBM will help Blackberry rise again. please do not cripple the app when it is released. not another playbook stuff, email and contacts coming promise, we need at least voice and video call feature included. the minute the app is released people will download and compare it to whatsapp, skype, line, viber, kakaotalk. etc

Remember when Apple switched from PowerPC CPUs to Intel X86 CPUS? Everyone thought that was the signal that Apple was going to exit the OS business and just sell hardware. Of course, Apple wisely understands that you have to own BOTH sides of the "ecosystem", hardware and software, or you are subject to huge swings in the market. Even GOOGLE realises that if they don't own hardware (Motorola) they are not going to be able to achieve ALL their goals. Look at Microsoft now: they have to get into the hardware market because the hardware vendors are looking to other operating system opportunities.

In order to succeed and NOT be at the mercy of either hardware vendors or software vendors, BB has to make BOTH the hardware AND the software / OS and differentiate itself: Apple computers are still a tiny FRACTION of the overall PC market, even with the success of iOS, but don't count on Apple giving up their "niche". If BlackBerry doesn't offer a compelling platform as a hardware / software vendor, they are going to fade (perhaps slowly) until they're like any App vendor, PRAYING for a 'viral' hit like Angry Birds and Candy Crush, and after that fad is over, so are they... unless they come up with ANOTHER "viral hit", which by nature is a once-in-a-lifetime thing for most companies.

STAY THE COURSE, THOR! (including providing an OS update for the PlayBook you doofus!)

Ultimately he sees BlackBerry exiting the hardware space...don't really care about the rest as this in my personal opinion as a consumer is the most important. What he is saying is that BlackBerry devices, BlackBerry 10, and everything BlackBerry will cease to exist. That is a huge loss. The competing platforms really are inferior to BlackBerry 10, qnd for me having to possibly use one of them as a daily driver is a horrible thought.

Posted via CB10

Bbm should have been released days after its announcement. Now the hype is dying. There goes your element of surprise.

Posted via CB10

Simply put, if it wasnt for cross platform BBM I would of sold my shares after the results of this last quarter and took the MASSIVE hit. I think that if done right Cross-Platform BBM can be a great source of income, but I think its real potential is in simply creating market awareness. Letting people with Androids and Apple phones know that Blackberry is alive and isn't as ancient or uncool as they think. Obviously Blackberry's marketing is not getting it done.

Good read. However, getting out of the hardware business is something I strongly disagree with. BlackBerry should keep making hardware, as well as keep doing what they're doing otherwise.

I honestly believe BlackBerry makes the best quality smartphone hardware.

Posted via CB10

Re BBRY getting out of the hardware business, remember this is an analyst's forecast and not a declaration of intent from BBRY.

If RIM solves the corporate governance and the labor shortage problem, its stock will shoot back to $100


- QNX is one generation ahead of the competition;
- BES is 5 years ahead of the competition;
- Top executives of governments and enterprises depend on their BlackBerry;
- BlackBerry network is THE only reliable and secure mobile overlay network around the world;
- Mr. Heins has the conviction that BlackBerry must stay as ONE to provide the seamlessly integrated mobile user experience.

But can RIM solve these problems?

QNX is not one generation ahead of its competition. QNX is just a kernel like the NT kernel in WP or the Linux kernel in Android. They all have their benefits and drawbacks. QNX has been around for a long time in embedded OS's. BB10 is a new OS built on top the QNX kernel. That's why it has a several bugs - it's new. That's a benefit WP has since it's being semi ported from Windows 8. Android also has some ties to it's desktop brother in upstream projects.

QNX micro kernel targeted multi-core since day one. Others retrofit. But still, one can argue multi-core is not really one generation ahead of single core. So, we better put dual core Z10 and Quad core S4 side by side see how apps, e.g. browser, render and response. Have anyone used a 8 core S4?

As for Android, on top of its kernel deficiency for modern computing, the Java garbage collector and some fundamental UI framework design flaws (e.g. the standard Android way of re-creating screen when device changes orientation) further drag down performance - responsiveness in particular.

I don't know Windows 8. I decided dropping Windows smartphone since Windows Mobile 6, seeing MS keeps piling on rather than starting from scratch with a mobile-first architecture. Business wise, fitting desktop into mobile is a right strategy for MS.

Well, I use Skype almost exclusively as a text chat tool. It's cross-platform and doesn't upload my address book to the US.

