Prem Watsa: 'In the enterprise market they’ve got huge advantages'

By Adam Zeis on 1 Oct 2013 01:38 pm EDT

While the BlackBerry/Fairfax deal is still being worked out, Fairfax Financial CEO Prem Watsa hasn't been afraid to state his intentions should the deal go through. He's confident that their bid for BlackBerry will pan out and has already been thinking ahead of just what actions to take to keep BlackBerry going.

In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Mr. Watsa cleary stated that yes, BlackBerry is struggling, but he believes customers will start buying again once a deal is finalized.

“I’m not underestimating their short-term problems”

He also knows that BlackBerry may not have the power to compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung:

“It’s a good company, it’s a good product. Otherwise nothing could help it. Can it compete in the consumer market with Apple and Samsung and the Android? No, we think that’s very tough. But in the enterprise market they’ve got huge advantages.”

BlackBerry is still extremely strong in the enterprise space and have already said that they will be moving towards serving enterprise and only offer four consumer devices from here on out - two high-tier and two low-tier. 

The diligence period for the deal is expected to be complete by November 4th, 2013. Until then BlackBerry is still able to actively seek other offers but it doesn't appear that anything else will come across the table anytime soon. 

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

Prem Watsa: 'In the enterprise market they’ve got huge advantages'


Yes hoping for the best.

Once BlackBerry goes private it ll be out of the spot light from all the negativity which is hurting it's reputation from customers wanting to purchase new / upgrade to BB 10 phones and BES 10 software. Once out of the spot light it ll restore some confidence in the public towards BlackBerry. At least I hope so.

Ummm ok it will be good for the company but not for us the current consumers... if (as stated above) it will be nothing more than an enterprise-focused company?

Just imagine.. right now with all the 'consumer' marketing and we still don't have some of the big apps that we need.. what happens when they become focused on enterprise only.. then I don't see a value for them to even invest in getting these app on to the platform.

We all love blackberry to succeed but it just won't happen with us consumers on board unfortunately.

Posted via CB10

Enterprise users are consumers too. There are a lot of synergies between consumers and enterprise users. For the "prosumer" this should be welcome news as the focus is always about getting shit done.

Posted via CB10

As gord correctly pointed out, I prefer being one prosumer out of millions than one consumer out of billions (like the sheeps...:-)

Apart that every employee has the same needs for an app platform, these so called prosumers are a great target for advertisers...

They should have taken the millions of Z10s in their shelves and give them away all over the world for free and book 1bln as Marketing costs, at least Boulbens shop could claim in the BoD to be useful for something... (by the way a very effective marketing exercise, no stock costs anymore and the devices are there where they belong... out in the wild where people appreciate them and show them around...!!!)

Posted via CB10

Agree with this. Get those phones out there. That will attract developers. Sell future phones at cost. Anything to get BlackBerry market share to a level that interests developers.

Over the long term however with resignation to enterprise market share in a byod world I think they will have to make handsets that run stock android apps.

Posted via CB10

I respectfully disagree. I think what a lot of continued Blackberry "consumer" users believe isn't in having the latest apps, it's how efficient, productive, and useful can my device be?

Get the company out of the spotlight, let Apple and Samsung handle the "consumer" market, and let Blackberry get back to building professional grade, super efficient, dependable, task oriented, and durable devices. Blackberry was doing this before the mid 2000s and doing just fine, they got lucky, suddenly everyone wanted what the "business professionals and mission critical folks" were using and it took off in the consumer market.

Blackberry, as many say, makes the best communication devices. The email, the best in class keyboard, the notification light, the security, the focus on communication and productivity above all else. And there's a small group of consumers who want that and will be on board with that.

It's extremely reassuring to hear Blackberry will continue to make a small number of consumer devices because it means the Blackberry consumers will be pleased and will get what they want. They'll be focused once more on their core markets. They can't chase Apple or Samsung but they can buckle down and focus on what they do best. They won't regain much consumer market share but they'll still exist and still produce.

It's like Nextel. Sprint still makes a small number of Nextel rugged handsets with direct connect. Not many average consumers need military grade ruggedness on their phones or direct connect and def not a phone with no apps at all. But there are consumers out there that do so Sprint makes them.

Exactly....Blackberries were never a good fit for the vast majority of consumers who want a dumbed down device, imo. I hope they really do get back to what they do best and stick with it, no matter what the idiotic "talking heads" say and those that propagate those same ideas in the forums and pass off their opinions as those of "most everyone I know"....I really don't believe Blackberries were ever met for most people.

Apps like instagram and vine are actually being used by marketing professionals in major corporations. So to be a true "prosumer" whatever the hell that means blackberry needs these big apps. I don't care about the thousands of time wasting apps either. But to be a complete business phone some of these apps that people think are useless are actual channels of business. I love my z10, but we need these big apps to survive.

