It’s clear to me that BlackBerry needs to become a premium device in the enterprise

By Chris Umiastowski on 13 Feb 2014 11:27 am EST
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Earlier this week Forbes published a story based on an interview with John Chen from about a month ago.

The short version is this: Chen doesn’t think it’s all about volume. He gives the example of Porsche and Lamborghini in the automobile industry to illustrate that there are lots of successful niche players in various markets. BlackBerry will focus on markets that are regulated, and care a lot more about security than app availability. Chen pegs the regulated industries as accounting for about 30% of total telecom spending among enterprises. He admits they don’t have a lot of time and they need to avoid too many mistakes along their path to recovery.

My take: I get the automotive industry comparison, but if you look at most strong niche players in various industries you’ll find that they price their products or services higher than the volume players.  In cloud computing you have Rackspace, who’s all about high quality service. They charge far more than Amazon. In computing we have premium gaming graphics cards sold in lower volumes but with much bigger price tags. Niches exist to serve the needs of an audience that isn’t well-served by a market (cheap) product.

BlackBerry needs to raise its prices for enterprise-class devices, and I think it should consider selling them directly rather than going through carrier channels all the time

BlackBerry needs to raise its prices for enterprise-class devices, and I think it should consider selling them directly rather than going through carrier channels all the time. In the automobile industry forget about Porsche and Lamborghini.  Look at how Tesla has setup a global distribution channel on its own without any dealers. If BlackBerry is to be the premium device for enterprise customers, why not keep the high price tag and keep more of the profit by going direct?

What I’m unclear on is how the company plans to differentiate its consumer products (built by Foxconn) from its enterprise-class products.  I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again:  They might want to consider building consumer devices that are not BES compatible. This is the only way I can see the justification for selling both high-end enterprise devices and lower-end phones at the same time.  If security is the extra feature people are paying for in the enterprise market, then you can’t put the same level of security in your ultra cheap hardware or you’re telling the market they get security for free.  When you program the customer base to expect your best feature to come for free it’s not good for business.

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It’s clear to me that BlackBerry needs to become a premium device in the enterprise

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Don't tell me that was a short answer to get that first place. Not you Observation Junkie ;)

Posted via CB10

I would do no such thing, I'd poop my pants knowing that QuIcksIIv3r would be doing his RoboCop act on me.

Anyway, I didn't say that word, you know, the one that starts with F

Catapulted from my Z10.

I watched it at the movies last night. I like the old one better.

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

These comment sections are regularly patrolled by FirstBot (tm).

Unauthorized or infringing posts will be singled out. Poster will be subject to anti-first-post tirade.

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

I was thinking about watching the latest one. Saw the original, starring Peter Weller, but I'm not so sure of the latest.

Also taste in movies has moved a little since then.

Catapulted from my Z10.

"It’s clear to me that BlackBerry needs to ..."
raise their sales to more than 2% of the market share!
What good is 'great' if nobody uses it

I would love to see them start selling devices directly. A big issue was lack of carrier support, so to hell with carriers. Get the job done right, do it yourself.

Yes, the issue here is also the Sim packages that these carriers provide. There are enough places where you can purchase BlackBerry phones directly, however most people purchase in store, as I do, either from my own carrier, or an independent retailer.

It was interesting to read Chen's automobile example by cutting out dealerships, however this may not fit in with mobile market, because of the sim card issue, which then carriers are not obliged to offer, just like they choose not to sell all BlackBerry handset.

I'm getting the feeling, as gifted as Chen is, he doesn't have much consumer experience. I'm assuming that when he was with SAP, it was dealing directly with Corporations.

People don't place the same value to a phone as they would with a Porsche or a Lamborghini. Yeah people will go out of their way to purchase a top of the range car, but there is a point where I draw the line how far I will go to buy a BlackBerry phone.

Maybe this is an indicator to where blackberry is heading, mainly corporates.

Catapulted from my Z10.

Also to add to the point, if the mobiles are sold directly, then BlackBerry may see a decline in its consumer handsets, along with any royalties it receives from apps, downloads etc.

Especially with the next generation of mobile users who may never having previously used a BlackBerry mobile, I would doubt they would purchase directly without checking it out in some local store, you know, the touchy feely type.

Catapulted from my Z10.

OJ... that's why BlackBerry phones have to be sold as a part of a "Total MDM Solution" to corporations and government clients... if Fanboys want to BYOD iToys to work...no problem...

Phones, software, security, BBM communication, Cloud - phones "live syncing" with your computer....that's the Ticket... and let me, always, have access to the newest and best BlackBerry.

CB from the Z30

Brilliant! Total end to end secure mobility communications sold as a package deal. Hardware, software and all ware in between!

Posted via CB10

Correct and the services to install, maintain and upgrade as new innovation come out. Thor was, actually, correct when he talked about your BlackBerry being your work computer in your pocket.

Not having to lug multiple devices through an airport should be attractive to some.

CB10 from the Z30

You can get a SIM through T-Mobile. AT&T, too. Verizon only has SIM cards for the 4G LTE phones that are Verizon certified. You used to be able to use a T-Mo SIM in any GSM phone. At least all the ones I have tried.

You can purchase an iPhone directly. I believe you can also purchase phones directly from Samsung and Sony.

Agree for most.
Yet you'll soon have both BES10 on premise (standalone, needs owned server host) and BES in the cloud.
I do hope later releases of (general) BB10 OS will tightly embed BES in the Cloud (as they do for dropbox, ...) and add mail support and storage.

Chris...what you have written is pretty clear. Hopefully, the Crackberry fan base can see. I don't need to spell it out. I fall into the prosumer category and I am not sure that is the direction Blackberry wants to serve. It is also lousy that in the USA the carriers don't support the devices. I understand why, that is why selling them direct is probably a good idea. I am on T-Mobile and not sure what to do after the life of my great Z10.

Buy directly from BBRY and use it on tmo. That's what we did. The wife wanted a Q, they didn't have any in store, didn't want to show me a demo to look over and gave me the whole BlackBerry is on its deathbed thing. I told the rep I'd just buy it from BBRY unlocked directly for less than what tmo was charging me. Weeks later the Q is on tmo getting lte speeds and everyone is happy.

Posted via CB10

I agree with you axe50...the one pro reason I like buying from a carrier is my company pays for the phone each month. If I buy direct they will only pay for the monthly service because the monthly fee for the phone will be paid up front by me. Not too big of a deal for I can afford it but maybe others would be inclined not to buy direct for this reason. In a nutshell I think the consumer end of the business is not the focus. Sad but the facts. Not sure where you are from but in the US where I live nobody I know wants a BB. When they see the Z10 they can not believe it is a Blackberry...crazy!

Agreed! I would love to see them sell directly. That way I can get my hands on a Z30 since T-Mobile and other carriers are anti-BlackBerry. Plus no waiting for updates *cough cough*. Still waiting on 10.2.1

Posted via Q10

Disagree with keeping prices high. They're having difficulty selling devices as it is. BlackBerry isn't going to convince anybody that they're the lambo of enterprise lol

Posted via CB10 for Z10

Marketing costs money. Very good marketing costs more money something BlackBerry sucks at and honestly can't really afford like Samsung can.

Plus as it was mentioned BlackBerry is already having a tough time selling their products now with their current reputation. Raising their prices even more than they are now I'm not really sure that's good.

Lambourghini, Ferrari, Porches will pay that high price cause of their unique design, horse power and name. Can't compare BlackBerry to them. Just won't work. Apple can get away charging premium prices for their devices because Apple has a solid reputation in the market not like BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

Agree to a point.
What determines a premium phone?

