Brainstorming BBRY: What would BlackBerry without a hardware business look like?

By Chris Umiastowski on 13 Sep 2013 03:02 pm EDT
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About two weeks ago BlackBerry board member Bert Nordberg gave an interview to the WSJ, in which he made some pretty interesting remarks. Personally, I think anything Nordberg says has to be taken seriously given his background as CEO of Sony Ericsson. For a good many years, Sony Ericsson was doing a great job of putting out high quality phones, and the joint venture was very profitable.

The WSJ reported that Nordberg said he believes BlackBerry “can continue to be a niche maker of mobile hardware.” But did he really say that?  According to the article, he actually said, "I think BlackBerry is able to survive as a niche company. But being a niche company means deciding to be a niche company. Historically, BlackBerry has had larger ambitions. But battling giants like Apple, Google and Samsung is tough.”

Is it possible that he’s talking about being a niche player outside of the hardware market at some point? Because I can’t see the logic in BlackBerry creating hardware where the purpose is to be a small player in a big market. If you’re going to make smartphones that are specifically niche products then you have to charge a fortune to make sure they are very profitable. Think about Panasonic and their ToughBook line of rugged computers. It wasn’t uncommon to find corporations paying $5,000 for a laptop. Why would they buy a ToughBook? Because people who uses computers in the field aren’t going to use the same Dells or Lenovos that IT departments buy to power cubicle nation. 

So if BlackBerry is to be a niche hardware vendor, they have to find a niche that is very specific in its needs and they have to raise prices dramatically. Otherwise they are competing in the mass market, and they need mass market volumes to make money.

But taking Nordberg’s quote as it was provided, it’s possible that he intends to push for BlackBerry to be a niche player without actually making hardware anymore.  Along those lines, CrackBerry wants to dig deeper into what BlackBerry might look like without a device business.

If BlackBerry was to exist as a pure play software and services company what do you, our readers, think is the area they can add the most value? Is it by providing an amazing cross platform BBM experience that grows to become the most relevant communication app in the world? Can they monetize it as a corporate IM tool? What about a focus on the MDM market? Automotive, or other M2M verticals? We know there's a lot more to BlackBerry 10 than being just an operating system and ecosystem for mobile phones.

The Microsoft / Nokia news from clearly isn’t going to change anything in the short term, but it does pose a threat to BlackBerry turning into a solid #3 player in smartphones.  And if they can’t be #3, they may as well play elsewhere.  So have your say.  Where is that elsewhere going to be?

Topics: BBRY Editorial

Reader comments

Brainstorming BBRY: What would BlackBerry without a hardware business look like?

210 Comments

Sure BlackBerry can be just a software and services company but they are facing lots of competition in their enterprise area now as well as the consumer side. It ll be tough though.

Posted via CB10

What BB needs is to get traction. Even if it's no 4 for some time, as long as they manage to first stabilize and then increase sales. I know, I know. As a stock holder it has been beyond painful but I still think the technology is there to gain market share. The new iphone, other than it's finger scan hardware, lacks real innovation. THIS is the chance players such as windows and bb have been waiting for. They just need to keep pushing. Once again, BB needs to do a much better job marketing it's feature and benefits.

Lacks innovation? It's a "s" upgrade. I think we have never seen such a innovative one. Compare the 4s to the 4 in that regards they really put a hell of a lot of innovation inside the 5s. Something we in Blackberry world can only dream of. A whole new class leading processor, new coprocessors we will see lots of use cases of, one of the best cameras in any phone, fingerprint stuff, longer battery life with same weight, plus an amazing upgrade to the OS in iOS7. I mean, as a S midlife refresh these enhancements are HUGE. Just compare the Z10 to the Z30 which is the new flagship device. I am afraid there you have some solid "lacks of innovation". And I am saying that as a Blackberry fan.

KooLpep: Do you think the email of the 5s compares to the Z10 ? well No , not even close. The new features coming to 10.2 like Toast notification , Hub management , Priority email and more will be even better. How the Z10 can share social where everything is integrated beats out the current 5s for me. In my social gatherings full of iPhones, HTC , S3, everyone gets a kick out of my Storymakers I make and send out via email at the events in 30 minutes. The Gestures and navigation of the Z10 makes the current 5s still look clunky ! The fast intuitive tri-lingual virtual keyboard is super-fast and yes I type 3 languages. The productivity apps are great on BB10 eg. Super Notes , Remember/Evernote , Noted , Speed dial, Call notes , Translator , BlackBerry Travel , remote PC , Scan apps, Password Locking apps, Adobe with Text Flow & Signature is great , Music apps have now gotten much much better etc.. The Q10 well I will leave that to "No Competition". Apps is where the 5s still beats the Z10 but so far the only thing I want is BBM Channels. I love 5s swipe gesture of open frames... a total Playbook copy. The Z10 camera with the variety of apps along with the new features in 10.2 is great. So when you have media saying your going bankrupt it only leads to poor sales and that is a management/marketing problem. Can BlackBerry and does BlackBerry make great phones ? A BIG Yes and security is number one. Comparing the Z30 vs 5s once again thats an easy one ! Z30 = 5 inch screen + bigger battery + 10.2OS and the the 5s is a 4 inch screen.. The 5s is a 4 inch screen phone with a few features and processor speed. Processor speed can be made up by functionality of the phone. So Z30 still beats 5s. FYI : I used a Bold 9900 + iPhone 5 for the browser mainly for a year and a half.

Hey, am not disputing that the Z10 is cool. After all, I am using one from day one, the price dropped to 50% in my country from what I paid (we don't have subsidies here), I use the Z10 side by side with my iPhone5 from work. I really like the Z10 but the point was not how great the Z10 was. It was how much innovation went in the iPhone from 5 to 5s. I am simply stating that there is a lot of innovation to find. And if Blackberry would put as many innovation into the hardware than Apple we would be all very happy.

IMO BlackBerry 's OS 10 is the best SW innovation this year so far, even iOS7 may not change that. But I agree BBRY need to put more innovation in HW, which has become the Achilles heel in their product.

Posted via CB10

@koolpep
Do us all a favor and please don't insult us by calling yourself a Blackberry fan. You are an isheep in disguise at best. From BBOS to BB10, it's a huge innovation from Blackberry and Blackberry is changing very fast on various fronts. It's just not as good as Apple in marketing propaganda with catchy buzzwords like retina display. I agree that Blackberry management has made many mistakes in launching BB10 but technically, on the product development side, Blackberry has done amazing job where as iPhone comes with the same old sh*t every where and still iSheeps like yourself will call it a major break through and stand in line to get same crap again and again.

Did you read what I wrote? Why all the hate? Dude, I used probably more blackberry devices for a longer time than you ever will, been through ever OS upgrade blackberry has ever done. Man, I transitioned with BlackBerry from.wheel to scroll ball to touch pad to touchscreen. I am using Mobile phones since the launch of GSM in 1992. I have done more for BlackBerry than you. Grow up! Why do you think I still use a Blackberry? I can have any phone I want. Of course I like OS10 and yes its a night and day difference to BBOS7. I bought the Z10 the week it was released. How dare you call me isheep? My company issues iphones to the executive team, so my work phone is just that, however my private phone is a Z10. But your imbecile reaction to the slightest form.of realism reminded me why fanboism is so utterly stupid.

A good chance of sustaining the OS is by licensing BB10. A company that may be BlackBerry's best hope to do so is Huawei. They just recently stated they plan to continue to produce for Windows Phone, even after Microsoft's purchase of Nokia mobile.

won't license it either to them. Same security concerns. No corporate customer will buy a "secure" device from Chinese firm that has access to the encryption algorithms and OS. GE has a policy of no Chinese networking equipment in their infrastructure for example.

Well, If I have to pay extra just to have a BlackBerry phone in my hand, so be it. I'm hoping they don't give up hardware. I would have no reason to support them.

Posted via CB10

It's not that they will manufacture a phone just for you if they cant sell it to anyone else, not sure you can pay that much more..

They would not make a BlackBerry phone just for me. ( lol) They would make less phones at a higher cost to customers. Did we read the same article?

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry sells devices only to a limited number of consumers because BlackBerry CEO wants so.

I think Thorsten and others knew from the beginning that the overpriced devices with totally insufficient marketing support won't reach the masses.

I´m afraid they are just executing a Plan.

What is/was the Plan? That is the question to which near future will give answer.

I'm with you. I just care for my handheld devices and if I have to be the few, then do be it. Hope they don't give up. Or switch.