Posted via CB10

Sprint destroyed Nextel. If they would have had any sense they would have trashed there cdma network deployed hspa got the dual sim Iden/gsm handets like Nextel Mexico, struck a roaming agreement with att, made all phones with direct connect and deployed Kodak Ptt as the transition direct connect that Nextel Mexico and att are using instead of messing around with qcrap. I got att eptt on my iPhone 5 and 9900 and it works great although that time has past and my company doesn't use Ptt anymore and the app isn't available for Bb10 of course

Posted via CB10

I am a consumer and a business executive. Most of us would typically carry around two or more mobile devices. I would continue to always carry around a blackberry for most of my business daily needs as it does them better than the other guys. The Hub would be a good example. But if I want to do something very non business consumer oriented, I would pull out the other device (in my case the Nexus 4 or iPad mini) and run my app that I cannot get on my blackberry. But these are few and far between, like a racing game I play with my son.
Don't get me wrong, Blackberry still needs to focus on finding a way to get some key missing business apps such as google drive, google+ (we use this for inter-office communication), google hangout and key banking apps. But let that be their focus and not Instagram, Vine, or Nexflix. If I want those, I would use my consumer device for that and it would typically be when I am at home or in a hotel room.

It looks like things are at least on the right track to keep BlackBerry moving forward, and not sell it off for parts. This is a good start.

Perhaps one could look at satellite phones as a comparison. Iridium and GlobalStar originally went bankrupt but now both are in business selling phones. There is even a new competitor in Inmarsat. BlackBerry might become a similar specialty player in mobile communications.

Posted via CB10

What? He said they are going to carry 4 Phones for the consumer. 2 high end and 2 lower end....they will focus on the Enterprise buy that will put the phones in the hands of consumers. to stand up and challenge Apple and Samsung is a losing proposition. It just invites a massive amount of hate. Let Goliath believe he has won and cut him at the ankles.

BlackBerry will survive in the Corporate and Government Sectors! My Z10 is so much better than an iphone!

U will see that reality will be different. They will not spend any money on the consumer market that means no provider subsided contracts. If u want to buy the phone at full price well that's on u kind of deal like consumers have in Asian markets like India. Lets see how this shapes up but I have no hope for us the consumer. The company will survive and they will entrench themselves in enterprise but the consumer is going to get the boot.

Posted via CB10 from BB Z10

No no no...It's been "stated" that they will carry 4 devices a year. These devices could very well be for the Prosumer/Enterprise customers. Which means...yeah no consumer support or target market and yeah no consumer app support to go along with that. We will be back to the times when you were assigned a Blackberry for work and you had another device for personal use. Hello again to the days of walking around with 2 smartphones.

I think apps will continue to appear. Textmint is probably right, they'll probably not subsidize the handsets but the carriers will still have them (esp Sprint and Verizon). With the whole Blackberry Balance thing they'll want to have some selling point for the "personal side of the software" and they won't want to exclude small businesses and self-employed professionals from accessing smaller numbers of Blackberry devices deployed for business use.

Think of it this way. If everyone gets BlackBerry and doesn't want to carry two phones they may end up switching to BlackBerry all the way.

Posted via CB10

Nope. Enterprise will just bolt on something so you can get work emails securely / wipeable on your BYOD... enterprise is managing costs better than RIM and won't pay for a device, calls and data unless they have to.

And let's face it... unless they need proprietary apps they don't have to.

Posted via CB10

Can you please tell me what will be missing for consumers versus 'prosumers'? Are we talking games? Video? Fewer fart apps or slot machines? Pictures of your kittens? I just don't know what future BlackBerry users are really going to be missing. When people say BlackBerry doesn't have any apps, we know that's BS. They have apps but not all of them I guess. I think going private simply means BlackBerry World won't be dictated to what is popular for certain demographics on other platforms.

Posted via CB10

As long as I can get a new phone directly from BlackBerry in the future we won't have any problems!

That's what I was thinking. The carriers do me no favours of give me no deals in the Caribbean, so if I could get my Z30 unlocked directly from BlackBerry, I'll be an estatic camper.

Just get the Z30 to TMobile... then we won't have to worry about any of this for a while.... You will, probably, still be able to get them through the carriers, but you will have to do some schmoozing to get it through their business sales department... I saw a guy buy a Z10, a couple of Saturdays ago, at an ATT store in a northern suburb of Chicago - THEY DIDN'T EVEN HAVE A Z10 ON DISPLAY IN THE STORE!!!!

So what the hell is the difference.... Frank B. = Fail....

I think Frank B is an idiot unless this strategy has been in the works for a long time which I think could be true. Frank is a carrier guy it could be he is just working with them to Carey the device for prosumer and not really trying to advertise. I mean really the (non) advertising is so bad it's hard really to see what he is doing.

Posted via CB10

The enterprise focus worries me.

If "enterprise market" includes building kick ass BB10 phones, then I don't care. If this means providing only software and services, then a part of my soul has died and will never live again. I will forever shun new devices and stock up on Z10s and Z30s to last me the remainder of my lifetime. (I know that's ridiculous; Hyperbole was used to illustrate the depth of my personal pain should that occur.)

Dual Z10 owner here, and a Q10 I won but am trying to sell.