I think he's missing something about BBM or this article is. BlackBerry has built quite a robust platform and keeps adding services on top of it. Some have flopped, like Music, but others, like Channels, could be very interesting, if implemented right. BB could even implement a proper VoIP service, to compete with Skype, if it wasn't so afraid of US carriers.
BBM could become an interesting social network instead of being just another messaging platform.

And it would be great news if more than one company could create the hardware, but who? Samsung is already moving to Tizen and I don't see HTC or LG build BlackBerrys...

Is it possible to do a commercial exclusive to BBM and make it televised? I mean the word will get around but would be nice to see a commercial but how would they do it without showing an apple or android device? And could they get it together before launch? Marketing for blackberry is so scarce.

Oil sands Fueled

So late summer as stated in BRRY terms does this mean Oct ? Not sure how BRRY defines their seasons and they should quit using seasons as their definition so grossly differs from the rest of the world. Does late summer also mean that it will be released in 2013 or is that just being hopeful. Technically summer stretches into Sept so an Oct release is most likely what they are inferring knowing their previous track record.

Agree with so many others that a full version is what would be required on iOS and Android with full voice and video but I suspect that won't be until late summer 2014.

I wish them the best and hope they stay in the hw business.

No matter how many blunders and falls, I will remain a BBRY fan and keep buying their phones as long as they can stick around. This is my 10th year with BRRY and hope they can survive and stick around another 10 and hopefully not just as a sw company.

Chris there are some good points made here about the potential of x-platform BBM and its effects on stock price, however it doesn't seem to take into account the BBRY track record of over promise/under deliver. What I mean by this is that assuming everything happens as BB says it will, the potential is definitely great, but BB history has often (not always) shown that what people expect isn't always what they immediately get with plenty of updates required to get it to where it needs to be.While people are expecting a mid summer release of a fully functional - yet initially stripped down version (text, group, and channels), what happens if the initial release is a late summer, early fall, poorly provisioned version? I am optimistic of a good product release, but would not be bowled over if things like sending pictures, or other expected and basic features were not fully functional. I do support the x-platform release as a door to a revenue generating product to replace that which has been lost with the removal of BIS but do you think if this pessimistic option were to occur, would have a exponentially more negative effect than if x-platform was never introduced?

Have not been here for a while. Man this is ridiculous. They screwed up. I am a fan, but its over. They cant execute. Period. If the company is not in the states it will not be let to succeed, Operating systems side I mean). (Me as a conspiracy theorist, o shit noo) Think about it. What company in technology that is not controlled by a USA based interest has succeeded. Zero, yes Zero. I am with everybody else that QNX is a great OS, best security etc. But perception is reality and Money always wins. Who has the most? Not blackberry. if the stock goes to 4 or less this year I might buy. Otherwise they wont be a public company by this time next year. And i will probably be still using a Z10, a q10 and a A10, yes because that is how I roll. lol! And Chris will still be preaching to god or whomever for the stock to go back up to a decent level! Good luck with that.


I wouldn't call it conspiracy. It is just natural. Also, U.S. collected all necessary human resources for every aspect of mobile computing.

RIM needs to expand in U.S., but do so carefully. First of all, RIM needs to walk out of Waterloo.

Chris, any view on what will happen to the employee base? Given small hardware shipments, tough to carry north of $1 billion of quarterly opex and circa 14,000 employees...

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As long as people want physical keyboards, BlackBerry will be around to make hardware. No one else can do it

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No they can't. Forget what the CEO said when he slipped his tone. Keyboard alone won't save RIM. I am a keyboard user since 950.

If bbm cross platform is anything like the rest of the garbage lies from bbry it's never going to happen.

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cross platform bbm isn't gonna do a thing for BBs' end 'cept keep BB phones relavent to their owners just a little longer...

Agree: RIM's survival is not a matter of BBM or another feature or product.

Don't Agree: If RIM's fixes its root problems, it boost product quality across the board including BBM. Then BBM will help on both top line and bottom line.

I agree except that I would put the hardware on hold until BBM suite and BES10 are fully implemented, instead of exiting the hardware completely.

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You mean bbm on Ios and Google phone will include video calling? I just assumed it would just be texting and maybe Internet phone. This is sounding great)

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Well I don't want BB to exit the Hardware business though. Apart from that, I agree with the points stated in the article. Proper execution is key however.