Posted via CB10

They need to just bite the bullet and spend a huuge amount in advertising and push bb10 home. Its too good to keep a niche.

Market aggressively
Price competitively
Bring in the big apps immediately

Problems solved.

Posted via CB10

The brand is too damaged at the moment to change that perception they'd need more money they can afford to burn now.

I totally agree... they completely blew it... I think that the 10.2 OS should have been the OS that was released (mainly because it would have closed the app gap due to the fact that it has the new Android player which doesn't have the limitations which the current one has and which would have allowed for more apps to be ported over much easier with a better user experience)

I work for one of Canada's biggest companies.. and I'm on the BES 10 upgrade project and the PM for thé project makes fun of me for buying a Z10 for personal use from a company that's 'going under' as he says.. just gives you an idea as to what the perception is surrounding BlackBerry.. just kills me

via CB10 on the amazing Z10

It's often the wrong people who end up in managerial positions in big companies. Sounds like your PM is no exception.

Sent from my iPuh-lease-as-IF

Agreed, but they missed the boat to do it from beginning of BB10 and their delayed launches.

They need to wait for the next big wave that they need to create.

Posted via Me on my Z

For a company that had somewhere around 70+ million users and 3 Billion in the bank, the marketing they put out was inexcusable!

This is a company that was too scared to take a complete risk. They should have spent the money and got an outside agency to do their marketing.

Posted via Me on my Z

They knew that BB10 was still half baked. They probably could have done that if there were to launched with what will be BB10.3: toast notifications, headless apps, profiles and all that was in BB7 that it's missing from BB10. Not to mention lack of an attractive ecosystem.

Yup. Makes you wonder where all the 'learnings' from the PlayBook OS went... shredded? Why the half finished OS all the time.

The CB site have many contributors who state that the BB10 OS needs time as it is a year old however it is much older than that... it began with the PlayBook... it was the demoed in Enterprise Forums over a year ago....

Too much time spent on the phablet version, Porsche version, keyboard version etc. And the posters that suggest a slider will be the silver bullet? As delusional as Lazardis.

BBRY should definitely get out of the hardware business. Focus on government systems and delivering services to citizens. Then they wouldn't have to even contemplate shitty, pointless, expensive Super Bowl apps that nobody remembers except for..... being... shitty, pointless and expensive.

Posted via CB10

Could BlackBerry afford to push the launch back to LATE 2013? They are in the terrible position of having to make the best of the bad situation they're in, and they're spending more than just their $3 billion: they're spending all their goodwill: I hear they spent mine on a pirate DVD of "Hostel". I'm not happy about that.

It always being said that BlackBerry still has 70+ Million users, $3Billion cash in the bank and no debt...

Why do brainstorming? It means that they're still doing it right... unless that "supposedly facts" are no longer facts...

Posted via Z10

Put the blame where the blame belongs ... Thorston Heins should step up and say what needs to be said .. he screwed up..

I agree with the fact that BlackBerry needs to spend more money on marketing. The money and effort wasted in trying to sell or reevaluate the company could be better spent trying to market their product.

They need to spend more on product placement on television shows. A couple years ago when apple started showing siri, they had an episode of the Big Bang theory dedicated to Siri. It was funny but that that was marketing at its best.

BlackBerry needs to look at the amount they have in the bank and allocate a larger portion to this product placement in American pop culture. Shows like America's got talent. X factor. American Idol. Have a BlackBerry sign in front of each judge and give some kind of presidence to people that vote through a BBM channels account.

We see some people in the entertainment industry use BlackBerry, this needs to be used in marketing.

Finally. The large U.S. Factor. I was reading about the rise and fall of BlackBerry today. I'll attach a link to this post. Its a long but good read. BlackBerry was a large part in helping the U.S government communicate during the collapse of the twin towers. All cellular networks went down but RIM had their BBM up and running to help the government figure out what happened. As a result, rim became a necessary tool for all government employees. This angle should be advertised more. Especially during the fall months.

Posted via CB10

Using a disaster directly or indirectly to market your product can turn into a PR nightmare very quickly. AT&T got a lot of flak by merely tweeting a picture of the phone showing the twin lights that commemorate 9/11.

Yes. You have to be careful on the way it's done, I believe that if it's used to show how their technology helped the American people during a natural threat, it can be seen as a positive. att commercial was just done wrong. Look at the duracell commercials. They show first resoponders using only their product because it helps protect people.

Posted via CB10

Do we really think that if we can figure out that Blackberry needs more marketing, that they haven't figured that out themselves? It's a plan. It was a plan all from the beginning. Create more value for a company that will be sold-off. Mr. Heins was brought in to execute that plan (hence his compensation package). Make no mistake about that.

That was probably set as plan B. I don't think that they had that plan from the start. Lazeridis and Prem watsa are friends and they had a plan to compete. I do think that the quality of the device is at par at better then most devices out there. Marketing is needed. They still have the old train if thought of marketing to business. Hence the keep moving campaign. They need to look at the Samsung and apple commercial. They play on cool use of product

Posted via CB10

Kinda seems backward minded if you ask me. They should just go private if they're struggling, and keep hardware going. Nothing beats having your own hardware, Hence the recent purchases by google and Microsoft. Everyone wants their own hardware, having your own hardware gives you full control and credit for your own innovations, and innovation is what BlackBerry will rely on to get back in the game. Volume of sales will come from innovation in addition to innovative advertising. They need advertising that is innovative to reflect their innovations or else it's all pointless.

Posted via CB10

Agree the combination of hardware and software is what Ll other layers are looking for and it makes more sense. They need to develop fast otherwise Android and Apple will be the only choices and I don't like either.

Posted via CB10 from my Awesome Hub enabled Z10

It would look a few thousand employees lighter, which everyone seems to forget in the rush to sell the company.

Doesn't really matter if they are one, two, three or four, what matters is if they can maintain a large enough base of users.

Once BlackBerry is really ready to go full throttle in whatever direction, they will be okay. But as much change they have brought in, everyone can still see them pumping the brakes and holding back.

BB10 is solid, but they sure never acted like a company that thinks it is solid. They just need a stable backer or just take the company private and show the world what BlackBerry is about.

Posted via Me on my Z

I love the os... ask the family I literally live on my Z 10 but let's face it things never work the same when one company makes the os and another makes the hardware... that's why ms bought Nokia and apple controls both... and I'm sure that's one of the reasons Google bought Motorola..

Who knows? Look at companies like Samsung and HTC who have made great phones from a third party OS.

Maybe an outsider could do some innovative things with the hardware that BlackBerry is too conservative to do, like some radical high end designs (see HTC One), a slider, a QWERTY phablet, etc...

The skies the limit.

Also, the Z/Q10 and Z30 are not at all innovative in hardware. The Z/Q10 are both made from around 80% of the same parts that the S3 had.

So I'm not sure that we have nothing to gain from 3rd party BB10 phones. In fact, we may gain some much needed excitement for BB10 products!

Posted via CB10

if they give up hardware, i think it's pretty much over. In one of the previous articles on crackberry(i'm pretty sure it was crackberry) it states how MS tried to be a software company, but realized it couldn't. Therefore, it bought Nokia.

If blackberry leaves the hardware business i'd get an iphone. It seems like the phone is getting better and the integration with the computer is better. Sad.

I too would hate to lose the hardware and of BlackBerry. It would be admitting to Apple that only it can succeed under the model that both Apple and BlackBerry follow. No company is providing the end-to-end experience that BlackBerry and Apple currently do and to lose BlackBerry would be a major loss. I enjoy BlackBerry hardware and think that BlackBerry should stay a completely integrated company.

Posted via CB10

Microsoft IS a software company, and that's all they've EVER been since they fisted started DOS and Windows. They produce some hardware like RTS and proprietary hardware like mice, but most of their profit comes from licensing software.

--Q10 and Canadian all the way! Posted via CB10 on 10.2.0.1443.

Such a shift for BlackBerry would very closely resemble IBM's transition away from the market in which it originally competed (or actually helped create).

As for the most value, it would be found in BlackBerry's MDM solutions and allowing access for other devices to operate over BlackBerry's secure network. BBM would play a huge part in such a move as corporate customers could enjoy separate BBM spaces for work and personal life. If BlackBerry were to exit the hardware business, I see it as the end of BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry becoming a sole service -oriented company.

In my opinion, the biggest thing lacking at BlackBerry right now is a vision. It can't figure out what purpose its current assets are serving. It doesn't know whether it should be an enterprise-focused company or a consumer-based company. BlackBerry needs to first figure out why it's in business, what it plans achieve by staying business, and how what the company has could shape the world one way or another.