I feel your concern.

-STV on Z10STL100-3/ TMO US

I wouldn't worry about the enterprise focus... they've specified that they will keep 4 devices in the consumer market (2 high tier, 2 low tier) so we can at least look forward to that.

@Kevstra, I agree re: enterprise focus being emphasized. It seems so far at least that nothing specific is being said about the consumer market.

Wow that's deep Bro I feel we are in the same boat except I will pick up a Q for Olds time sake

Posted via my better half ZED

Agreed! This is why the moment they go private they need to cut ties with carriers in the sense of expecting the carriers to manage their OS updates.

Take a page out of Apple's PlayBook (wow I did not mean to have play on words :) and just tell carriers. Here are the phones, we'll be providing our own OS updates, if you want your applications to be present then you have till X date to submit your package.

This would help with the mess we see with US carriers. Everyone in the states can order it online unlocked or through a carrier special order so they don't have to carry the stock.

From my Z10 to YOU, BOO-YAH!

Here's why BB will continue to make phones: To get the security certifications that's essential for gov't/military, they need to retain full control over the supply chain, as well as hardware crypto. They acutally audit the companies making the chips that go into their devices. Some people complain that BB has "old hardware", well that's partly why. They can't rely on someone else providing that for them. Just because iOS and Android are supported in BES, it doesn't mean those devices will be cleared to the same sec level as end to end BB.

I believe this restructuring can only make BlackBerry stronger. They will always capitalize on enterprise and security if they keep innovative.

When the time is right (with privatization), new limited "out-of-the-park" smart phones will be the norm not the exception. Concentrating on creating capital with enterprise will provide breathing room for innovative new handset hardware. Go BB

SQN 100-4 v10.2.0.1761

BlackBerry should never have gone consumer.
Long live BlackBerry.....!!!

from an australian Z10...


1st we have Blackberry saying we are shifting away from consumers, going after enterprise and "pro"sumer

2nd we Alec Saunders make it out as though a prosumer is in fact a consumer with his definition of committed.

3rd we Prem Watsa, the new buyer has already conceded defeat against Apple and Android.

I guess what Prem says goes, as he'll be the top dog that calls the shots.

I agree! Very confusing. Are the going to offer consumer phones or not?? Kevin needs to clear this up!

They aren't going to compete with the big guys anymore, but that doesn't mean no more devices. They just aren't going to market towards that segment anymore. Taking them over may not be possible, but remaining in the game is. Just because your not first doesn't mean you can't exist. I'm sure we will be seeing more from BlackBerry in the future, not just for businesses, but for the niche group of us who love our BlackBerrys and refuse to let them go.

Posted via CB10, Come visit my Channel, Time Keepers, International: C001231EA

BB10 might be like Linux on desktop. Not big enough to matter. But great for those who know how to work with it.

Something like that. And they do just fine. Although the Ubuntu Edge didn't really take off, sadly enough...

Posted via CB10, Come visit my Channel, Time Keepers, International: C001231EA

They're still going to offer phones to anyone who will buy them, they just won't gear
Marketing and advertising dollars to the consumer space.

And if so, significantly less


Where they actually investing ANY money on advertising and marketing? Cause I haven't seen ANYTHING from them around here...

Posted via BlackBerry Z10

I was thinking the same think. I'm stealing that asap

Posted via CB10, Come visit my Channel, Time Keepers, International: C001231EA

I think what they mean when they say focus on enterprise is that their solutions including smartphones will probably be targeted more at productivity and security and focus less on consumer functionalities. So while launching IPhone 5S, Apple introduced a kickass camera, I think BlackBerry will try and concentrate on innovations that will help you do things faster, better and in a more secure manner, instead.
At the end of the day prosumers are also consumers

Posted via CB10

Don't see the BB10 platform being anymore accepted in Enterprise than it has by consumers. Some business are only looking for a communications devices for the employees, but many other are beginning to take advantage of the apps that are out there that can make employees much more productive.

This need for apps is going to become more and more important and BlackBerry's ecosystem is going to dry up as developer see that a few million users is all BB will ever have.

You mean enterprise customers won't allow sideloading of apps?

But. . But... so many fanbois believe that will be a positive thing?


Posted via CB10

I look forward to you two convincing your 'Enterprise' to allow the unsubsidized secure RIM device they give you for work duties to: 1. Have 'Balance' 2. Allow access required to sideload apps on your personal side of 'Balance'

Chuckle. Your individual business cases for Instagram and Netflix should be pretty entertaining ... please share them with the forum when you're successful.

Posted via CB10

The licensing of BES10 has gone from 19000 to 25000 over the last quarter even though phone sales have declined. They were just approved by NATO and they are the only platform to date to accomplish this. After Google and Apple have basically married the NSA, I see them having a very hard time in the enterprise space around the world. Individuals may not care about security, but companies and governments do.

BlackBerry will survive in the Corporate and Government Sectors! My Z10 is so much better than an iphone!