Some people just want a phone where they can download apps to suit their needs, or want same apps that their friends have.

Apple products is a premium phone, and it's aimed at the mass market, giving people what they want.

There's only so much gibber gabber people are willing to hear about security, MDM, etc.

BlackBerry should aim at offering unique products, and BBM & Channels is a great start to the mass market. Should have put a price tag, at least. 79 cents or something. Don't give it away for free.

So unique products, yes. Aimed at the mass market, big yes.

Catapulted from my Z10.

The pessimist strikes again. For every good announcement, such as the release of BBM 2.0 today, you throw a wrench in it with this self-indulgent nonsense.

I used my Q10 to create this CrackBerry madness!

You have a very twisted view of what "pessimism" means.  I shared my thoughts on what I'd like to see them do. I think the rest of us are scratching our heads at how a reasonable person can consider this pessimism.

You are right Chris...you expressed a strong opinion for a direction the company could possibly succeed with.

Too many fail to realize that the current course leads to an end to BlackBerry. Neither QNX or BES is big enough to keep this company operating and BBMx is not growing the way it needs to ( if at all) to get to the point where it could create revenue.

Posted via CB10

In light of clear evidence that carriers are not going to facilitate BlackBerry's success, and the conventional wisdom that low price devices are only feasible in high volume, and the PlayBook debacle as proof that BB10 needs not low-end hardware, this sounds like common sense, not pessimism. I just dread the possibility of mediocre hardware sold at premium prices.

Hmm, so many articulate, constructive comments and you choose to reply to the one grunting whinger? I raise my eyebrow to you ;)

Posted by the inimitable Z10 handheld system

Didn't see your comments as pessimistic or "strong". But you expressed uncertainty in know what their plans actually were, since we really haven't gotten a clear game plan or road map yet from Chen.

I think your comments( way you phrased it) about keeping the $ value up for Enterprise might be misunderstood. I definitely agree there should be strong differentiation between a consumer and enterprise offering. Offer higher spec'd and featured phones for Enterprise customers like those rumoured octa core, big mega pixel devices. Allow anyone to by direct at higher price to accommodate those of us PROsumers :) or gadget geeks. Offer special finishes at a premium.

But for heaven sakes communicate the plan- Clearly!! BlackBerry do you hear me?!!
Thanks for your insights. I was just thinking it was time you put in an appearance and BAM!! There was your post

Posted via CB10

So true I say to my friends how many Honda civics were sold compared to Ferrari Enzo's.

Posted via CB10 on my Zed10

I see your point and it makes sense (as usual). But we all know BBOS/BB10 is only a tad safer than the rest, unless you're on BES/BES10. That's where real security lies. A BBOS device on BIS is as safe as the carrier and the user's password can make it. A BB10 device is even less protected (we don't have the luxury of encryption anymore). BES/BES10 is the deal breaker is security is a must. And BlackBerry has the best MDM solution period. Playing niche does sound right on this light.

I think what we'll probably end up seeing is Foxconn spitting a few low to mid end smartphones (probably matching specs with low to mid end Android phones - and we know how those can have nice specs), while BlackBerry goes full burners and presents us octacore, 64bit powered moster flagship mobile computing units.

That said... I am starting to think USB OTG. Miracast and the sorts will be something Foxconn devices probably won't have.

BlackBerry is still secure through Basic and network security (MDM). They come with ECC encryption keys and doubles it with AES through BES10 Balance. You do have the option to encrypt your device. When encryption is off its as vulnerable to hacks as any other mobile platform that uses RSA encryption which was found to have backdoor implantations.

Posted via CB10

I disagree somewhat, Umi.
Security isn't just free, it's inherit to what BlackBerry stands for: Security out of the box. That's what we, the consumers and prosumers, expect from BlackBerry when we purchase their device.

Now the enterprise users get an additional layer of security through BES10. They even have Balance which by itself is worth more than what us mere consumers get.

Adding is better than subtracting :)

Posted via CB10

Security is not an issue, even with many BlackBerry users, have you checked out the threads every times there's a new Android app available for BlackBerry.

Most people say they want security, but when you ask what type, they don't really know.

Catapulted from my Z10.

I disagree with your comments. A premium device doesn't necessary mean a premium price. Currently the industry is undergoing a shift as it matures and prices and margins on handsets will decline. This happens in every industry as it matures. Right now the majority of growth is in developing markets which needs a cheaper device. I belief the strategy is to sell a cheap devise in these markets at a lower margin to gain scale and then profit through software.

Posted via CB10

Unless there are hardware-based solutions for security that can be removed from consumer devices, I think the premium price tag is in the cost of BES10.

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry is dead in the US carrier channel. Between the sales people being, probably, 97% Apple and Android fans - with no interest to learn how to use a BB10 BlackBerry, much less, advise it to a customer to use - sales are not happening here.

Sell BlackBerry's direct - make money on the financing of them - and have choices so someone can run them on any carrier.... don't worry - they will, gladly, put them on their network.

Why not lease one or 1,000 to a business client???? Write the phones off as an expense....

Only problem is - you have to have some type of a store/outlet for someone to be able to touch and try the new BlackBerrys - with BlackBerry educated sales people to assist.

I Guarantee you that I know more about how to use my Z30 than 99% of people in Verizon stores with their big "Exclusive" and no Z30s on the floor to show for it.... Pathetic...

Bottom line... there are many ways to do this better than what is going on now through the carriers - and no reason to believe that will get better.... Ever...

I love the Idea of exclusivity, and a Standout device. Besides that, an Aventador (400,000) cost 6 time sore than a Corolla (20,000). Toyota Co worth more than Lamborghini. In fact, Toyota had the most valuable automaker company in the world Title for more than 3 years in a row 2006-2009 again in 2011 and again in 2013.

http://www.carscoops.com/2013/05/toyota-reclaims-title-of-worlds-most.html

The point is, BlackBerry would become a profitable company, and that's ok. But it won't be number one. And not being #1 means developers will still approaching with shyness.

Posted via CB10

How can BlackBerry justify making non-BES-compatible consumer devices while at the same time managing iOS and Android devices with BES?

Good question - obviously the feature set available in mobile fusion is not the same as a BB10 operating on BES, so maybe there needs to be some balance.  I'm mainly asking the question of how BB can position themselves as a premium enterprise-grade product if their cheap stuff works just as well for enterprise.  I don't know all the answers here, so I hope it turns into a good discussion so it helps me evolve my thinking.

My thinking has really been on BlackBerry's "mobile computing" vision for some time now. I think they could differentiate between their cheapo consumer devices and their high priced enterprise grade devices (whether on BES or not) by only including mobile computing features on the premium devices. For lack of a clear term, what I envision is the BlackBerry being able to be a laptop replacement/workstation on the go, usable wherever you have a larger screen, preferably also with an external keyboard and mouse.

Most consumers wouldn't care about missing out on the ability to plug in their phone and get some serious work done. Enterprise users would love the feature, and willingly pay more to have it.

I think BlackBerry needs to ADD MORE to what the enterprise/prosumer customers get, not take away from what lower priced mass market customers get.

Correct.... but, right now, my Z30 works very intermittently when attempting to access my files via Wi Fi through BlackBerry Link and BlackBerry Link won't even sync Outlook Tasks - bottom line if BlackBerry is going to become "my work computer in my pocket" - they have to get some basics covered first....