Posted via CB10

Vision: whatever happened to being a leader in mobile computing?

--Q10 and Canadian all the way! Posted via CB10 on 10.2.0.1443.

Vision means nothing without ability to execute, BBRY's historical Achilles heel. BBRY has been sitting around pontificating about mobile computing for many years now, with not much to show, massive lost opportunity with QNX & BBM.

I like BlackBerry because of the products they produce (also because it is one of the largest Canadian tech companies, but that's beside the point). If they stop producing their products and only have software solutions such as BBM and licensing BB10 to other manufacturers, I'm not going to remain interested in them. I like their handsets and the software they run. That's it. I could care less about BES and security from a personal viewpoint.

If somehow they can continue to produce their iconic handsets, then I'll be rooting for them. Otherwise..

#IChooseBlackBerry10

--Q10 and Canadian all the way! Posted via CB10 on 10.2.0.1443.

It would be a viable business if they just focused on software. They have already proved it is too late in the game to make a push for their hardware. Time to cut losses and focus on what they do best, secure Enterprise software and BBM.

Posted using my Z10... soon to be Android or Apple

BES and BBM, baby! What other solutions will straddle 4 OSes: BB7 & 10, iOS & Android? (There may be some, I'm just asking.)

I don't see it. BES is their primary system. It provides the security that governments and corporations rely on. That security means secure devices connecting to it.

Secure Workplace has benefits with being able to bring Android and iOS into the mix, but is it as secure as a BlackBerry device connected to BES? BlackBerry 10 and BES have DoD approval. So far, the other platforms don't.

What it may mean is that BlackBerry will partner with a hardware maker like LG to create the next generation of devices. In that respect, they could hand off the cost of hardware, but the hardware still needs to exist in order for BES to do its job.

I think the link is too important. Take out hardware, and you have a piece of software that is also not longer needed, other than running Secure Workplace. If BlackBerry really wants to kill itself, take away the most important reason the company exists: security.

Posted via CB10

Give up on hardware would be the worst case scenario. However, if that was the case, I'd like BlackBerry to really develop BBM and make it the best cross platform messaging service around, that includes Windows Phone too. Not only that, they need to make sure voice/video calls is present on cross platform along with Channels and desktop BBM. Then they have to push that out hard and I mean harder than they're pushing devices.

Secondly, what if they were to provide for government and businesses only? Like how they did before entering the consumer market?

Thirdly, provide BES to iOS, Android and Windows Phone, they need to carry that on.

In conclusion, with Twitter filing for an IPO, getting a foot in the social networking platform is also getting harder, never mind the mobile market.

Posted via CB10

Interesting take on the situation. Personally I think blackberry can survive thru enterprise and maybe licensing bb10 to other phone manufacturers. BlackBerry 10 is a solid os in its beginning stages and can be built upon to make it even better.

Posted via CB10

Licensing only works if you either have a manufacturer producing enough product to sustain both companies, or if you have multiple manufacturers licensing the software. If they were going for a licensing deal, they probably wouldn't need to involve the government and lobby about foreign businesses.

If they license to one company, like LG, what would happen if LG decided in a year that BlackBerry 10 was not making enough profit? Or they don't get DoD certification? I think the hardware portion plays an important role in their success, even if it is made by someone else. It will probably need to be a much stronger relationship (at least right now) than just a basic licensing deal.

Posted via CB10

Niche isn't bad being that blackberry only makes phones and enterprise software. Sorry for the PlayBook users but let's be honest apple makes computers and so does Samsung and Sony. But if you look at android software is in a gazillion phones and thats where the money is. Right now android is killing apple that's why they had to make a cheap IPhone

Posted via CB10

Google isn't making money on licensing Android. The manufacturers utilizing Android don't pay for the OS at all.

Google makes their money off of the analytics from those devices, and ad revenue.

I don't think that is a business plan that BlackBerry wants to follow, especially since security is their primary asset.

Posted via CB10

Without hardware, they're very likely out of the mobile phone business, as it seems no one in that space is interested in BB10 since ~Feb 2012. Best chance may be Dell now that the buyout was approved. But I'd smell a HP/Palm debacle, as people will be very unlikely to buy mobile phone hardware from anyone that'd buy BBRY, like Dell.

With no hardware, BBRY has 3 things 1) BES/Enterprise space (last for how long?) 2) QNX running nukes, cars, etc 3) BBM (for how long?)

I trust that BlackBerry is doing their best to look at the picture...I doubt they will stop making the hardware. I think it's smart that they are targeting professionals first. Let's face it typical everyday consumers get bored easily and want the next best thing....BlackBerry users in general in my opinion sticks to their phones for at least 2 Years and that's why some feel so passionate about certain feature (e.g. the rollerball) I think they need to market more and put out applications that are applicable to the general public like...bank apps, popular games, and more productivity related apps.

An interesting marketing idea would be... "leave the games to PlayStation and Xbox. Do what we are meant to do with phones, communicate and get stuff done"

How awesome would it be if BlackBerry were to team up with PlayStation and/or Xbox and somehow integrate systems with BlackBerry - wow!!!

BBQ10

I tend to agree with your assessment. Most of the people I know who use BlackBerry phones are professional / business people. What has surprised me is how slow these folks have upgraded to the new platform. Many of them are waiting because they don't believe in being early adopters. They want the OS to be as bug free as possible. They are beginning to upgrade but it has been a slow process.

Why? Well BlackBerry got it right that BlackBerry people are folks who get things done. Where BlackBerry miscalculated was how fast these folks would want to upgrade from devices that still get things done! Lots of the stuff you hear about consumer views have to do with non business activities like movie/TV apps(netflix), games, social apps (Instagram) and other functions. BlackBerry can't compete, or so it seems, in the consumer world. So pair with someone who can compete and concentrate on your strengths.

Posted via CB10

Z30 next week... Windemere, Tigris, Euphrates and more... there is definitely hardware on the roadmap and in the pipeline through and into 2015. The big question is if things will continue on that path or if a business decision will be made along the way that alters the plans. If they do get out of hardware, I sure hope they auction off their prototypes... I want for my collection! :)

#ICHOOSEBLACKBERRY10

Posted via CB10

Lucky dog. Must have got a shipment of those BlackBerry panties ;)

Sent from The Legendary Zed10

I choose, too... But why this initiative does now support rather a better way to sell the BlackBerry than to keep our BB moving into real market progress? We have heard nothing about the cancellation of the other initiative - the one leading towards the sale of BlackBerry :(

[...] BBs always for young professionals - new BYOD hero: www.smartman.mobi

I believe BlackBerry will not exit the hardware business especially if it goes private.
The only thing is if they get sold in parts then BlackBerry would cease to exist anyway and in this case the point would be mute.
Going back to the article, the word niche means different things to different people and it is hard to see what he meant, but it could mean specialized.
In any case, I really do hope BlackBerry would do something about their marketing because all my friends are leaving BlackBerry and I am getting tired trying to stop them.

Swiped on my Z10

Are any of them portrait sliders? Are they all full touch slabs with slightly different case designs and screen sizes? Are any of them what you'd call "innovative" or even "risky"? In their nothing-left-to-lose situation, are they still being timid or limiting themselves? I hope at least one of those lines produces a device that even the harshest critics would have to call "incredible" or at least "excellent" (followed by "but it's too little too late" inevitably).

BB does not hove to be the maker of the hardware.,
Rather, they can brand devices with their name.
BUT, BB (the company) must retain full control of the BB (the product) design and manufacture.

What we don't know, if the current manufacturing facilities are a profit center or drain to cash flow.

I could be wrong, but I think that in the manufacturing end, people are over-estimating the effect of economies of scale. Those tail off fairly fast and can turn into dis-economies of scale. A previous post suggested they don't have to be #1, 2, or 3, so long as they make enough. I think that's what they are talking about: make enough to move far enough down the cost curve to make the product profitable and affordable. That balance can be tough to achieve, but not impossible. However, the intent of the thread is can they succeed without owning the hardware part of the equation. I'm not sure. Palm tried it and I feel it watered down the brand and was a failure. A joint venture may be more viable, but could leave the company subject to takeover by the manufacturing company, a la Microsoft/Nokia. And maybe that is a good long-term evolution.