Just a hint from Europe... Here the big companies are analyzing if and most likely then how to move their cloud services they need out from the US in order to avoid their data being subject to the ridiculous (inexistant) privacy protection laws under US jurisdiction...

Posted via CB10

Um, you do realize that a lot of companies actually write their own apps, because they have specific things they need to do? I guess not. And here's another one for ya: Companies don't mind paying for apps, that may motivate some devs to work in this space.

How is this confusing? They will support 4 consumer phones. They will focus on enterprise, but the are not going to tackle Samsung and Apple head on. That doesn't mean they won't continue supporting developers and consumers. They will focus on BES10 licenses and getting phones to employees of those companies. Hence the roll out of BB10 phones into the consumer space. Look we rolled out Q10 and Z10 devices at work. Everyone loves them and they are buying their own units for their significant other, kidd etc. The strategy works. They should have done this 8 months ago instead of yelling iphone killer. That just puts the hair up on iphone and android users backs and hence they won't even open up their minds. We all know once you use the z10 for 2 days you are going to have a hard time parting with it.

BlackBerry will survive in the Corporate and Government Sectors! My Z10 is so much better than an iphone!

While I would prefer they ante up the marketing, I can see this strategy working. They can stick to their guns and word of mouth from the enterprise market could easily and quickly spread outside of it.

Posted via CB10

While confusing here's something to think about. Until this year (2013) the BlackBerry user base had expanded every year. The reason you kept hearing BlackBerry was losing market share is because the market was expanding faster than BlackBerry was. That's because until the iPhone the average consumer wasn't all too interested in smart phones. The costs for having one were just too high. Apple tipped the balance of consumer perception and the consumer smart phone market was born. This actually helped BlackBerry in the short term. In fact the BlackBerry user base almost doubled between 2007-2008 the year the iPhone was introduced. Between 2010-2011 BlackBerry added over 30 million new users. It only had 25 million total in 2008. BlackBerry doesn't need to rule the smart phone market to be successful but they do need to trim the fat which they are doing and remain relevant which they are having mixed success doing.

I am fine with BB being a niche player. Catering to the business crowd. As long as the consumer can still buy it, I will keep purchasing it. It's nice to have a phone that not everybody owns.

Unfortunately this is most likely not going to be what is when the smoke clears. If u have doubts, check out the Panasonic toughbook. Its available for the consumer market but the high cost prohibits consumers from buying one. For bbry that will be full priced phone without discounts for consumers since provider subsidies will be gone. But yay corporate consumers.

Posted via CB10 from BB Z10

As said as long as they keep making BlackBerry phones who cares about anything else. People read into things way to much.

Posted via CB10

Just want BlackBerry to keep making phones nd BlackBerry 10 to keep improving :)

Posted via CB 10 on my BlackBerry Z10

So that being said about enterprise continuing under him, what does it mean for those of us who do not have the enterprise option but want/need/love our BlackBerry phones?

Posted via CB10

All I believe it means is that they will focus their limited resources to those "enterprise" and "prosumer" groups instead of trying to openly compete in the general mobile market and waste efforts on trying to do certain things like getting Instagram or Candy Crush leisure apps on to the platform. As an example, those dollars used trying to get the latter app markers can now be used strategically on the target groups. It still does not mean Instragram or Candy Crush will never ever get on to the platform but those app markers will have to do so on their own accord.

And Android has thousands. I don't see what you're trying to say in the context of the question asked.

I don't really care about the games apps or Instgram,etc. I just want to have one or two or four BlackBerry phones available for someone like me who likes the phone and the OS10 but is not on any enterprise and does not have that option. So as long as this happens I am okay with BlackBerry going private. It just concerns me when I keep hearing enterprise focus. That's all.
Thanks for your answers. Appreciated.

Posted via CB10

One breath taking device would be better :D

(something that kills the S4/iPhone 5S)

Posted via CB10

Realistically, I don't think anything BlackBerry produces can beat those phones yet. It's not about the hardware, OS or even the apps available. BlackBerry's got public opinion as it's first hurdle. People want reasons to hate BlackBerry. If an iPhone steals something from the corner store, no one will notice. If a BlackBerry does the same thing, there'll be lines of people saying: I told you so.

Posted via CB10

Focus on enterprise all you want but don't forget about us consumers. Blackberry probably has a larger more dedicated fan base in the consumer prospective then they do in the enterprise. It only takes a hand full of people to decide that Blackberry's will be their company's phone and then hand out 500, 1000, 2000 phones to however many people in the company they decide. Not everyone of them even like Blackberry guaranteed. But those people out there outside of Enterprise who have a Blackberry are the true BB lovers!

I don't like that he is conceding to the competition but, he at least plans to keep BlackBerry moving forward. Customers are within the enterprise market anyway. If they like their phone enough, it will spread beyond enterprise. Nonetheless, I believe BlackBerry could still compete and even out due the competition. The tools and foundation have been laid. They just need to market a LOT better and keep building on what they have.

Posted via CB10

Makes me wonder what he has up his sleeve. I don't know that the enterprise market is big enough to justify the purchase price. Maybe it once was, but Apple, Samsung, and even Microsoft has entered that market.