I agree. Mobile computing and associated services are highly compelling. It is also something that QNX allows BB to do effectively, more so that any other platform. Premium services will ultimately drive the hardware build.

selling them directly would be nice.. no bloatware, unlocked, push there own updates. i would continue to sell them through carriers.. not that their is much support. but by selling direct you make more money... the only bad thing is you don't grow the user base with out carrier support.. well i suppose if they had rock solid commercials that make people want to try them with out actually seeing them. or maybe carriers would have them if people were asking for them..

Chris, I get your point, but I kind of disagree. From a enterprise / regulated perspective I would say that security is a clear differentiator for BlackBerry over other platforms, but still, like the super cars, it's performance that really sells.

Sure, if BlackBerry is the only supplier that can supply a mobile experience that can be used / fulfil stringent security criteria in regulated industries, touche, but if a iPhone administered by BES fills that criteria ass well, then the argument isn't as strong for me at least.

If BlackBerry could deliver a truly desktop or laptop replacing fully secure handheld device that could leverage office / desktop side applications, then they could prize it as you would a Ferrari.

But at the end of the day not all employees might need that performance, and it would be a shame if BlackBerry did not provide an entry level device. Mind you, it still didn't need to be cheap. Not by a long shot.

Posted via CB10

Direct to consumer sales needs to happen for BlackBerry to survive. The Carriers treat BlackBerry like a step-child they'd prefer not to have around.

Offer a premium product to the business world that does things that the consumer products don't and just like history the consumer will make their way to the better product without marketing or promotion. This is how BB became a consumer product in the first place. Forget about the consumer and build a better product, good things will come. I like the idea of Octa-core phone that is leaps and bounds beyond anything anyone else offers. Price it through the roof but make sure it does more and better things than any other phone.

At that time though you didn't have the iphone, galaxy note, galaxy s line or now windows phone to contend with...

Posted via CB10

True, and aren't all of these (or most) already managed by BES? So to make exclusive, higher-end BB devices with BES capabilities, and lower-end devices without, seems a retrograde solution to what end? It would separate them from the pack, all right, by crippling their own cheaper devices as for BYOD. Doesn't seem a great idea, maybe I'm missing something.

BlackBerry should develop hardware that blows away anything on the market and price it accordingly. Creating that best in class Enterprise device that any " successful" people would want to own. Once that is established...the consumer "wannabes " will follow. It should be a device that makes a statement. Build it and they will come.

I've been comparing the Z10 to the Porsche ever since it was released. I've even had the idea to do a commercial on the similarities between the both seeing how both use QNX. This is awesome.

Posted via CB10

Selling direct in the USA only works at best on 1/2 of the carriers and leaves the biggest carrier off the table.
While AT&T and TMob (the two main GSM carriers) are easily added to the network, all you have to do is look at Verizon's handling of the new Nexus 7 tablet to see how much control they have of their network. If they won't provision the phone/tablet for the network - it won't work. Sprint is the same though smaller without provisioning your phone/tablet won't work.

I think you see a plan coming together here with leaked specs of the new Ontario class of smartphone using "sportscar" type specs - get ready for a "sportscar" like price.

Chen stated in a recent interview regarding the USA carriers "we know what happened there, and when we are ready to go again - that won't happen again" (thats my paraphrasing of what I read him to say but I believe it captures the essence).

BlackBerry should start moving to Europe too. Premium or not premium, Chen should establish a sales force in EU. With all the bashing BBRY takes in the US, some refocusing would be very welcome. And you definitely need a sales force if you want to go premium, that kind of services don't sell by itself.

Posted via CB10 from my exquisite Z10 on Cosmote Romania

I agree with Chen on volume. That game is almost over. I would say take a little less on margin even in enterprise as margins will naturally compress and they need every advantage they can in the space. Hey margins should be based upon what a company needs to be in business and to maintain market share and such. It should not be set by stock analysts! My concern with Chen is his focus on Enterprise and qwerty. BlackBerry needs all touch as well. Sell direct and operate enterprise like consumer, make no distinction. There is no reason why enterprise phones should be any different, user friendly, and bells and whistles. The android app thing is there for consumers. Set up a few retail outlets in prime markets but only in a small way. Man them with well paid staff and go direct. Offer an upgrade path for legacy handsets. They have still not done this. Make link easy to use and almost automatic. It's like in pc's. The industry has been consumed with faster versus ease of use. Make products easier to use.

Posted via CB10

There is *much* wisdom in this comment. I think enterprise should have its own direct sales force and upgrading companies and governments to BES 10 and BB10 should be a priority in the short run, but drawing a large distinction in what consumers and enterprise want in a phone is no longer necessary or desirable. Enterprises are composed of people and in the end BlackBerry is better off making phones that people want to use. The focus on enterprise can lead to the opposite a la Mike L.'s famous "Enterprise doesn't want smartphones with cameras in them..." I think Mike and Jim were considerably more talented than Chen, but the founders lost the big platform race because they misunderstood their market to be enterprise for too long. Let's hope Chen isn't going to make the same mistake...

Posted via CB10

I disagree with security not being in low end handsets vs premium ones. Security is BlackBerry period and it would contradict Chen's message if they start to produce devices that lacked in their own security standards.

Selling directly would be a plus as long as it's in addition to their continued efforts to obtain / maintain carrier support.

They need to start advertising and I wonder what they are waiting for. Are they gearing up for a big campaign? Are they waiting for the first Foxconn made device to be consumer ready? Are they waiting to make sure 10.2.1 has been released for all by all? A good marketing strategy is really what they need right now. One that enphasizes all of Chen's focal points that he has been discussing, including QNX in cars and BES10. I hope they don't just advertise devices but advertise themselves as a whole.

Posted via CB10

I think you may have misunderstood me.  I'm not suggesting they take out any security features from consumer products except possibly make them incompatible with enterprise solutions like BES.  It's just one idea to make sure enterprise phones are sold at a premium price.  I'm sure there are other possible solutions to this.  BlackBerry is security ... but the super high end stuff security is done through BES,and should and maybe should be exclusive to higher end devices matched with BES.

@Chris..Let me ask you this.Where do you think all the phones that BB has asked to be returned to them from various outlets have gone?I think they are prepping them for enterprise, with added features for Enterprise and Government.They will get a premium price for those devices.

One thing to consider in the low end vs high end debate is to have the low end only bes compatible with payment of an one time extra licence fee to active bes compatibility. Without this license you only get control equivalent to what you would get for iOS or android devises . The premium devices would already have this built in.

Posted via CB10

The car industry analogy just doesn't work.

Any car can get you from A to B on any road, whether it's the cheapest car or the most expensive.

It's not like the computing industry where if you buy into an obscure niche platform the list of things you can't do is longer than the list if things you can do.

If you buy a premium niche car like a Lambo or a Maserati or a Ferrari you can still drive it on any road, not only a handful of roads that are "compatible".

Posted via CB10 on Z30 STA100-2 / 10.2.1.1925 on O2 UK - Activated on BES10.2

Agree, BES on high end sold by BBRY devices only.
The carriers are not supporting BBRY like they use to. Just look at the USA and releasing BB10 updates, or lack of.