Posted via CB10

I'm with you on this. I don't think they have to be #1, 2 or 3, they just have to work on making their hardware as close to break-even (or above) as possible. BlackBerry has so many options to make money from different services, as described in the article and in various comments, but I think keeping a presence in hardware serves as a keystone for all those other things. The hardware division itself might not make money but it will provide the necessary brand presence and corporate cohesiveness to keep the everything else going.

I think the real dark horse for BB, and one not mentioned much, is the financial transaction market. Look at BBM Money in Indonesia. BB , especially with Certicom, has the sec/crypto chops to do it. Tie carrier billing in, they'd love that business. Rogers is applying for their own Visa after all, maybe this a precursor.

Google and Microsoft spent billions and billions to get end-to-end mobile: hardware, OS, ecosystem, etc... for a very good reason, you need it to survive. BBRY loses hardware, they're done in mobile.

Most of present BlackBerry Users will stay only with BBM, then... Actually not then, rather sooner than later :( Death of BB hardware wouldn't be impossible - talks about BBM, as a new company, were and are for sure. Hard to believe RIM launched Q10 not for business only. It wouldn't cost so much to sell at least the same or even bigger number of these devices. Think RIM, think if you still are able to...

[...] BBs always for young professionals - new BYOD hero: www.smartman.mobi

I think it is time for a Google Hangout!!

CrackBerry Kevin? Where are you CrackBerry Kevin?!?!?!?! Lets all get together on this fine Friday and discuss this among ourselves...

WHADAYASAY???

It doesn't matter how many app smartphone have u can't fit all on the phone but blackberry always come up with a good software & QNX software in car system is better then any car system we have in some car now I always love blackberry no matter & hope to see the blackberry & QNX company grow

Posted via CB10

My best guess is, secure money transfers and online banking/payments, tied into virtual bank shop fronts on BBM Channels.

Hardware in my opinion is definitely not the future for BlackBerry.

I think people are thinking too much. You have to think of BlackBerry as a new founded company built 1 year and a half ago. And like any other new company you have to give it time to raise. Keep Calm

Marketing is everything

What I worry is if the hardware is dropped, who is going to want to latch on to a company who's software hasn't been a success? BlackBerry should just go private and refocus. There is enough room for them.

Posted via CB10

I think giving up hardware is not all that bad. Focus on QNX software and put it in everything. If you look at their plans for mobile computing and connecting everything to get things done. You can see a future for QNX to be in everything, your phone, TV, home appliances, home monitoring, everything! Being connected to your whole life via mobile. Hardware should be left to someone like LG or Samsung who make everything. Imagine one of your kids finishes off the milk and the fridge sends you a BBM to tell you is out!

Posted via CB10

I'd rather my child call me and let me know them self. I don't like my fridge that much.

Sent from the future on my Z10.

This has merit in my mind. With the advent of M2M having an OS that is more friendly and forgiving of hardware is key! In my mind if the OS and hardware are too tightly coupled then it becomes too difficult to make adjustments to changes in the market. I think if they can deliver an OS that is robust onf lots of hardware they stand a better chance of being used in more places.

This is actually in opposition to MS buying Nokia, but there just might be opportunity in breaking away from the pack. Mobile computing, as I might envision it, means lots of manufacturers can build their product to integrate with and join the ecosystem with ease.

Got to stop for milk on the way home, Safeway has a sale (my phone already checked for me).

Ricocan

Well, you can't compete big on a small scale and expect grand results, and it seems like BlackBerry did just that. Would I use a BlackBerry OS with a name other than BlackBerry on the front? Likely, but too many variables to be certain. Either way, I'm still not convinced that BlackBerry is worth more dead than alive.
(And I love my Z10)

Sent from the future on my Z10.

You're speculating by changing the words that actually came out of his mouth. He did say, "niche hardware maker", then for the article, you changed his words into something he didn't say. That's weird. He said one thing, so you can't just speculate on a bizarre "iceberg" theory, LOL. He didn't say what you're suggesting. LMAO

Posted via CB10

Nordberg: "niche hardware maker" - what you heard in your head: "change the words 'niche hardware maker' into something else to fit an article you want to write..."

Posted via CB10

It happens all the time - a quote and then a paraphrase/interpretation/headline. The actual quote was: “I think BlackBerry is able to survive as a niche company..." there was no mention of "hardware".

BlackBerry is getting out of hardware technology forever because nordberg said, "niche hardware maker" in a comment? I don't get this.

Posted via CB10

I think if they keep working on bb10 and stay ahead of the competition, BlackBerry will rise above android and apple, they can't stay there forever. Who would have said Nokia would be in the state they are in now, 10 years ago?

Posted via CB10

They are renowned for their hardware i.e. keyboards. And enterprise solutions. I think the niche is high end communication tools, secure, and robust on their own servers- maybe back to their roots. I am thinking serving the so- called 1% ers that need safe reliable communication that is encrypted over Netflix. C level, emergency, first responders, celebrities. If they nail this market the others will follow- it becomes am aspirational product. But the software must improve.

Posted via CB10

I think achieving the highest security that only BlackBerry does, requires control if the hardware . At the design and encryption aspects. Somebody else could actually make it. They already do for the most part.

If the market that requires such security is limited and would pay a premium. Satellite phones are in that category already.

Posted via CB10

Blackberry can and should focus on a nitch market. They don't need to compete with apple and android. They have a solid hardware product with software focused on its primary market. They can grow their marker by focusing nd delivering to their core group. Not trying to compete with apple and android deres them up to dominate and grow their market.

Posted via CB10

I'd like to see they are in control of both hardware and software. They could be more aggressive with their hardware choice and keep innovate with BB10.

Post via CB Z10

Blackberry marketing strategy has to change, yes and how? Social media Is a plus, conventional marketing as we know it doesn't reach a large market like it once did. If twerk videos on YouTube can go viral in hours why not utilize that power to attract consumers. Hey they can even ask crackberrians, If that is a word, to be part of a internet commercial of some kind. Right now trusting companies and governments are extremely low, but if normal people doing their normal things with a blackberry is prorated the may gain some trust.

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry could license the software while maintaining their own hardware for qwerty and special editions only, at premium prices. Dictate screen resolutions so it doesn't turn into android. Make licensing fees low, if the manufacturer is willing to submit any of their custom apps to BlackBerry World. Then make all their money on enterprise and the as-yet-to-materialize "mobile computing" future.

Posted via CB10

Yes, I was thinking the same thing. Partner with someone for the hardware, but keep the dictation of the qwerty design for devices..

BlackBerry would be fine with or without hardware, the issue here is the matching of supply and demand and preventing write downs along the way. With Phase I complete the world has already passed judgment on BB and their ability to sell phones. The trouble is, they have only sold one phone for one quarter. Hardly enough time to see whether a BES10 driven customer still exists over the next year. I have a much greater concern as to whether BES10 will be a screaming success, if it is, everything else will fall into place. They can farm out the production of handsets, continue to sell qwerty board phones under their own label and let someone else assume the hardware risks. Without the overhead of manufacturing, they could quickly become the number 1 player in all things mobile. Let's get through Phase II and a couple of quarters behind us before we pass judgment on BlackBerry. I think BB 10.2 and BBM-X alone will drive sales that were lacking for so long.

There are so many variables that contribute to a hardware vendor's bottom line.

BB10 is an experience that is sufficiently different from iOS and Android that it can command premium prices from it's fans. That is to say, why should BB have to manufacture devices and NOT make a decent profit? For heaven's sake, look at the 100% markup on the iPhone and look how much the 64 gig version is on 2 year contract, it's appalling how much they're making, and in those volumes to boot.

BlackBerry: put out the devices that your ardent fans want, and charge a fair price for them and make your profit. Don't over produce, even at the risk of not being able to keep up with demand... at some point, you might find that demand becomes so great that you can start making the high-quality devices and charge less per item.

How many devices have to be sold for a given device to be profitable from design through to distribution and marketing? If it's a number around 1 million, I submit that BlackBerry could sell 1 million of any given BB10 device worldwide at a profit. Yes, even if that means selling them for $700 off contract unlocked only.

There are lots of business models that BlackBerry hasn't tried, including the one that Apple started with: Find an exclusive carrier in each region and sell only through that carrier, and possibly also sell unlocked direct for people who want to operate on other carriers. BlackBerry can rebuild their business by improving on what the incumbent / market leader is doing: Apple did it to BlackBerry: now it's BlackBerry's turn to do it to Apple: It won't be easy, it'll take smart and creative people to do it. If BlackBerry is bankrupt of those and has no hope of getting smart creative people on board, well, then it's all moot.

Get a multi-frequency chipset so you don't have to manufacture 3 versions of a single device; keep the costs down.