But like many of you, I will keep buying as long as they are available.

Posted via CB10

Just keep selling phones for the ones that want's them directly and unlocked in the web page and pre ordered through carriers and we'll all be happy I guess.

It's not that BB10 can't compete, it's that the consumer perception of the brand is hard to crack. Nothing inherently wrong with the platform itself.

Exactly! The OS10 it's quite a piece of technology. And it's getting better as weeks goes by.

I hope for the best. Selfishly, I hope they stay in the Consumer space .... I'm OK with limited handsets, as long as I can get my hands on one, and it rocks BB10 OS.

I am so addicted to this OS, I will be lost without it

BlackBerry is too important to go away. Perhaps it's not popular in the consumer market but Enterprise, Yes, I do agree. It's proven security over the years, and able to manage crossed platform device is a smart move they've made.

I think that, if people want BlackBerry devices, it will go through BlackBerry Online directly.

Owning a BlackBerry device will be exclusive down the road.

Posted via CB10

This seems to be lost on the RIM fanbois again. Which is unfortunate ... especially since so many think that Fairfax is going to keep the lights on... because they feel the new owners are benevolent or something.

Soon after the purchase is finalized Fairfax will announce that after reviewing the business and smartphone industry they are breaking up the company after all.

The idea that RIMs 'new' focus on the enterprise is going to save them is just sad. I own stock... I get it ... the enterprise battle IS the consumer battle and RIM lost. The 'Enterprise' that CB feels will save RIM has already embraced BYOD. And they will not turn back. No matter how much the Product Managers and Engineers want to save their jobs. This is just rearranging deck chairs until Fairfax can close the sale.

Like Jesus fanbois.... do you really think the Engineers that designed the network, devices, software etc. couldn't resolve the BBM For All issues? Think about it. Fairfax is waiting to break up the company, get the cash, sell patents, sell networks etc etc etc.

Posted via CB10

I don't think that they will abandon the devices.
I believe that the mean of his words is that standing with corporate consumers they will price their devices at higher rates in comparison with Apple and android.

Sent from my Z10

We need to think positively now. Whatever will bring stability is good. This is critical to assure that the product and software will survive. People need that assurance before they invest in a three year product. So whatever generates confidence is good. Generate as much good news as we can. BlackBerry a good, but different product. Its not wild on apps but damn good at communication. Its what most of us want. Perfect it!!

Posted via CB10

Just a thought, what if the written off bb10 handsets are going to be given away to markets that are still using os7? That will instantly gain them bb10 market share.

Posted via CB10

Just wondering what plans they have with the automotive side. It's been pretty quite on that front as of late. QNX infotainment, m2m communications along with mobile computing . Awesome stuff on that front

Posted via CB10

Maybe now the people who have been going around saying the compay's going to be hacked into pieces and sold off piece meal (as though it's dead certain) will shut the hell up and stop acting like they know what they're talking about.

I find this article encouraging. Watsa seems to genuinely want to invest in BlackBerry's future and it's a good thing to finally stop trying to go head to head with the likes of Apple and Samsung.

Posted via CB10

I'm not put out by BlackBerry focusing on enterprise. At this time it really makes sense to go to one's strengths.

The real question in my mind is whether hand sets factor into PW's future plans.

Competition with Android and iOS should be byproduct of the future success in enterprise services AFTER BlackBerry's reputation is regained.

The key is have consumers demand the phones instead of "marketing" to them.

Posted via CB10

This just mix me up....! Should I think on framing my Z10 and hang it on the wall as a precious memory?

Posted via CB10

Does any one know why Blackberry seems to ignore the 5-50 employee business market? I know that there isn't a huge amount of money to be made on individual companies, but as a group they could make a killing. Many of the people I network with in my line of business (IT Consulting) are always talking about wanting to get Blackberry phones. But they need to make it easier to afford than having to either wait for contracts to expire or hope to get one on eBay etc. The 5-10 space is waiting for anyone to work with them.

I wish I knew how to get this message to management at Blackberry. This could be a market worth pursuing.

Great point! Maybe a hardware as a service model could be created where the business essentially rent the handsets from BlackBerry, but get premium support and new devices whenever they are refreshed. If they aren't already they could be hosting their own BES servers for these small businesses in the cloud(so they don't have to buy and maintain their own hardware) and as part of the contract get use of a BES cloud server.

If the HaaS was $10 a month that's only $240 over 2 years, which is about what you pay when upgrading a phone anyway(unless you get special deals). Wouldn't be a bad deal for BB because then they could turn around and sell the phones used or use them for replacements.

This could definitely be worth something! And I bet larger business would buy into it as well!

I hadn't thought of a cloud service, but that would be a huge selling point. Get the BES benefits without the very large investments, for small businesses, of money and technical expertise. Personally, I would sign up for this service even if it was $50 a month. Great idea. Think Prem is reading these threads?

Then whats the piont of me buying into a company which can't compete in the apple / Samsung market cos thats where i want to be.