So you really think that regulated businesses customers and Government will pay much more for BlackBerry 10 Enterprise devices when they won't even buy them and migrate to BB10 at the current prices? They already pay more for Bold 9900 than any BB10 devices (still $599 in the US), and this is one reason of many why so many businesses and government agencies are looking for either Apple or Samsung to provide a device that is good enough on the security front to satisfy the check boxes, and provide much more capabilities to end users, via productivity apps, and shut up the end users constant complaining. End users mostly hate the BBOS devices that they have been issued and complain all the time about them (screen size, no apps, poor browser, etc). I see it on internal Government forums all the time with the end users asking why the agency can't transition to iOS or Android. They don't understand the security regs and don't care. Plus it is getting harder and harder in the Government to get spending approved and if you go to a bake off, then you will have two strikes against BlackBerry: Price and Company Viability.

To continue with the poor automotive analogies: How many companies or government agencies issue or have niche, expensive car brands to the employees or in the fleets to use? None, it is a tool to do your job just like a phone is. Increasing the prices over the ridiculously high prices already existing for BB10 devices will be suicide.

The only way that you can justify a higher price for BB10 Enterprise devices is to have all if the functionality built in to replace a desktop/laptop device via a dock. Wireless connectivity to peripherals isn't and option to these highly regulated customers so Bluetooth and wifi are not options for these colustomers. Since they can't release a simple media dock I don't see this likely happening.

Posted via CB10

Z10 rates comparably to iPhone 5s and Z30 kills it in ratings (Verizon, Roger's, Amazon)..... get these people a secure BB10 phone....problem solved..

CB10 from the Z30

Police forces make large purchases of cars and motorcycles especially outfitted with changes for high performance for high speed chases and communications, etc. Many use BMW motorcycles in the US and Europe.

Once upon a time in a market of Motorola and Sony erikksons they were consider to be a Cadillac brand. Gotta get that standing back.

10

Respectfully, this is not a good overview and overall evaluatory assessment article; rather it is grasping at straws here guessing at what BlackBerry will or will not do, or to conjecture what they should do. Have to re-read this one for sure as 99% you are on the mark Chris most all of the time.

Love all of your columns. I am a small business owner with 10 employees, worldwide and use BES10 extensively with current premium devices. I need to save money most all the time and BlackBerry plays a key, integral role in my day-to-day operations. I need all devices BES ready which includes new and upcoming devices and technologies that are ready, yet at a cost that is not premium. Selling directly as well as through carrier incentives creates a plethora of options and solutions specific and consistent with the DNA of each business.

Posted via CB10

Ok, so when I say I think they need to raise prices (or maintain high  pricing), I could maybe revise that and say they need to raise profitability.  One way to do it is sell direct, which would help them keep more of the margin.  Maybe that's enough.

 

 

Yes. Cutting out the middle man helps not only because it saves money, but also because the carriers and other retailers aren't selling the devices as premium when they should be. You're thinking in this article is correct. If BB accepts a lower volume future than they need to sell a higher margin, premium product. Differentiating in some way -- maybe BES compatibility, maybe not -- is important.

I'd like to see some kind of hardware-software distinguisher that is protected by IP and only available on the high-end. But, whatever the case, upgrading enterprise to BES10 and cloud products will be a *lot* easier with a compelling high-end device available. Nobody uses BES unless they use BlackBerry devices and in the US, enterprises are reluctant to upgrade to BES10 when their employees dislike the old BB7 devices they are using. Sell them on high-end BB10 phones now or they'll soon retire the BB7 devices and never even think about upgrading to BES10. They may go all iOS. See Genentech and others. A cheap Jakarta device can increase marketshare in third world countries, but enterprise won't be hooked until BB offers a superior premium experience.

Posted via CB10

OK that is way different from raising prices which would be insane in the current smartphone sales climate. They definitely need direct sales, and/or partnerships with places like Amazon. Carriers are garbage and all have deals with Apple that require them to move so many units. The problem with direct sales is that it will require a better advertising effort than they have had in the past, even if they remain focused on business.

Posted via CB10

Chris, I read some of your comments to mean that bbry needs premium pricing for some of its phones for branding and marketing purposes. Using Porsche, bbry can't price its 928 luxury coupe the same as its budget sports car the 944. It would lower the status of the 928 and destroy the market segmenting that the products need.

Personally, I think that security might not be as good a market segmenting factor as acceleration and leather trim. You only feel security when it doesn't work.

But maybe bbry could release a single phone called "The Merkel." It would have additional security chips and software and sell for $1500. This could be the premium exotic car for bbry.

The car analogy is being taken too far in my view, although I don't think that's what Chen meant anyway. Right now there already is a Lambo or Porsche, and it's whatever the latest Samsung is. People but a Porsche because it is a status symbol as well as a great car. What Chen is talking about is really making BlackBerry a Volvo - something safe, secure, and reliable, but not interesting to the wider market. People stop and stare at a Porsche; will the public stop and stare at a BlackBerry that doesn't appeal to the general public and doesn't have what the general public want? And will enterprise people be satisfied with a phone that can't compete in regards to social status with the best consumer phones? I think we already know the answer to that one.

I think this stuff is all getting overly complicated. BlackBerry 10 phones didn't sell upon launch because of poor marketing, poor specs in relation to price, a lack of apps, and huge cultural drag on the brand. BlackBerry needs to fix those things and the phones will sell like crazy again. As I've stated elsewhere, if they run into the Alamo and try to defend that alone, they will be overwhelmed over time and have nothing to fall back on. The Americans lost at the Alamo, remember...

Posted via CB10

The Volvo analogy works, as long as you realize that you are selling an average priced car that commands a whopping .5% of the market.

At that small of the market share, they need to be selling at top end prices. Almost every year, everyone wonders if this'll be the last year for Volvo. Not a good spot to be in.

Posted via CB10

Who cares if a cheap Foxconn phone is BES compatible (Balance) if the security features only work linked to a BES Server... I am sure the CIOs of this world understand the difference...

And let's not underestimate the need for security by "normal people like you and me"... I am sure you will find a lot of customers in Europe for a NSA-proof phone ;-)

For the rest I agree with you Chris!

Ferrari ZetaDieci 10.2.1.1925

I disagree that BlackBerry should make their "consumer" devices insecure by removing BES. BlackBerry has built a reputation on security - if you remove this from some devices, you will erode that reputation, and people will suggest that all BlackBerry devices are no longer secure ("BlackBerries don't even do BES anymore").

Besides, BlackBerry is providing BES for iOS and Android, with the goal of making those devices more secure as well. How do you remove BES support from BlackBerry devices while ADDING it to competing devices?

What harshadpatel said, below. What'll BlackBerry say? "I'm sorry, your Q5 isn't pricey enough for BES - why don't you go buy a Q10, instead?"

BlackBerry makes money by selling BES licenses. There's no reason to artificially cripple hardware for a few extra bucks.

I DO believe BlackBerry should focus on more premium devices, though, instead of focusing on the low end. Unfortunately, they seem to be doing just the opposite (Jakarta, I'm looking at you). There has to be a reason for the premium though. Superior build quality, maybe a selection of colours (Boggles my mind that the 9720 comes in 5 colours, the Q5 in 3, and the other devices only two).

I'd like to see something similar to the Moto Maker program, with customizable finishes, or at the very least more than 2 colour choices (boring colour choices, at that), on the flagship devices. I think this would be justification for premium pricing.

The problem with the Porsche and Lambo analogy is they are divisions of a huge conglomerate. This allows them purchasing scale they could not get on their own.

Posted via CB10

Well if it's a phone and a pc replacement, then it will be worth it. Octa core might be the way there. I am no hardware genius but from what I hear, that's a pc in a phone. So there you go, thorstens' vision realized. That will make it a premium device, worth a premium price. We'll see.