BB seems to be stuck in the rut of doing it the way that they've been doing it for years. If for no other reason than to get out from under that, they should sell themselves to themselves and then start accepting bids for carriers to be the exclusive carrier for BB10 devices, and do what they can to bring loyal BB users onto the preferred carrier in each country. Of course unlocked BB10 devices will work on any carrier with compatible frequencies, but as far as the carrier relationships go, stick to a single carrier that will properly market the device. Without it being exclusive, all the carriers are indifferent: if there was one exclusive carrier per country, you'd probably have much more enthusiastic carrier store staff etc.

Can we get an HTC and Blackberry partnership?... The HTC One with Blackberry 10 as the os? I'm sure many people wouldn't disagree with this combo as long as Blackberry can control the development of any QWERTY devices.

BlackBerry needs to put hardware on the back burner, not kill it. You don't wanna put all your eggs in one basket (software) before you know other devices makers like LG, Sony or Samsung are on board. Make some money with software so in a few years time thay have the money for hardware development.

Sent from The Legendary Zed10

http://www.zdnet.com/blackberry-10-forget-about-the-phone-its-the-os-tha...
Every tech analyst seems to be saying the Next Big Thing will be in the Cloud and in wearables, even if they're not entirely sure how yet. I think this could be an opening for BB10 as a software.

What sets the QNX-derived BB10 apart from the others was the kernel structure. iOS and Android are both monolithic kernels, meaning that everything the device needs to function has to be directly connected to the device. This leads to what we're seeing now: lets say when you're out you've got your Google Glass, your Galaxy Gear, your Galaxy phone (by necessity of the Gear), and maybe a Nexus 7. That's four distinct instances of Android connected by nothing more than data packets through the bluetooth equivalent of an ethernet cable, or more likely an internet connection to a hard-drive partition on someone's cloud service that duplicates your files among all four devices and a backup on the server. That's a lot of duplication of data (one song file turns into five song files, one for each device and a backup on the server) and of resources (maybe five GB of RAM all together, but only 2 GB is ever used for any process). Each device is still more or less independent.

Here's where BB10 comes in. The QNX microkernel system means that the system doesn't need to know *where* the resource is in order to use it. Not big now with only tablets and phones, but when wearables like smartwatches and glasses are on the horizon, suddenly distributed processing has some applications. The smartwatch could be a touchscreen with bluetooth, since it's just an extension of the phone: no need for another processor and graphics card. That cuts costs for smart watches, a sticking point now (300$ Galaxy Gear for instance). Or for a few dollars more, throw in a processor and RAM for the phone to use, meaning the phone OS extended to a watch is slightly faster. Do the same with glasses and a tablet, and every device becomes more powerful and flexible together than any of the devices would be on their own. And that's just wearables, with the limitations of battery life. Plug in a TV, home security system, laptop, or even just a box with processors, RAM, and storage. The more devices you include, the faster they all are, and the more capabilities they all have. With TVs, tablets, and the phone all sharing a single distributed OS, you could use the tablet as the keyboard, the TV as the monitor, and the phone as the coordinator. With one system sharing a single file system across multiple hardware points, the Cloud also gets more local, less redundant, and more secure. Your devices are so integrated that they're the same system.

Since every tech analyst is looking towards wearables and the Cloud, if BB can somehow leverage this advantage, that'd make BB10 more attractive than Android or iOS for these upcoming areas.

@ pegasus. I really like the way you think. Hopefully BlackBerry will get a chance to bring all that into fruition.

Posted via CB10

The way you describe the architecture is very eloquent, and perhaps worthy of a sticky on the CrackBerry home page, boldly entitled "Why BB10 DID leapfrog the competition, just like Mike L said".

I don't much respect what pundits say: the assessment of BB10 in punditland is both skewed and myopic. The way C|Net (does that still have anything to do with ZDNet?) skewered BB10 for, I think, a 'laugh' was enough to put me off them completely as untrustworthy (well, except for David Katzmaier's team who are the industry leaders in scientific and objective home entertainment electronics analysis and reviews). I watch C|Net videos once in a while for a change, but it doesn't take too long for that bad taste to come back and I'm put off of it for months again. Being hip and irreverent is more important than being credible (is that a problem with silicon valley new media in general or just C|Net? Probably the former).

Their best assests are QNX, BBM, BES and the NOCs

They took way too much time bringing BBM and BES to other platforms, but now that it's available, they can fight to deliver the best IM and MDM experience to everybody. I just wished they made BES more flexible and more affordable so that ISPs and small businesses can start using it on Linux with IMAP, Cal/CardDAV or ActiveSync.

QNX is still used in many industries and when the top layer is well optimized (nuclear station, car), works well. BB10 is still in its infancy. It shows a lot of promises, but it's still unreliable and incomplete. It would be great if it could be allowed to mature and be given better hardware to truly shine.

So BB can get rid of the hardware and leave that to those who can shift high volumes: Samsung.

Hard work pays off...
Keep moving... keep working... make it go forward....
Be resilient....
Show your products... make them visible...
I want the full BlackBerry experience! Hardware and software...

Posted via CB10

Ericsson was the biggest company in mobile devices in the nineties and pissed it all away. All because of loads of bad decisions, and the notion that nothing can go wrong because we are the best and biggest company in the world. They were completely out of touch with what the customers wanted, kinda like what BlackBerry have been doing for the past couple of years.
And they made excellent phones.
And now they are out of the phone business.
So why would anyone listen to a guy whose greatest achievement is, to be the one who managed to put the last nail in the coffin for Ericsson Mobile

Posted via CB10

Pegasus has it right. I can see this future and it works.

But notice how it revolves on hardware. And that would be the key to understanding the effect of BlackBerry leaving the hardware business.

To innovate, to realise a vision, one must be committed. One can describe the advantages of wearable computing or, as Pegasus has done, the integration of mobile devices, but if the devices don't exist the description remains fantasy. You must be committed to SHOWING the reality of the vision. That means you need the hardware.

Not all of the hardware is needed. Yet, the core equipment must be available when needed. This means control of the hardware side of the business.

NONE of this is true if the future of BlackBerry is directed away from the retail consumer - that is you and me.

If BlackBerry moves solely into software services it becomes irrelevant to the average consumer. The reason we are here, the reason we read and write on CrackBerry is the passion we feel expressed through the hardware.

Regardless of technological brilliance of the people involved; once away from the public consciousness created by the hardware the brand will fade away.

Posted via CB10

I don't think you all understand. BlackBerry is moving away from consumer, they understand they lost that game. Their focus is on corporate/enterprise only and BlackBerry as a platform. While we all love the keyboard, someone else will be making it going forward for BlackBerry. People have to stop reading BGR and other "news" sites and look at the keynote speeches at BB Live, and deep dive in the quarterly reports....working there also gives one knowledge of what is happening.

Better "question".......

What would BlackBerry look like without Frank Boulben heading up the Sales and marketing department?

Frank Boulben Must Go....

Posted via CB10

It would be a seriously dumb move.

With the products BlackBerry is building now hey could suddenly catch on like wildfire when they least expect it.

Keep Moving.

Posted via CB10

All agree that there's a bit of a bandwagon view that BlackBerry is passé....but that's primarily because of a week ecosystem...otherwise the hardware rocks! Let's remember that cool is not being a lemming aka I have an iPhone because everybody gas an iPhone...where's the cool in that ! stay the course they'll come back!

Posted via CB10

I don't think that BB has any chance outside of being a hardware player. NIH syndrome is strong everywhere. The failures of Gil Amelio and Palm loom large in any discussion of what happens to a hardware maker that exits hardware.

MS will fail spectacularly as they continue to attempt to buy into a market that is dubious about their offerings.

Blackberry needs to go private - and quickly. Even if they offered up QNX/Blackberry on a plate to hardware vendors there's no evidence that anyone would buy. HP got fire sale prices for WebOS and no one will be as dedicated to Blackberry as its own company.

I'm not sure. I think the best bet is for BlackBerry to go private and then do some intense strategic planning and sell parts that don't achieve new strategic goals. The constant focus on BlackBerry's business performance and health is a big part of the sales problem in the United States. There are other problems, of course, and the market is very competitive, but the nonsense with people shorting the stock and the earning reports are easily attracting more interest than the Hub. If you mention BlackBerry to a stranger here, the conversation will turn to BlackBerry's business fortunes like 95% of the time. That can't be fixed with advertising or such with the constant burden of public disclosures. The next quarterly earning report comes out in a week or two, right?