Posted via CB10

I enjoy his positive comments. And truthfully in the consumer market, it is up to the people at this point, to make them compete and succeed. However, he obviously hasn't given up on us, which is what I am grateful for. #BEiLEET #Blackberry10 #BB4LiFe

Posted via CB10

They should have planned to only offer 4 devices from the start. Keep things simple and focused and pour all of your R&D into 4 handsets and the BB10 OS.

Posted via CB10

I hope that after going private, they still keep making handsets. I love the Z10. Would also like to get my wife the Q10 once her Bold 9900 contract is up. 2 of my staff just bought Z10's and these are 20 year old girls. One of them used to have an iPhone. Now it's BlackBerry!! #LongLiveBlackBerry

Posted via CB10

I doubt they will stop making handsets. In order for them to stop making handsets someone would have to license BB10(as far as I know they already contract out to have the phones made). I don't think people are chomping at the bit to get a license, maybe in a year or two when things are more complete and adoption is higher it would be more plausible. But, I think for the foreseeable future we won't see them dropping hardware. This is also backed up by the fact that they are scaling back the number of handsets they are going to have on the market, don't think they would do that if they were getting out entirely.

STABILITY is key. Folks will stop buying with all the uncertainty created by the press. Prem & Fairfax will bring that stability and allow the company to re-invest in itself (R&D) and rebuild its image.

Sounds good, but can't help thinking......the competition has been focusing on the security market as well. Also, 9 months after introduction of a product to compete with the big boys, it's over? It's hard to believe. I guess that's how it goes.

Security? Who was their advisor? NSA? Just now on CNN they were discussing how the government workers were being allowed to use their BlackBerry devices to check their emails etc. shows you that BlackBerry and the older legacy devices are still in high use.

BlackBerry will survive in the Corporate and Government Sectors! My Z10 is so much better than an iphone!

Adam Zeis,

Does "only offer four consumer devices from here on out" mean that the remaining of the 6 BB10 devices planned for this year have been scrapped (ie. rumored Americano / Kopi)?

I believe BlackBerry already sort of confirmed that. With Z10 being retiered to lower end they have their 4 filled out. If they don't scrap it entirely I would expect another set of hardware next year that would replace the current generation(Q5, Q10, Z10, Z30).

How can they compete in the business market just by charging more money for phones? If key apps -- not games but apps for life -- aren't there then employees will rebel. This is the BYOD issue.

I thought that if they had stuck to their guns they might have caught on with OS 10. Making way too many and eating $900M did not help.

Now I don't get the strategy if it includes devices. Make far fewer and sell package deals to IT officers?

BES10 man ages all devices so BYOD can work. However BB10 allows for work / play sides which is a huge advantage. Apps keep coming, but honestly I don't think the boss cares about Instagram, Netflix or Vine.

BlackBerry will survive in the Corporate and Government Sectors! My Z10 is so much better than an iphone!

They need to work on bumping up their hardware specs...Z30 and Q10 as flagships don't have the specs of flagship phones

Posted via CB10 from Q10

BB10 doesn't require the hardware horsepower as android.

BlackBerry will survive in the Corporate and Government Sectors! My Z10 is so much better than an iphone!

On having key apps, I don't understand why BBRY did not make them itself or pay someone to make them or tell FB, Instagram, and others: "You make an app for OS 10 and then send us the bill as long as you keep it under x dollars."

Any mope can have an iPhone. BlackBerry 10 is a great OS and continues to improve. The Z10 keyboard rocks. Word prediction keeps learning. Email is the best. How can I live without The HUB now. And of course BBM. It's not perfect but it's still a pretty amazing phone. It's a work tool not a child's toy. I look forward to the 10.2 os update.

Posted via Z10

Here's yet another example of why BlackBerry needs better PR who can give information and not cause rampant panic. Watsa should have said:

"I don't believe that BlackBerry can compete head on with Apple / Samsung for significant consumer market share. However, we fully intend to support the consumer market and continue to grow our development community and application breadth and depth. BlackBerry's primary marketing efforts will be focused on the Enterprise, where we have a large advantage. Enterprise customers want security, reliability, and productivity as well as a rich set of consumer applications."

Or something to that effect.

As long as I can get a BlackBerry smartphone, I'm very happy!!!!

Posted via CB10 on Z10STL100-2/ ....Unlocked Runtime

i'm thinking i'm starting to feel better with this! so the enterprise will be their bread and butter and on the side they will offer 4 consumer devices. i hope it's 2 touch screens and 2 qwerty's each year and they are available unlocked directly from BlackBerry if carrier support goes out the window.

This is good news. And I am 100% fine with BBRY releasing only 4 devices per year. Keep up the OS updates and people will eventually catch on and finally understand how much better BB10 is versus the competition.
In the meantime, USA Carriers and Apple should be investigated upon for signing nonsense contracts manipulating the public and forcing iPhones down people's throats, while destroying potential BBRY buyers.
And what is this nonsense about USA Carriers will have to pay Apple for slow iPhone Sales? Who comes up with this crap?