Posted via CB10

Need value for each dollar spent. This applies to high end as well as low end devices.

They can do both. But will need some carrier support to pull it off.

And high end must be current or better tech. No if, and or but about it.

Execution must also be top notch. Something very lacking the past three years.

CB10 via Verizon Z10. 10.2.1.1925

There is another comparison arising.

VW is running the multi-brand / platform strategy. Some of the cars are built on the same wheel base / platform, but sold under a different brand with lesser standing, and cheaper price.

S.E.A.T
Skoda
VW
Audi
Porsche
Bugatti
Lamborghini

Quite a few cars are built on the Golf platform, like the Golf, a Skoda model and the Audi A3 (if I remember it correctly), but looks, quality and price are differentiated.

It could work for BlackBerry too, if they chose to sell the cheaper ones with a clear model / name differentiation.

Asha vs Lumia

(not a brilliant example, just to make the point)

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

I totally agree, blackberry has to make its premium phone future proof though. its got to last a few years. Big corporations and goverments do not like to upgrade there electronics every 2-3 years they want something that can last 5-10years. if that comes with a premium price its got to be worth it.

Obviously if you read what I wrote, I'm proposing they maintain premium pricing for enterprise devices.  They've got a Foxconn relationship for cheaper phones sold to consumers.

" I think it should consider selling them directly rather than going through carrier channels all the time"

They already do. Hasn't done them a lot of good.

Consumers and enterprises in the US can buy some BlackBerry models from shopblackberry.com.

The truth is that carrier control over the cell phone market is completely underestimated - certainly by most analysts.

BlackBerry may have misused it's dominant position in the past and has been punished severely by US carriers who basically decide whether a device will be successful or otherwise. I doubt even Apple could generate the same buzz now that they did on the launch of the first iPhone (though even then were lucky AT&T was losing market share rapidly to Verizon and therefore desperate).

Only when BlackBerry can get their costs under control with good margins for the reseller will they start to be sold by carriers.

In the meantime BlackBerry just isn't getting their message across. It's even worse under Chen than it was under Heins.

The Z30 running the latest OS is a fantastic phone that compares well with anything the competition has to offer. But you'd never know unless you're already aware of the device.

I assume Chen is keeping his powder dry until they're ready with something big.

What worries me is I may never be able to upgrade my phone to a newer BlackBerry device, and in a few years when my Z30 dies (as it will inevitably) I'll have to accept a much poorer Android or Apple device.

If BlackBerry dies, your data and brains will be slurped up by Google. j/k

You could still go with Ubuntu Phone, if that's still around then. Fully open source. Fun to use. All swipes, too. Much better that straight Android IMHO. Can put it on your Android (Nexus 4 and lots of others). Don't ask me about apps yet, but the browser is great.

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

I'm a prosumer, and have been in corporate and small business environments. I think Chen has a great plan, but he needs to also focus on the prosumer, not the everyday teenie bopper.

Trying to compete with the fashionable, is a distraction. Focusing on

Geekiness can keep a good product alive.

Posted via CB using my Q10

The problem that I have always had with this is the BYOD. As long as companies allow their employees the options of consumer phones, BlackBerry will have a hard uphill climb.

Reason I am saying this is that consumers only see the Android and apple adds. Many outside of the crack berry forums still think of BlackBerry 10 as a legacy device software. I deal with some larger clients I.T departments and the managers that have OS5,6,7 devices haven't tried BlackBerry 10. They are looking at samsung or apple with good software or maybe the new BlackBerry bes server. One of my neighbors works in IT in a large Canadian insurance company and he just changed his curve in for a Samsung.

Is summery, It doesn't matter how secure or well made the corporate end to end solution is, if the employees are given the choice of other devices or the employer doesn't realize the risk of multi platform devices, it will be a hard battle to win. BlackBerry needs to stay the course at Mr
Chen is directing but they need to get away from the TV corporate advertising and target consumer clients. If this is done correctly, when the time comes to select a corporate device, maybe they will select BlackBerry over other devices.

Posted via CB10

Foxconn will be marketing the devices that we will see in the storefronts, blackberry will be marketing directly to Enterprise clients. I'm thinking that the enterprise package will also include the low end stuff as a phone for the " masses" of the corp. But I expect to see the top end phone on my desk, and a few mid level, ie q10, and a bunch of q5 for the minions.

Posted via CB10

Carriers are serving enterprise customers also with the smartphones as part of their mobile device services.

We have seen that some carriers no longer offer BBs in their retail stores, which means that purchasing and logistic departments of these no longer want BBs at all in their catalogue as cost and demand differ to heavily.

But Enterprise Customers don't want to shop here and there, so then they skip BBs also from their corporate smartphone portfolio - the phones they offer free to their employees (unless they give you «Cash» and you can go shopping).

So this brings another complication : the enterprise customers will evaluate if they any longer need BES at all or to focus on MobileIron or something simply because population of BBs are too small. Unless BES manages all OS like no one else, and when Secure Workspaces on other OS are working without issues.

But, I like to have a premium device, but not one fully made of plastic...

Posted via CB10

A device for experts needs to be sold by experts! The majority of floor staff in indy stores don't know their arse from their elbow.

Hot spot stores would be a great thing to see. Consumer has a hands on with product with demos from BB trained staff. And a bit of publicity in the high street.

BB4EVA

Hello Chris...Are you dreaming? That is out of focus. Return to the Earth and focus in the reality. People buy BlackBerrys for security, or at least, for the sense of security BlackBerry provide. Cut it from the formula and take for sure the fail.
Business are cutting costs. If they can buy an iphone cheaper than a BlackBerry, they will buy an iphone.
I understand the idea of prime or premium, but the formula could be: as premium as possible + the lower price tag as possible.

God Bless You!

Posted via CB10

Good analysis and good strategy conclusions. I will say that Chen is just wrong when he claims that 30% of total telecom spending is to regulated industries... unless, by regulated, he just means those with special concerns about privacy. Many of my former BlackBerry-carrying friends at law firms are now carrying iPhones and so are your colleagues in investment-banking. Heck, even the DoD is buying and deploying iPhones. Chen bases his strategy on industries being regulated to require secure devices, but he does not EVER cite the regulations.

Chris, you always make a lot of sense - normally - but what are you saying here: "They might want to consider building consumer devices that are not BES compatible."??
BlackBerry but not BES compatible? When any old cheap Android can be hooked up to a BES 10 service? There has to be some advantages for buying a BlackBerry - cheap or premium. With premium you get lots of extra stuff too and better hardware.
Perhaps what you're really wanting to say is, get out of the low end market entirely and just sell premium devices. Can't buy a $20k Porsche for a reason - it waters down the brand! I'd buy that argument better than the one you stated above.

I wish BlackBerry would come out directly to make it clear that they are producing and marketing devices oriented towards other things that app availability. BlackBerry is not an app-centric platform but we've got so many who can't seem to understand that, and the implement of this Android runtime further makes it less clear.

The problem with that is that the vast majority of consumers are app-centric. Why would they buy a phone when the advertising is trying to tell them that apps aren't important, when they strongly believe otherwise?

That's like a car manufacturer telling you that "this car isn't about safety, comfort, or gas mileage, it's about improved alloys of steel and reduced-petroleum tires." The vast majority of consumers don't give a rat's behind about what kind of steel is used to make the car or how much oil is used to make the tires - they want safety, comfort, and good gas mileage. You might get a tiny fringe who cares about the steel or tires, but when you are marketing to the consumer market, you have to deliver what CONSUMERS want, not what YOU (i.e., your company) want to give.