I think a SW only BlackBerry would offer much less value than the integrated solution offered today. I don't have a problem with BlackBerry licensing the OS to a great potential partner like LG or Sony or making the relationship more substantial. But, security and reliability are really BlackBerry's enterprise selling points and separating HW from SW means BlackBerry would have a lot less control in both those areas. Besides, BlackBerry 10 as a platform is having a lot of trouble distinguishing itself in both the consumer and enterprise markets. People today will say things like "BlackBerry makes great keyboards" or "Those phones last forever," but I've never heard anyone argue that BlackBerry 10 is a reason to buy a phone... other than BlackBerry. On the other hand, I've never even seen a BlackBerry 10 device in the wild here in California.

It almost sounds as if some believe that BlackBerry should just become QNX, a firm they picked up for what $150 million? Everyone is very impressed that QNX made an embedded OS and that it can run a toaster or a nuclear reactor, but what's the business model for that? I mean I see smart meters and all sorts of applications, but it's not like QNX has dominant market penetration in these areas. There's no reason why BlackBerry should explore these alternate business models with major resources until they are a private business functioning like a startup. Lean, agile, and quick to pivot without controversy -- those are not characteristics of public companies. Sure, I can think of examples of publicly-traded companies that drastically changed their business models with success, but not too many.

I think the Ericsson guy is way off, as well. A has-been whose company disappeared in irrelevance. The enterprise device market is already changing and will soon be shrinking. Consumer phones like the iPhone and Android provide all the functionality for employees to do business with no additional learning curve. Security isn't nearly as much of a concern as it should be in most enterprise settings.

No, at this point, I think going private is necessary for a successful turnaround. Let's hope Prem Watsa and Mike L. save the day. I'd like to see a leaner, private BlackBerry take some risks on exciting kick as consumer products in the internet of things and mobile computing arenas, as well as continuing to pursue auto, but slashing and selling it's parts on the theory that the parts are worth more than the whole is a dubious proposition when the parts so obviously are not... at least not yet (BBM, Nuetrino, BES10, all have potential, but potential isn't 300 million BBM users, yet.)

Posted via CB10

Well, Google did it for quite awhile and passed out Android (while simultaneously destroying it) before they bought Motorola Mobility.
Blackberry can license it's secure software and keep tight reins on the manufacturer while they reinvigorate development. BBRY could finally have competitive products in emerging markets and still help the hardware manufacturer build high end products for saturated markets like North America, Western Europe, Australia, etc.

There is nothing wrong with being number 4. The big question is whether BlackBerry can be viable as number 4. I think so. Since BlackBerry used to be number 1 we keep comparing it's fate to a slippery slope. The market keeps changing wildly, but demand is saturating in high income markets. BlackBerry' s biggest problem is its slowness to get its ideas and products to market. They need to fix this and change perceptions. Heins needs to change his image or be changed. Keep movin'. BlackBerry is a good product.

Posted via CB10

I agree. There is just so much worthless commentary to the point of "if you're not at least #3, you might as well get out"... that is a data-less assertion, without saying how many devices a #4 could reasonably sell, and how much profit a #4 could reasonably make.

When people say "Z10's are sold out at XXX retailer!" there's a chorus of "Oh, but how many devices did they have in the first place?".

When people say "if they're #4 they should give up" and I say "even if they're selling 50 million devices a YEAR (not per quarter like Apple) there's no viable business?"

If BlackBerry sold 50 million devices a year they would be doing very well. If consumers knew how good BB10 was, and BB did a better job bringing aspirational devices to the market (that's a big IF with the current management team) AND closed the app gap, then 50 million device a year is ENTIRELY plausible. There are lots of ways to grow even that number with other devices and partnerships with consumer electronics vendors (where Apple doesn't partner so much as they license or own)... so sing it with me! "There's got to be a morning after..."

As someone started working in this industry since 1999, predicted Google's purchase of Moto in 2008, Predicted Microsoft's purchase of Nokia in 2012 (everyone saw this), and as someone worked for RIM and made one of the key component of the end-to-end BB system.

I say BB would be DEAD without hardware.

In fact, BB's most profit , when it was still making them, came from hardware.

Oh, another story, Good could have surpassed RIM almost 10 years ago if RIM didn't set off the smog at the time that it was going to go software only, which fooled Good and made it stop its own phone. From there on Good just went down the drain (... sold to Moto, dumpped, ...). Even today, with the stupid BYOD hype, the Good system is a pure crap - Anyone with knowledge of this industry wouldn't go down this path.

Just fire the incompetent hardware business mangers and engineers; hire them from other places.

Another hint: RIM's hardware business started going up when a VP from Moto joined (I am sorry I should really remember his hame, but I forgot, shame. Anyway, Mike called him his Mentor - this only one Mike gave such a high remark), the hardware business started nosediving when he retired (early and unexpectedly) from RIM. Just hire another one like him, and a bunch engineers. Fire those in Waterloo.

BlackBerry cannot be just a software company. That side of the business is too small to be a self sustaining business in my opinion.

Is there value in the BES infrastructure? Yes. Forget about non Canadian or US company buying that piece. Homeland Security folks won't allow for that.

But as a software services company alone I'm telling you BlackBerry being asleep at the wheel has damaged them greatly. Don't look now but MobileIron and AirWatch and Samsung 's Knox are all eroding BES dominance.

There is little uptake on BES 10. We have over the 850 clients worldwide and there is no surge to BES 10.

I don't have any awswers to all of this.

I wish I did. For all our sakes. :-/

Zezel.com - Mobile: Monitor. Manage.

The best thing BBRY could do is go private on the stock exchange. It's more beneficial for the company since despite putting out quality products, the public has determined where the company is headed based on the stock price.

I think BlackBerry makes great hardware. Great industrial design, awesome functionality. Samsungs feel like cheap plastic toys. iPhones feel like art, too fragile. I really like BlackBerry's hardware. It's too bad the execution of the BB10 hardware launches was to terrible, not saying it was entirely BlackBerry's fault, but as a whole, it was terrible.

Going forward, I like BlackBerry's thinking. Just reduce hardware to a few halo devices to show off the latest version of the OS. And let other hardware makers follow. Just like how Google has a few Nexus and Moto devices, to show off the latest Jellybean OS, Windows will have a few halo Lumia devices. And at the same time licence out the OS to other hardware makers to follow suit.

Sure, you can buy a Samsung Android or HTC Windows Phone. But want true Google phone, buy the Nexus or Motorola. Want a true Windows Phone, buy the Microsoft Lumia.

If BBRY licences out BB10 then if you want SamBerry or LG Berry you can get that, or you could buy a BlackBerry.

So the only closed system without any clones will be iOS.

How I wish that BlackBerry's top management could read these "brainstormings"...

These are "free" consultation and ideas... as free as those OS leaked testers... other companies would pay a considerable amount of fee to get these kind of inputs...

Posted via Z10

Chris, I would be more than happy to provide links to hard evidence that the Sony Ericsson partnership was not very profitable as mist people think. They experienced a spike in the mid to late 2000's and then crashed so hard that Sony bought Ericsson out to end the humility. I think people have a tendency to glorify facts instead of dealing with the truth. Ad BlackBerry owners, we are also guilty of this, but at least BlackBerry was a single entity who enjoyed far more success that SonyEricsson

I used my Z10 to create this CrackBerry madness!

This topic confuses me because I thought that BlackBerry was looking for partners to increase their scale. If they decide to be a niche player though, they may actually need to scale down. Figure out your goal and work towards it. This "we'll keep our options open for whatever comes along" attitude may not be the best. I know it's easy to be an armchair CEO, but I don't need an MBA to know that successful companies generally don't operate with a "que será, será" mantra.

Posted while peeking and flowing on my incredible BBQ10!

They have laid out already what they are going to do in shareholder meeting...they have four areas they talked about and one of them was hardware...So if they are going to drop it which they should, then they will have to focus on other three.

Posted via CB10

The truth is, regardless it is a "niche" company or whatever they want to call it, it must be profitable... it has to earn...

Same with "mobile computing"... regardless what it is, or what it does, what matter is, does consumer going to buy it? and when someone able to answer this using 5 why's, we might know the real reason...

Posted via Z10

If they give up hardware then I will not purchase another "BlackBerry" and the fact that we're even having this talk is disgusting!! Shame you you blackberry for ever thinking this. I will take this as the beginning of the end and I will jump ship before it goes down. If I have to pay something extra for this to not happen, then I would do so willingly, but c'mon man! Pick yourself up blackberry, and brush it off. It tiss but a ****ing scratch!! For gosh sakes, don't give up. You ought to....(I'm going to quit now while I'm a head).....ill show myself out.