Apple was very smart. When they had the hammer, they used it to bang out these agreements. Now that BlackBerry is allowing us to buy devices unlocked and direct, they may have slipped the grip of the carriers a bit. The carriers are not helping BlackBerry one bit. They are controlled by Apple until the carriers get another saleable platform.

BlackBerry will survive in the Corporate and Government Sectors! My Z10 is so much better than an iphone!

After 4 Gens Of BB phones looks like my next one will be a Samsung Galaxy S5 or maybe the Note 4 we'll see! So long BB its been a good ride! Now the party it over and the fat lady is warming up her voice!!!

Me too but I'm not mad and wish all the people in waterloo etc. the best success and I still hope my new phone will have bbm.

Posted via CB10

I honestly have my doubts on this plan... because the enterprise of the past is not what it is today!

Before, we could consider an enterprise as one entity and therefore when selling devices to 1 enterprise it meant having hundreds of devices delivered to that enterprise for multiple employees.

Today, with BYOD, we clearly can see a huge shift! Which now means that enterprises can not be viewed anymore as one entity which would distrobute to multiple employees. It should now be viewed as a group of consumers which are employees that composes the enterprise!

Do you see the difference? BlackBerry is used to start from the top and spread to the bottom of the pyramid. But with consumerisation of the enterprise, you need to start from the bottom and spread all the way to the top!

I wish them luck but in todays economy, I have high doubts on this strategy! (except for certain governmental groups)

Posted via CB10

Yeah I've made the comment as well. BYOD is the consumer and enterprise market and few enterprise will allow full Balance capabilities or sideloading.

And isn't the enterprise service revenue cratering anyways? This is just more of the RIM 'trust me things will get better ' story of the last few years...

Posted via CB10

Sometimes i get the feeling ,Fairfax interest is only enterprise and i think, he should not completely come to conclusion that bb cannot fight Android or Apple .
This statement creates negative sentiment among us bb lovers

But isn't it true that BBRY cannot fight Android or Apple in the consumer market? I don't see it as a negative but an admission of a reality.

If the Z10 is the low tier, with the Q5, then I'm all for it. This is one hell of a low tier device. It kicks the crap out the low tier iPhone and Android devices.

Posted via CB10

Are they offering four consumer devices? Or just devices in general. The way it's worded in your article implies they may be selling different models to the enterprise market vs the consumer market. I assume they will just have 4 models for everything available to consumers if they chose to purchase them.

Question..for corporate users, anyone here has a blackberry that's just for your corporate usage? How restricted are you in app usage? How much can and can't you install?

Just wondering, if it's restricted, it means there won't be any future apps not catering to the corporate needs?

From my smokin' Barbeque10

My work BBRY allows absolutely no Administration rights. I cannot install apps. I cannot pay for apps. I cannot sideload. I cannot use Balance.

Only the IT Department can. After I submit a remedy ticket, business case and have my Manager and the IT Services Manager approve.

Posted via CB10

This makes more sense. Target the professionals and enterprise customers as this was their major strength.
When they recover from the bad situation they are in, then may be they can think of the other market segments.
Battery,good quality hardware and smooth and reliable OS then u can't go wrong with enterprise customers.

Posted via CB10

I just wish these guys would start using better "our focus is on the enterprise and there's a ton of overlap between the consumer and a business user. Consumers will not be left behind. " it needs to be reassuring and recognize BYOD.

Posted via CB10

In my opinion, two things have hurt BlackBerry: Waiting too long to change direction and release BB10 devices and allowing negative publicity (either deserved or not) to build up and form a huge gray cloud over the company.
If it goes private, there will be one less thing to worry about.

Posted via CB10

Silence for the Cryptkeeper (aka Pringle Watsahisname) has spoken!

First of all why even bother asking whether BlackBerry can compete with Apple and Samsung? The answer to such an obvious, old and tired question is already known and at this point in time it is a resounding "NO"!

Maybe once upon a time, which in the tech world was 4-5 years ago, that might have been possible, but the two ass clowns of the apocalypse, Lazaridis and Balsilille put blinders on and decided to sit on their thumbs, resting on their laurels (much like Apple is doing right now) .

Now those times are gone and the Cryptkeeper is just stringing us along until he can make sure that whatever this cockamemie deal is supposed to be, goes through and he can recuperate his investment.

He and his company, Fairfuck Financial, have been part of this company for a number of years and this company has not changed for the better instead it has gotten progressively worse. He was part, until August of this year of the Board of Directors, the same Board that along with Thorsten Heins Ketchup and upper management, took the decisions which have brought BlackBerry to its current predicament.

One has to wonder how much of this crisis was due to incompetence and bad planning/strategy or manipulation by people like the Cryptkeeper, who wants his money back or Heins Ketchup who must be dreaming of his $55.4 million dollars.

Either way it is consumers, employees and investors who got screwed by all this!