That is BB's conundrum right now: they don't have what the majority of consumers are looking for, which is a broad, high-quality ecosystem of devices, cloud services, media, and apps. That's why BB isn't doing well in the market, more than the other reasons (though poor advertising and high prices don't help), and that won't change until BB can fix those issues. How they can do that, I don't know, but that is the challenge BB has to face.

I'm in complete agreement Chris!

Differentiation in todays technology available specs is going to be key about raising pricing or delivering directly:

1. Water resistant and particular dust proof (IP57/58 spec, something Sony is pushing for where Motorola dropped the ball on).

2. Specifically designed and built Government BES10 compatible devices NOT available for the consumer/carrier market but working with carriers for the call audio/video support. Think of those HUGE ugly government specific built phones, similar to the one President Obama fought tooth and nail to avoid using outside the need for a satellite phone. Heck even a BlackBerry Enterprise/Government Satellite phone would be awesome - think of the mining industry that needs to make/receive calls in an area where there is NO population?! Northern Russia, specific areas of Chile, Ecuador, West Africa, etc. Areas where an infrastructure for Roads, Power, Fuel stations, buildings/community, or where no cell towers exist in range for at least 1000 miles on a fringe range.

Using higher quality materials ... carbon fibre, exotic metallic alloys, advanced battery technology (behond Li-Ion & Qi wireless charging).

Did Iridium fail in the end? I lost track of that story.

(huge investment in Satellite phones, highly priced, but not many people bought)

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

True there are some business' that still require them.

Maybe a better suggestion is for BlackBerry to have secure end to end calls bow in cellular networks like those 2 main companies in UK that do this on BlackBerry and there upcoming "Q" phone. BlackBerry can take out these middle men and fast before they get too much traction.

BlackBerry Q10  & Full Metal CB10!

I would like to know what define a "premium BlackBerry device" and what kind of price point are we talking about.

 CB10 

And about what john Chen said comparing lamborghini and ferrari with blackberry marketing strategy...ferrari was not about to bankrupt. I think blackberry needs profits and to do so first they need
1. Reliable devices
2. Earn respect and trust of byers
3 .And then raise prices and make very high end devices with 150 core cpus

Posted via CB10

No, it was bought. By Fiat (most of it).

Would like to see BBRY stay independent.

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

Lamborghini is owned by Audi, part of Auto Union (VW Audi Porsche).

Ferrari is FIAT?

BlackBerry Q10  & Full Metal CB10!

I say bypass carriers all together, except for really low-end products. It's not as if carriers are going to deny selling plans to a customer even if the phone was not bought from them.

I bought my Z10 from Shop Blackberry and would gladly purchase and upgrade from them, rather than waiting on carriers to give me some bullshit, exorbitant price.

Yes, there are economic factors to consider, but you guys should see the price for a Z10/Q10 in Jamaica. We're talking about US 600/800 respectively.

I'm z10ing. Yes, I invented a verb.

Agreed on the premium. They need to make money. However, they should also allow for entry-level models that allow for the same basic BlackBerry advantages. Basically, I love Chen's direction. Would hope he continues making both physical and virtual keyboards though. Have been using a Q10 and thinking about joining the dark side next.

Posted via CB10 | Q10 on T-Mobile (USA)

Blackberry needs to avoid the trap Microsoft walked into with Windows Phone where a Lumia 520 has 90%+ of a Lumia 1020.

"Secure" means different things in different industries. The only way BlackBerry is going to be successful if it can somehow ditch the carrier approval process. Let the carriers approve the basic telephony stack but everything else comes from BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10 on my  Z10

One thing that I've noticed about BBM is that the response from the server is not as fast as it once was with the legacy devices. Someone needs to work on the speed of the process.

Posted via CB10

$600, or was it $700, is not expensive enough for a phone? If they are going to be $1K I'm out.
I thought the money maker was going to be services not handsets?

Posted via CB10

Security is really Blackberry's only unique selling feature that makes it different than other phones. As much as I like BB10, I don't think there is enough difference in the OS to make the average consumer to switch.

With all the news about hackers and stalkers being able to invade our privacy, security will be important to people who value security. I don't think this security problem is going away anytime soon, so BlackBerry can survive in this niche market for a long time if they are the best at it and make it known that people should care about security.

There is almost constant news about how hackers have hacked into something, or stalkers turning on people's microphones and cameras. I'm surprised BlackBerry hasn't used that to promote their security. If the general public were educated about the lack security then I think they would care more.

IMO BlackBerry should also provide consumer security services. Make something like an easy to use BES for consumers. It would basically be something like a VPN with strong encryption. It's more convenient if BlackBerry provides the service rather than the customer having to find one themselves and then setting it up.

I also hope BlackBerry will sell direct as a second option and depend less on carriers. This will give them more control over the user experience. There have been many complaints about people not getting OS updates and complaints about not having phones available for certain carriers. IMO BlackBerry should provide financing like T-Mobile does so that consumers can afford the premium phones. The traditional way off selling phones isn't working for them, so this new way might work.

I disagree. High price yes if it is justified. I love my BlackBerries but to be honest I jumped waggon already twice from Windows Mobile 6.1/6.5 to Android and now to BlackBerry. And I will do so again if I find a system which better suits my needs.

Why would anybody buy a crippled BlackBerry? And a high price tag is not a value in itself. I will spend money to buy high end devices, but I want value for money.

On a side note: the analogy with Porsche and Lamborghini is counterproductive. Both belong to Volkswagen and share development and to some extent parts as well (especially with Audi).

Posted via CB10

They should still give security even with the cheaper handsets. BlackBerry is known for security. The level if security in the other hand should be different from enterprise grade devices to consumer based devices. After all, most consumers don't care about security.

Posted via CB10

Good on all points Chris, however, BlackBerry is stuck between an iPhone and a hard place (Android).
I feel that until recognition gets resolved amongst the masses, not just Enterprise, BlackBerry has to lower prices and take it in the chin across all domains that it is targeting.

I believe that once name establishment is once again met by means of BBM, BBMX, auto-QNX, And possibly an Enterprise version of BBM is realized, then they will have the momentum to start raising prices.

Raise prices more? I'm sorry to say the obvious - you must be delusional.

All current bb line up can not compete at the price point of other top tier devices. They tried and failed miserably. Hardware, software, ecosystem, everything is behind.

Compare hardware alone - screen, processing power, camera etc between top Samsungs, HTC and Apples and BlackBerry of the same generation. Its like comparison between middle of the line up device and most expensive one.

Evolutional device won't cut as well and i don't see any notion of new breakthrough ones coming out.

Posted via CB10

I've never understood the argument selling devices that are not bes compatible, but this does start to make since. I jst can't help to wonder... would you buy a high end porsche if you knew that someone else could buy one for $15K? Granted, they aren't the same thing, but if they are both porsche, it may compromise the whole point of buying porsche.

It has to be very obvious which one I am getting though. Sometimes there is nuance differences that (although they are obvious to us) are missed on the larger public.

To truly be the enterprises' first choice, they need to drive more applications to mobility. Take what they did to email and do it to every major enterprise software.

And another thought, as much as I like the idea of them being the high end. The enterprises being them are looking for the most bang for the buck without the risk. So, they might want the low end too. I mean, if I have to buy 100,000 smartphones, I don't want to pay an extra $100 each so they can do more than I need them to.