Posted via CB10

There may be many ideas and if BB goes away from hardware business then i think proper integration will be required with hardware OEM,also they have to see that eventually every company is integrating its hardware and software business ,like Google or Microsoft,so the sell off for hardware part will be wise ,only time will tell???

blackberry can do it they jst need to market in well in Christmas season.... December the holiday season.... if they can get sales... coz blackberry is much better than the others its jst ppl dont knw it & with OS 10.2 coming & the Z30 blackberry is bound to better than the stupid Iphone 5S & 5C if phone ar buying it its only coz of apps... they really dont know wat blackberry is capable of..... i am 101% sure Blackberry has the capability to come back strong.... all fans of blackberry we ar always there.....

They need to stop playing checkers and start playing chess. Someone mentioned IBM and their move away from the segments they created.

If you look at IBM today they still are in the hardware business, but only in the segments that have high profit margins and segments that are not commoditized.

A niche BlackBerry would be a fully integrated hardware/software/services company in the enterprise and a services company in the consumer market.

I could easily see a licensing of BB10 and its follow-ons to Samsung and others in the consumer segment with BlackBerry focusing on high-end products and services for business segment.

Posted via CB10

the same as crackberry without users.

im so over these hypotheticals and analysis articles. Give me crackberry from 2-3 years ago.

and you wonder why Kevin is in a 'funk'. If he's not feeling it, you gotta wonder what the user base is feeling.

If Vertu phones can sell for 8-20k and cater to niche market (looking like old BlackBerries with inferior specs) , BlackBerry's niche market is significantly bigger and with superior technology and better looking phones I don't mind paying reasonably more for it.

Posted via CB10

To me it's very simple. The moment BlackBerry stops making phones I'm done with them...what would be the reason for me a a consumer to continue being interested in them?

I don't run a business, I'm not the CEO of a corporation, I'm not involved in the stock market or finances in general nor am I a techie. For me the interest in BlackBerry extends in so far as their devices and the BB10 OS as it relates to the hardware.

Of course BB10 with its QNX components and features can find other applications and BlackBerry itself can morph into a different company...but it would be outside my purview as a user.

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry is only interested in corporate/enterprise moving forward. They are leaving the consumer space. Devices will be a JV with another firm like LG Samsung or HTC - so will stil have BB OS devcies - just not from BlackBerry.

I don't care about BlackBerry OS. I bought the q10 for the keyboard. I simply love the phone. I am willing to use - like most people - whatever software actually works for me. If they stop making phones consumers want to buy, I will lose interest in them. I don't think they'll make it as software firm. With the advent of BYOD, why would companies continue to support a separate system when they don’t have too. How could BlackBerry let this happen?

Posted via CB10

I guess you do not understand the reality of BYOD in corporate environment. Either the device or the corporate content on the device needs to be managed by the company - which means access to the OS level. For example, most MDM system require Android 2.3 or above, and some Android 4.0. Samsung has additional API for SAFE devices allowing further control. BlackBerry locks down the API's so outside of ActiveSync only BES can manage the BlackBerry. Most firms move to a CYOD platform - you can have any phone you want as long as it is on our approved list.

I guess you shouldn't presume what I understand. I understand how it works. However the corporations I know and work with are moving away from BlackBerry and I think BlackBerry is arrogant enough to think they won't. You must be close minded enough to presume the same.

Posted via CB10

So are the ones I work with...fyi I worked for bbry and they are still arrogant as their market declines. I work for a company that sells mobility security solution to fortune 500 firms...and we are benefitting from the change from bbry. And mdmmam/mcm providers are also gaining because of bbry failures.

How did they let this happen? Bbry was not innovative..they were in ri I'm fhr place at right time. They had and have no marketing and do not liaten to the customer. Thwy are laggards and alow to develop compelling products...or products that work. They are incestuous when coming to advancement internally. And their products team is more concerned about keeping their jobs than putting out compelling products.

Basically failure at the top that contiues to this day. Btw apple has the same arrogance.

Software only would be game over. Done. Their key was the keyboard. They can't migrate users to bb10 or developers. They must keep it together. Microsoft will catch up ultimately or a new os tied to Google. Then BlackBerry becomes a fond Canadian memory.

Posted via CB10

See my post at on the recent sales lay offs for more details.
1) BlackBerry will start real branding of QNX/BB. Expect infotainment systems and all other QNX options to have sticker or label you see that says "Powered by BlackBerry" or "powered by QNX"
2) M2M/QNX as a platform will be the key to BlackBerry future - connected devices need a small, fast efficient operating system. Expect major partnerships with QNX including embedded SIM cards etc. - think OnStar, Kindle that use this kind of technology today. Put yoru money on this aspect for growth - literally billions of devices (washer/dryers, refrigerators, TV's, medical transdermal patches that upload data to doctors offices, vending machines, etc.). Put your money on this for long term BlackBerry growth. Small $ per transaction or device, made up by volume deals (millions of devices per transaction). Look at Jasper, Vodafone, Telefonica, AT&T and their investment in M2M - as well as Cisco, GM, Honeywell, Johnson Controls, Coca Cola and others.
3) JV of BB OS devices with HTC, LG or another is probably in the works. ZTE and Huawei will be ruled out due to Chinese security concerns - Canada and US government won't allow it. Expect this to be a done deal already. I would expect announcement by Quarterly Report for Q2 - to make up for the bad news that will be reported.
4) BBRY is focused on quarter by quarter results - no long term strategy. Revenues cannot increase, so they must show a reduction in expenses. Cut staff, cut offices, cut consumer marketing. No long term vision being shown.
5) While revenue is low on the SAF of the 50+ million devices paying it (BB OS devices), the profit is enormous (around 80%+). And recurring for as long as a customer owns a BlackBerry.
6) Look at financial reports - BES and Support (software services) only provides a minimal part of the revenue ad profits. Reducing BES licenses from $99 to $69 to $19 will further reduce this %. There will need to be a significant investment in R&D for BES to overcome the significant shortcomings in BES 10 compare to the rest of market (AirWatch, MobileIron, Citrix), and BBRY will need to publish BES roadmap with regular updates (quarterly) with new features.
7) I don't see BES 10 as a long term solution except in regulated industries - and AirWatch's new ACC provides similar capability to BBRY NOC for security.
8) BBM and software as a separate company - BlackBerry would have to transform themselves into a marketing/social media company. Marketing has never been a BBRY strength. BBM Channels has some interesting concepts, but may be day late dollar short. Can have the best products but if no one knows about them no one will buy them.

BlackBerry is running day to day, month to month quarter to quarter - their decisions are made with the thought of protecting their own jobs in the BES, software, and hardware teams. The left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. There is a complete lack of faith in leadership within the company, especially in middle and upper management for North/South America.

Kevin, the company can change focus, but they need to change management, and need to start listening to customers and partners. The future is grim even with the potential positives.

The thought of "my" beloved BBRY stopping the manufacturing of hardware is just inconceivable. Their hardware is what drew me in ten plus years ago and it's still what I love most about my Q10!! Hang in there BlackBerry you won't loose me! BBRY software is the best and as far as I'm concerned so is the hardware! All this talk may be getting us prepared for a possible inevitability but it still makes me blue...I haven't read one scenario that's comforting. Dell and BBRY would be the only thing to put a smile on my face but that merger is a long shot for sure...

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With Google buying Motorola and Microsoft buying Nokia's hardware business, selling off BlackBerry's excellent hardware business would be a serious mistake. Let's not even speculate on what this might look like. It will suck!

There should be an article asking " what if blackberry dump QNX SW or BB10 SW and adopt Android?"

All future BlackBerry will run Andriod with BES and NOC integrated.

Posted via CB10 with my White Cute Q10.

It is the BlackBerry SW that lose the battle,Not HW. So dumping the SW and adopt Android ecosystem is the solution.

Posted via CB10 with my White Cute Q10.

Microsoft had to plead to get Nokia to build quality phones -- with incentives! Others built basic Windows Phones that didn't sell well, so even folks like Samsung dropped them. Microsoft had to buy Nokia's mobile arm to keep Windows Phone alive. So who will build quality BlackBerry phones? What will BlackBerry have to give as an incentive? What could they give? Forget it folks, why put BlackBerry in such a position? It's a death wish.

That's what I'm thinking as well. Getting rid of their hardware means pretty much the end of the blackberry smartphone as we know it.