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There is one hard thing: idea of making BBM cross-platform tool without changing e.g. its name will waste time and money spent for this project. 'BBM' is too BlackBerry to attract young iPhone and Android Users. They don't bother about excellent experience: neither audio-video, nor text chat. IMHO, they will use Skype and WhatsApp as long as BBM looks first of all BlackBerry. I'd like RIM think wider in relation to making BBM cross-platform. Once they do it for real, stable price for BBRY should be a bit higher than $20

[...] new mobile hero:

Cross-platform BBM could be a game changer. I'm very eager to see how this plays out.

Btw, there is a quote missing after "long overdue."

I wish Sony would make the hardware, then we would get a decent camera and premium speakers. BlackBerry only making software, maybe that is what's needed for BlackBerry to truly regain the #1 spot in U.S.

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I see we have a lot of experts here. Don't waste your "spit" here. Let's wait the end of summer with BBM coming to play outside blackberry yard. So after we'll see the results. If a start up like WhatsApp did it, imagine BBM that's already starting the race half way after the start line.

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As the BlackBerry Web browser is in HTML5 isn't that a potential new app on competitors devices?

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Whilst there's enthusiasm amonst the BB community for this, there's general apathy elsewhere in the Mobile Nations world. The announcement on Android Central a while back was greeting with a few former BB users who were really psyched for cross platform BBM, and the vast majority whose view was basically 'meh'.

The problem that BB face with both hardware and software is that they (and lone BB users) don't seem to realise that there are other viable alternatives, and that without a compelling reason for users of other platforms and services to switch away then nothing will change. As a longtime BBM envagelist, given how used to Hangouts I've got (already cross platform, awesome video intergration, including video calling with more than one participant), and the ubiquitious nature of Skype, I don't think I'll even bother adding BBM back. Why should I? What's the compelling reason to take me away from what I use now?

Now will the perfect time for BBM, being that there is no privacy with Skype!

"According to an article published on Thursday by the British newspaper, internal National Security Agency memos show that Microsoft actually helped the federal government find a way to decrypt messages sent over select platforms, including Web chat, Hotmail email service, and Skype"

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Cross platform BBM experience must be amazing from the beginning, v1.0. BBM on iOS and Android must have the same great experience as on a BBRY out of the gate.
Otherwise it will get tons of criticism from tech reviewers, media, analysts, and will have a hard time gaining any traction. Once that happens, good luck coming back from behind. It will be a steeper climb.

Theres is no doubt in my mind that when blackberry goes cross platform that whatsapp and Skype two of few very big apps out there are going to fall off!!! Just because a lot of people do more messaging then you or any one can think of and seeing BBM is the best messaging system to date and not only will they be use BBM messageing a lot. Video call is fully integrated into the BBM messaging makeing you not having to leaving your Bbm chat just to make a video call. Making BBM the better set up for video calling and messageing on any messaging apps! So That is something to feel big about because that is Big! Go blackberry Go!

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Great article Chris I've been saying when BBM goes cross platform and adds video and voice to IOS and Android that it'll be a Skype, Whatsapp and Voxer killer and let's not to about BBM Channels a social network just waiting to be unleashed

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I understand it's unlikely, but I think that BBM for iOS and Android should launch with audio and video. This analyst's reasoning fails if BBM comes out as just text messaging and then people try it and dismiss it as such. Apps aren't phones. People move on pretty quickly and it looks like they might move on before BBM has a chance to fulfill that OTT potential.

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1. i don't trust a canadian analyst like ACI when it comes to evaluating BBRY. i've seen a consistent foolish national pride bias when it comes to canadians and BB. 10 out of 11 canadian analysts had a buy rating on the stock all the way down from $92 to $9. US firms were much more bearish on BB - and accurate. beware of the bias.
2. check out ACI's web site. they look like amateurs.

what's valuable is the warning to investors to beware of home country bias. and i don't read analyst reports because i don't believe what's in them.

I am a little concern that your article doesnot provide the disclaimer that anyone who has followed his advice to short Apple would have gone bankrupt many times over.

Why would it be different with BBRY?