I keep going back and forth. And that's the problem, they keep wanting to have it both ways....

Posted via CB10

Someone pointed out that vw owns porsche. Good point. So, a company can support different levels. But, that is a marketing difference. Still sure that BlackBerry can pull off the dual personality.

Posted via CB10

Let's look at it another way: the quality of the products BlackBerry is offering has never been better and any strategy aimed at cracking open new markets is better than no strategy at all, and whole lot of wishful thinking.

The volume sales will come, have a little faith.

Sent from my BlackBerry Z30

The answer to BlackBerry's situation is sales. The way to achieve sales is innovative products. Build good stuff with the features that people want and they will form a line to buy your product - at your price.

You can market, threaten and cajole, but bad product or untimely product just won't sell. There's a reason that hot chocolate isn't on the menu at the ballpark in July, and no amount of marketing is going to overcome that fact.

BlackBerry has done a lot of catching up - the phone I'm using to post this is testimony to that, but they still have a long ways to go. They must differentiate themselves through superior products. Then they can use marketing to distinguish themselves from the competition.

Every CEO makes dumb statements - John Chen just made one. Apps are what makes a smartphone a smartphone. Every user wants apps; different groups simply want different apps. Hopefully Chen will not make the mistake previous leadership at BlackBerry has made and try to make the market buy what they want to sell.

Posted via CB10

I think he's wrong. There's already a premium device. It's called the iPhone. The premium tablet is the iPad but BlackBerry made the same mistake with the PlayBook. The only reason BlackBerry was as big as it was back in the day was because it had a budget device available. If they made a budget £11 a month BB10 phone they'd fly off the shelves because businesses would buy in bulk and consumers would pick the handsets for price. Businesses won't shell out £499 for a Premium BlackBerry when they can get an iPhone instead. Idiots.

Posted via CB10

Read an article last night that Chen is focusing on more entry level Blackberrys this year and shying away from "premium". Which caused me to by the Z30 last night< because it will probably be the most "premium" we see in awhile.

While security is a key for BES market share, I agree with prior posters that developing products that can replace the need for laptops and desktops would be just as important.

I am trying to utilize my z10 in such a way with a monitor and bluetooth keyboard / mouse in a home office environment. Obviously, cant get away from my laptop altogether at this point and very upset that z10 does not feature usb host to make things easier.

If companies could cease to outfit employees with laptops / desktops in lieu of high end Blackberry phones and accessories, it would surely boost interest in BES.

Consumers would also be interested, as I am holding off buying a replacement laptop - in case Blackberry comes up with something.

Posted via CB10

They only need to make two high end devices... a full touch and a qwerty. people want the top of the line not the cost conscious device. Look at Apple they sell way more of the iPhone 5s than the other pieces of crap they have.

Use high end materials, gorilla glass and get a top notch, world famous designer to design and start showing off the real capabilities of the device then it will sell.

Flexibility is key. I want a device that can run different run times. The ability to run apple apps rather than android apps is more important to me. Plus BlackBerry has to improve the native app landscape from top medical, social, business and many other companies. Asap.

I love my Z10. It runs circles around the iPhone and android bit some apps just aren't as good.

Tout security, show how well the device multi tasks. I was able to respond to an email, text, bbm while browsing the internet and sending pictures all about the same time. Try to do that on an iPhone.

Most people are reluctant to go back to BlackBerry because they don't think BlackBerry is solvent. Fix that problem also.

Untie from the carriers in terms of updates. Send out ui updates or security updates weekly like Microsoft does for Windows. Little tweeks here and there and bigger updates monthly. Don't make us wait when there are problems. Get it done quickly. That will boost confidence and drive sales.

Posted via CB10

All we know, about BlackBerrys future is what we've seen up to this point. Bb10 is starting to look stronger, and I'm hopeful that a tipping point can be reached, and the competition starts to look dated and foolish. Remember, I said hopeful. Mr Chen is pushing forward, and that's something, keep it going and things could turn. He's no silly billy, so I'm sure, he chooses his words wisely.

Posted via CB10

Looks like it's my turn.

Why not actually make the phone useful by partnering with what executives and the wealthy actually use. Why chase what everyone else is already doing?

Think along the lines of the Centurion Card (Black AMEX), private jet and limousine services, access to theatre and sporting events. Teaming up with all the banks and credit services for payment using their phones (think larger loans not paying for a Tim's or Starbucks coffee, although these should be included)

Thought I would also add that all we do is service the wealthiest Canadians. Not one of them uses their phone to surf the net or play games or use any apps. They are busy planing parties, going to charity events, vacationing, and attending functions like TIFF or going to the Theatre / Opera etc.

Most people that have stuff to do don't use apps and I keep reading about how productive people can be on their iphones because of apps. BS! I work with and meet proffessionals everyday, definately not getting anything of importance done on a phone. In fact, the most important thing being done on a phone is closing business deals and setting up appointments using the phone as a phone. Who'da thunk it.

End of rant. Have a great day everyone.

Tim

Posted via CB10 app on my Q10

To me, the big difference between BlackBerry and Windows Phone is that WP has a few AWESOME independent developers (like Rudy Huyn and Daniel Gary). We need a few devs like those guys totally committed to making 3rd party apps that are even better than the original titles.

Forgot to add:

What about an actual assistant instead of voice activated junk. I'm thinking along the lines of General Motors On Star service.

I think these are things the people that can afford them will pay for.

Tim

Posted via CB10 app on my Q10

If my Q10 had a little bigger screen real estate and a few more key apps this thing would be the best mobile device on the market. I finally am okay with no trackpad after 6 months of use. Let me tell you how many corporate emails fly from my Q10 a day!!!!!

Posted via CB10

I'm not sure I think this is all good. If premium devices are made by BlackBerry and sold only as enterprise phones then how would I, a consumer, get a premium quality BlackBerry? I refuse to by a cheaply made BB. If iPhone can do it, so can BB. Yes BlackBerry needs 2 cheap phones. 1 qwerty and 1 touch. Put a crazy low price on them like $250-$350. But I should be able to buy a quality BlackBerry at iPhone- esque prices without it being BES only. Pricing it completely out of consumer hands will destroy the company.

Posted via CB10

I think this is a sound idea, especially if BlackBerry really embraces the security aspect of BB10. BlackBerry has ALWAYS made handsome, well built devices. It could work.

Yes they need to be premium and considered premium. The handsets should be part of a packaged offering to the enterprise. I agree the prices should be premium. But they need to make having a blackberry something that associates one with success. BMW, Rolex and BlackBerry. BlackBerry is not there yet. They should sell only direct and forgot about making them readily available to the consumer. Add to the premium feel by playing hard to get.

On the consumer side. Hmm. Maybe they
re brand the product and spin it into a new division. I think yes BES should not be offered and they should think about reintroducing BIS in some way so that carriers can package the services to the developing countries. BBM only services for example.

Posted via CB10

Initially I didn't know what to make of this comment but after thinking about it for a while I couldn't agree with you more. You want to be like the Porsche? Then you have to charge like the Porsche! Make the top tier enterprise BlackBerry model closer to $1,000 and you will see sales skyrocket across all markets. I think we can all agree that these phones certainly merit the price tag if they had slightly better specs and by making it more the "exclusive" phone all the big shots will want one which will make their middle market products more appealing to the masses!!

The only problem is when iPhone and Samsung follow suit and you are faced with a similar problem as the one we are facing now. However I still think it's the right move. Good call Chris!