Microsoft at least had a close partner building phones for them before ultimately realising that losing that partnership meant that windows phones sales could stall.

BlackBerry on the other hand doesn't even have a partnership with another brand like Sony or Nokia.

So where are we going to get the support for qwerty or touch phones. Will other brands find qwerty keyboards financially sound to build these phones? They won't have the millions that ms was able to tempt with Nokia and even when the hardware is profitable would the profits be high enough too?

HTC is already struggling with android so going all android wouldn't be the smartest move personally.

Time to start asking what this company would be like with a Hardware division.

That maybe harsh because I have never seen a more perfect phone then the z10.

That said, what this division needs is another source of cheap income that doesn't tarnish the quality and brand.

Remember "speak and spell", or have you seen those v-techs, surely a much better smaller version could be created with BlackBerry hardware, better then vtech, efficiently and cost effectively. With options and games that the kiddies would eat up. Omnom.

I'd call it BlackBerry Beginners. Sold to the elementary school population because everyone's first phone/computer should be a BlackBerry.

After buying a real BlackBerry you can get a "BlackBerry Beginner" free or discounted for your kid. Its full of word games and fun math games, the kids games/apps in BlackBerry World, camera, wifi, phone all parental options. Found in toys r us next to the v-techs.

Less expensive hardware and technology would be suited for the younger audience, make it easier to produce and ultimately unload to all those parents sick of handing over their phone to their 5 year old.

Stop me anytime.

Z10, PlayBook, 9810, 9000.

I was reading an article the other day about the number of celebs who use BB phones. Considering the consumer mobile market is defined or at least stimulated by trends, I think BlackBerry would benefit by exploiting the high BB usage by celebs. I don't mean pay them of to star in commercials but rather a campaign where celebs share why they use BB. Just thought for food.

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How can BB have an effective marketing campaign through "Keep Moving" or "BB people get things done" when the board of directors and executives fiddle while the BB brand burns down around them? The problem doesn't lie with the technology or the segments of business BB carries out but rather the communication, execution and strategy of BB directors and executives. Not only has Thorsten Heins been at the helm of BB for close to 1.75 years and failed miserable but also hired Frank Boulben who has done an even poorer job of marketing. Another failing point of the board of directors and executives is their aloof attitude to fellow business owners. Do a poll of shareholders and ask them whether they feel engaged as fellow business owners of BB? But rather what we get every quarter by Heins and Bidulka in the conference call is ill-prepared executives and commentary about more undeliverables. It's shameful and inexcusable. It's no wonder we find ourselves as customers and shareholders of BB in the state we are in. Where is leadership? Where is engagement? Where is a compelling story? Where is vision?

Furthermore a board of directors who has been complacent and married to all it's prior mistakes and shortcomings. For example, the promotion of Thorsten Heins to CEO.

Without hardware Blackberry will be dead they need at least one high end qwerty and touchscreen model to sell with the OS and there server products. The Blackberry 10 software the must use for other companies like samsung or asus. Just licence the software for free but with restrictions on hardware.

But still if Blackberry 10 sells 1M mobile phone a month then advertising in november/december could be a start for 2014 the do more advertising to gain market. They can because customers buying the Z10 are mostly android/apple users and the like the phone's and happy with it and it's easy to set up if a company allready have a exchange server. It just 2 minutes work and your phone is connected. '

They can advertise with a promotion movie how easy it is to install you BB10 on an exchange server because lot of small business have that and just go with the flow. Also advertise wtih touchscreen people who wanted a qwerty knows they needed blackberry but don't advertise with qwerty because you mess up thouscreen people. Just show off with touchscreen. qwerty will be fine. Touchscreen.

Blackberry is much focusing to sell qwerty because that is what they think that must there market but it's allready there market and the wanted to gain so again focus on what the market want and how to get more market. Yes touchscreen.

Not all is lost yet.
I'm still on the old Bold 9900 and there are millions of us who are on some variations of bolds, torches, curves etc.
This is my I think 7th or 8th berry all the way from the click wheel era. For my current routine the 9900 works quite well and I don't really want to replace my Blackberry… yet, but it is on my mind more often than not and I know that this day will come and a decision will have to be made... why not an iPhone or other system?
This is on the minds of all BBRY users and simply switching to another BBRY because I have been using Blackberries for years no longer applies. The old system is dead.
This is of course a point of few from my own perspective, how I use the blackberry for my daily tasks. The main staple features. Calling, texting, email, sending photos.
• BBM? is a moot point there are now more people who don't have a BBM. Though I use it as hub for all my SMS messages and the remaining few bbry contacts. Unless BBRY truly gets this across all devices this is not an advantage point this is actually more of a hindrance. BBRY team of course understands this point as well so it will be interesting to see what comes out.
• Email - yes it is great, but how long will that advantage last? There is now a lot of competition who are getting great apps and unfortunately the majority of users don't care about the great features. I love the filing feature that allows me to file an email message in the sub-folder in the Outlook and for me this one feature alone is worth staying on the Blackberry. I have a lot of folders and BBRY remembers my last filing so I don’t have fish around for the correct folder, the type and find folder feature is also non-existent on any of other devices at the moment. Though I wonder how long this will last before other platforms add this into their systems. There have to be serious improvements on the email to shine through the rest of the pack.
• Photos – yes the camera actually sucks and I sure want the quality of the new BBRY. But the main feature for me is I can actually rename the photos with something more meaningful instead of Pic1 or Pic2. The iPhone on the other hand has this horrendous proprietary naming system that I would have a very difficult time getting used to.
• Keyboard – is great, but I realize that it is because of my past decade of using the keyboard I like it. iPhone has proven that there is a world beyond a physical keyboard. Yet as no one makes an alternative it is definitely an edge for the BBRY, well as long as you don’t need to use other languages at which point it can actually become a disadvantage.
• Phone Calls – I think it works very well and my keyboard is full of Press and Hold shortcuts to the key people so I don’t have to search for their names in the address book. Yes, there are no links to the social networks and LinkedIn would be great, all new phone do this now so the choices are plenty.
• Apps – sorely lacking in this department, having and iPad and comparing to the plethora of options there it makes me want to consider and iPhone as a replacement and integration with the iPhone that I have not yet seriously considered.
If I look from the five out of six items above the new BBRY will fit quite well into my main staple use and wit the apps situation slowly improving this should also become better.
All this is valid though only if the Blackberry is not broken up and sold out as a separate hardware and software counterparts.
In the last few years Blackberry lost its footing as they began marketing to kind of everyone. The professional crowd who were the foundation of the blackberry has been eroding along with that direction. Showing people how they can do work faster and better out of the office is no longer only the Blackberry’s play field but ignoring it further will lead to a total destruction of everything they have build.

If BlackBerry gets rid of the hardware then I'm off to windows. Having a BlackBerry WITHOUT the name being at the bottom of my phone or without the logo on the back COUNT me out. Me only being one person would actually hurt BlackBerry more if they left their hardware behind. I mean if they get rid of the phone then I would switch to windows so at the end of it all dropping the hardware would not be a good move because it would help push them out of business. Of course I'm only speaking for myself. I have owned a BlackBerry since 2004 before the boom of 07 so u r hearing this from a loyal BlackBerry fan... I say hold strong and give it a chance. people still want BlackBerry BUT ARE FREAKING STUCK IN CONTRACT do u really expect a complete 180 turnaround in a few months. Is BlackBerry for real?????????

Sent from the Amazing Z10

Enterprise customers have told Blackberry they consider hardware integral to the software. If Blackberry exits hardware, it would be corporate suicide.

Hi Chris, I believe that Blackberry's future only guaranteed if they stop making hardware and play to their strengths - I wrote an article over a year ago and still think its very pertinent - they have to stop making hardware in order to lead again - the numbers paint an interesting picture, and the eventualities of late, in my opinion, show that this article is right on the money.

If they were to put even a premium price tag on a BES level BBM/Mail app for all OS platforms, they could have a very high margin sale and would not require a fraction of the staff and infrastructure they have today.

Their "killer app" has always been their backend, security, efficient mail etc etc, and now they're focussing on making hardware (which they're really bad at) and have forgotten where their strengths lie. They've now finally conceded to bring out BBM for Android, IOS etc - i dont believe it should be free, unless its just to get people back onto the BBM service and possibly there is a plan to bring out a BB mail client (if Apple would ever allow it that is!).

What time has come bbb is going down....but I still believe tbb will come back And Will be the best handset in the market

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