I'm glad to hear he has high hopes for blackberry as a company but i hope they don't transition to a software only company. I am a shareholder and love their phones and the care they put into the build quality (especially on their high end devices). I will continue to buy blackberry hardware over competitors. They will continue to develop bb10 to make it even more amazing and i am excited for the new products as well, the apps will come with users and BlackBerry users will still enjoy the security they always have with all the other new perks. Give it time BlackBerry can be a company that provides automotive and other enterprise solutions through QNX, they have Service Revenues that can increase with the new blackberry world and more users purchasing as well as BES10, and once they prove themselves again i believe their hardware will take off once again. It's not always about specs if it can out perform competing products with a better experience, and I'm loving my experience from the start on both my Z10 and Q10. I do have high hopes for bbm cross platform and i think it will help BlackBerry largely in the long run which i can wait cause I'm in for the LONG HAUL!!

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If this works it could indeed challenge whatsapp and much more. Mobile payments Hugh industry
Potential. A financial blog out of London speculates a recent large block purchase of shares
(44 million) was from a private European bank anticipating big growth in the Latin world for electronic
Payments and the potential success this new business for bb. It,so worth remembering rim sold
8million phones per year, surely 7million sales now every 4 months is a big leap in numbers.

I completely agree with this analysis however, there are still a lot of variables to be considered/managed.

BlackBerry will need to execute extremely well and probably be the most aggressive they've ever been with that execution, in order to ensure the adoption rate of BBM on other platforms is high. Although I believe the initial access to BBM on iOS or Android should be free, I don't believe those platforms should share the same luxuries as BlackBerry device users. Otherwise, why own a BlackBerry device when I can get something similar with a larger app ecosystem.

Personally, I believe cross platform BBM happening is the best decision BlackBerry could have made but it truly boils down to how they handle the introduction of it IMO.

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I think it's both hardware and cross platform BBM that has the potential to make blackberry number one in the market. If BBM does (which if it's almost Identical, I can't see how it won't) become the number one messaging app for all platforms it's safe to assume that the bad feeling that some people on other platforms seemed to hold will fade, everyone will become hyped on how great BBM is and then at some point they decide to buy a new phone and they have a new option they would never of considered. It's got the potential to change loads of people's views and although I didn't think so at first, now....maybe this is the best thing they could of decided to do.

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To be truly competitive, gain significant market share, and attract users that STICK, BBM will have to not only be on mobile like android and apple, but also be on desk tops, laptops and tablets. I will believe it when I see it......

Yes, and we all know how right on most of these "anal-ysts" were before the last report. If they had a clue they would be working for themselves with all the correct stock picks they have up their sleeves.

Another garbage piece by Chris. He rolls out and "analyst" who suggested you short Apple in Jan 2012 w/ a price target of $270... the stock went to $700 before pulling back. 18 months later he's still wrong:

Here's in interview with CNBC

He's been negative on Apple since launch and this is who you roll out... someone who has been wrong again and again to be the great hope... over BBM, seriously.

Chris, you're even worse than Kevin with this garbage... find the guy that hates Apple and loves Blackberry
Produce things from real analyst not these quacks.

You're sad.

but, but, he works way harder to deeply understand the moving parts in the tech industries that he covers!

Would also be nice if they made BBM Voice and Video available over cellular and not just WiFi

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Probably a good idea to note that this gentleman also predicted Apple's ecosystem would be crushed by HTML apps. He's kind of out there...

Wow he thinks that by throwing customers down who have been loyal to the RIMPIRE and laying off thousands that this is a great company. Must be because they spent what $20-$25 dollars advertising in the states. Yeah Im still mad.

I have to disagree with his view.

I feel Blackberry should have opened up BBM earlier on, maybe 6-12 months earlier. Sure they have the best system and security and so on. But it isn't the best IM unless you have a lot of friends you can message via the platform. There is no point being the best if 90% of your friends aren't on it because they have moved onto other phones. If that's the case, it simply aren't the best and the proposition is gone.

Being able to message everyone is why apps like Whatsapp is so popular. It might not be the best but you have all sorts of phones connecting to it. Almost guarantee your friends would be on it.

I feel they have delayed opening BBM for maybe just a bit too long that they now feel they are desperate to open it up to remain relevant in the IM space.

BlackBerry needs someone with fire in his or her belly to take charge. I will give it to TH - the Q10 is a great phone, but the phone that was supposed to have made a BIG difference in BlackBerry fortunes was the Z10. It failed, is failing, has failed, and will most likely continue to fail.

BlackBerry 10 is excellent. TH needs to get his sheet together by coming up with a premium touchscreen handset, and he needs to cajole developers to develop 'must-have' native BlackBerry 10 apps. Mr TH/BlackBerry: innovate or perish.

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