Posted via CB10

Maybe I'm missing something but I don't see why it matters whether BES is free when its useless to consumers without a BES 10 server. Leaving it out of consumer devices would just eliminate the BYOD option, which ironically is what BBRY was going after with the Z10.

The car analogy doesn't work because with those brands, all basic car needs are met by their respective models; the additional capabilities beyond the basics are highly valued by customers and can command a high price. But with phones, the ability to make calls, send texts, and send emails no longer makes for a minimally viable product. Many would argue that until BB 10 has as robust of an app ecosystem as iOS and Android, its a non-starter.

I think the differentiator will be desktop convergence. I think they might offer features with Link on the desktop for consumer market. But, i think they will reserve full convergence for the enterprise.

Chris, Do not forget the comment from BB that they will be designing the devices with FoxConn, not by Foxcon, Foxconn will be just manufacture and design ais to BB

I think this is a very USA centric article. It makes no sense to offer BES to androids and iOS and not to Foxconn BB's but who says that Foxconn units will be sold there.

Kevin wrote: Expect to see in different strategies for different markets. For example, in the U.S. it’s no surprise that carrier support for BlackBerry is waning (or almost non-existent). Here he can not rely on the U.S. carriers as much and instead go straight to enterprise and government customers with a direct sales team. In other emerging markets, where BlackBerry is still doing well and the carrier support is there, he can push phone sales hard throughout 2014 and beyond.

Marcus Adolfsson quotes Chen: Chen is sticking with BB10. “The future phone is going to be cool and is going to be high-end. For the low-end phones, I'm going to work with my partners to build and maybe, in some cases, design. But they are all going to be BB10. They are all going to be our brand.”

So I thinks this means that in the USA you will likely have to buy the Q30 directly but in other markets it will be business as usual.

Volume is also important in order to change the negative sentiment towards BlackBerry. Volume helps awareness. Many companies with BYOD policies or that choose to offer the iPhone have seen the share of BlackBerry devices fall significantly. A BlackBerry device no longer holds the prestige status it once did, despite still being tops with its unbeatable security and communication functions. People in the office want the same cool phones they see out in the wild. Thus, the consumer segment is also very important. I have a z10 from my company and love it (had an Android phone and hated it and would never want to have an Apple phone) , but outside of the colleagues that still want a BlackBerry (either BB10 or legacy) I simply don't see many BBs in the wild. Business people also want the coolest phone with all those apps. Who wants to always carry around two phones; that's just inefficient.

I'm in Europe, but I imagine the situation is much worse in the U.S.

Posted via CB10

Uh....I hate to point this out, Mr Chen, but Porsche and Lamborghini are owned by Volkswagen, the 'Peoples Car'. Ironic for Porsche, as it was Ferdinand Porsche who was tasked, by Hitler, with designing the first VW. Even mighty Ferrari is owned by Fiat.

Like almost all niche players in the auto industry, they didn't have that very fine balance struck that would allow them to stay independent. Distribution, marketing, warranty and service, etc., are all more expensive, per unit, the smaller the player is. But it's the R&D that is the real killer when it comes to staying on top as a premium performance brand. That's why these iconic, high performance brands are so often purchased by low-end companies. The profits are higher with low-end products, either through margin (cheaper technology) or massive volume. This acquisition gives the low-end company a turnkey, and somewhat profitable, R&D division to produce unique technology. It is then cost-refined and implemented on the cheap products to help differentiate them from their cheap rivals, and generate higher sales.

That's why BlackBerry should make a shell company for its low-end products, like the Curve, to sell to emerging markets. It separates BlackBerry's image from the cheap product, but allows them to profit from well-used technology packaged in adequate-but-inexpensive materials. This profit funds the R&D required for the BlackBerry brand to stay high-end.

I don't buy the Tesla comparison. Tesla, as a car maker, is unique in a lot of ways, most essentially the product, and isn't a relevant business model in BlackBerry's case.

Posted via CB10

Great comment. Another challenge with those high-end auto manufacturers is that they benefit far less from economies of scale due to both their low volume and desire to remain on the cutting edge of materials and tech. Common components often get cheaper to produce over time, but with niche players, the quantities are so low and the production time is so limited that there likely isn't much opportunity to realize savings from manufacturing efficiency. And the constant desire to integrate new technology means that aggregate component costs could actually rise vs. fall each time a new model is introduced.

And while Tesla has done pretty well, certainly from a stock perspective, it, too, is seeing the challenges around distribution, service, etc.

I may be ignorant on this but my feelings is marketing, marketing, marketing. How can anyone know about a product if you don't market. I tell people about the z10 and I get the same responses. "Aren't they going out of business " and " that is a cool device. I wish I knew about it before I did my upgrade ".

Posted via CB10

Security is always expected with BlackBerry.

There is no need to alter this but the quality of the devices needs to be improved.

Remember BlackBerry is behind in the market. BlackBerry is trying to reestablish the brand.

There only needs to be four devices in the range but they have to have top quality specs.

For enterprise there has to be a QWERTY and a touchscreen.

For consumer market two touchscreen devices, one better than the Moto X and a midrange device better than the Z30.

The key difficulty is changing perception.

The only way would be to increase the sales force on both Enterprise and Consumer.

Posted via CB10

There are some important difference between cars and mobile phones called Apps an consumerization.
All cars a "similar" (!) as they use the same fuel, oil, tires and works the same way.

A modern smartphone is very dependent on apps to be "fully functional" and even though BB10 does a lot of things a lot better out of the box, it fails miserable on apps.

I do understand there could be a reasonable business case by focusing on the enterprise segment, but if that is the best finacial solutions for BlackBerry it does not look too good.

It seems that BlackBerry are being slowly removed from more and more carriers, so a direct enterprise sale could be the only viable solution. But not having the carriers support is really, really bad. There is a huge trend going on right now amongst carriers to take over the MDM solutions and lot of enterprises really like the idea of single point of contract for devices, plans and MDM.

I will predict iPhone + Carriers MDM solution (cloud based) will be much more common during the next years.

In the future, if a catastrophic event happens and you were at a party only BlackBerry users would have the appropriate hardware to be of any use. That means a new technology must come out that will be cost prohibitive for the other phone builders to pursue. In the future, when you say you have a blackberry people will know you are part of the government, corporate, first responders or a world traveler. A blackberry should not be for common teenagers or any consumer. I am willing to pay a premium to be apart of an exclusive group.

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Surely data security is only assured if you are communicating with other BlackBerry devices. Any messages sent or received from Android or Apple devices could be read , I assume by outside parties?

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It's clear to me that BlackBerry needs to stop making their devices in Mexico!!!!!!! If they want to be premium. Take care of that first!! I don't appreciate opening 3 new boxes to find one that looks to be a non-refurbished new one!!!!

Posted via CB10

I'm not sure I agree with this post although I think BlackBerry has already a premium look and feel. First, corporate enterprises, and especially governments are not willing to pay for premium products. Yes certainly for security but not for big screens, or fancy consumer apps. A productive messaging product with low cost transmission. BlackBerry must define this space well.. better than others. Next step is to replace office phones completely. Then portable computers as we now know them. Not premium products in the sense of porche but specialised, quality, utility products or tools like mikita power tools. Made for productivity. But also to save costs for employees on the move. Finally, appeal to consumers who also want such a product. Think Land Rover. Not Porche.

Posted via CB10

If anything, this is more like KIA trying to dabble in luxury (see the K900) than it is Tesla. Oh BlackBerry. How far you've fallen.