PS If these are the last 4 models BlackBerry will put out, will there be any new ones in the future? ( personally I hope so)

Posted via CB10

I have never had my Blackberries as work phones. I use my phone strictly as a personal phone, but I value it as much as anyone else. I am actually all for making it function more to get things done and have the best security available. I need and have very few apps. I only have 2 games on my phone because I'm not into the "action" games, Angry Birds, racing, Zombies etc . I want the best keyboard, the best browser, working Facebook, news, music, etc. I have that with my Z10 ( I never thought that I would be happy with a touch phone, but the Z10 is amazing! ). Now I believe that everyone should have what they need in a phone...that is why there are so many different phones. I have found that the Z10 fits my needs, and I am going to LOVE the Z30! As BlackBerry follows it's vision of who they want to be in the future, I just don't want to be left behind (at the mercy of iPhones and Android) because I am not a BES user. Love my Z10 !!

I'm a relative Newby to Blackberry, my first BlackBerry was a Bold 9780 and now the Q10. I don't necessarily understand all the ins and outs of software/hardware, BES etc etc. Before owning a BlackBerry I used a Nokia N95 and then an LG optimus, so you can tell I'm not really a mobile phone afficionado. I don't know if my phones better than anyone else's. What I do know is that with Blackberry, I have a quality phone and BB10 is amazing, easy to use and a solid OS. My whole family use BlackBerry now. My son still totes a Bold 9000. My wife's due an upgrade from her curve soon and we're looking at a BB10 phone for her. All I can really hope is that BlackBerry continue producing quality phones and are able to weather the storm (sorry no pun intended). Make the necessary changes and plan for the future. So hopefully people will wake up to the real alternative to the iphone :).

Posted via CB10

Amen to that! I just hope they do not go private because that would be a big mistake, and it would tick off a lot of investors, who most likely own a Blackberry device.

I love how they've admitted defeat in the consumer market after just 6-8 mos of not even trying. If you're gonna be in it, be in it to win it, otherwise what's the point?? Dumb@sses...

Posted via CB10

Well just read the almighty OSX (all versions combined) have now been surpassed by Windows 8. If almighty Apple, that can do no wrong, can't manage to break 8% of the computer market I don't think it's unreasonable to say BB can't compete with apple/ android in phones. It's just being honest.

To tell you the truth I don't know why apple gets thrown in. Except in US/Canada Apple itself can't compete against android. It's world market share is 14% and falling.

Posted via CB10

And why would we think that Prem taking the company private is a good idea?... he's not a better option.

I'm loosing money on this deal but I would rather loose money and have the company survive then to make money on the company breaking up. I want my next phone in 14 month to be a Blackberry. We just upgraded my wife today to a Q10 from a Bold 9900. Long live BlackBerry

Posted via CB10

Prem is not the answer. Blackberry Is in the final stages of their deployment into BB10. Soon their OS will be out of its "beta-state" and 10.2 will make their new BB10 devices even more amazing. Blackberry is now focusing on improving sales in America, and is now offering their devices unlocked on their official website.

I think they should go private work out the kinks to blackberry 10 and license it to other manufacturers

Posted via CB10

Concentrating on 4 devices is a great strategy because as we've learned BlackBerry has been a house divided for far too long. This still would beat Apple in terms of offerings. Also, BlackBerry has to learn how to market themselves a hell of a lot better than what we've seen to date.

Sent from my BlackBerry Z10

Focus on enterprise, ignore the consumer. Even though most enterprises let consumers pick the device they want to use. Sounds exactly like the strategy that got them where they are now.

They have huge advantages. Then why take them private. I buy stocks with high risk. I want more blackberry stock.

Posted via CB10

I will be very happy with a solid BB10 device with practical apps that will meet my daily needs. In terms of games, a tablet can take care of that. I try not to let my kids play on my phone. Social media app developers will probably continue or start developing for BlackBerry once the company is stabilized. Concentrate on a niche, market it aggressively and then grow the base. I love the idea of "giving "Z 10s away. We need to get them into the hands of the masses.

Curve 8320, Bold 9780, Bold 9900, PB 64gb, Z10

I'm really disappointed and worried now....i was aching for a good fart app to come to bb10.... but now, I fear it'll never come. :-)

Posted from my Z10 using CB10

Prem: "...but in the Enterprise, they have a huge advantage"....

Stock Holders: "No Prem, you are the one with the huge advantage, with that slick little stranglehold you have on the stock price".

That was a good move by blackberry to scale back to four devices. Maybe they should scale back to three. A top end, mid range and low end device. Apple only has two devices and look how successful they are. Also it would help utilize their resources better. Also if they can start increasing their customer base it will help bring app developers on board. So focusing on enterprise will in the long run also benefit consumers i.e. increase in unit sales means increase in subscribers, and increased chances of app developers coming on board. I also like the comment that P Watsa made about how its difficult to compete against the behemoths. No BOD members ever admitted that. So it shows that someone doesn't have their head in the sand. And maybe they can now concentrate on improving their sales and marketing plans. All Blackberry needed was to have 5% market share to be successful. But they tried to take on Apple and Samsung and failed.

An other thought is if they try to get someone else to make their phones and license thier BB10 OS, how do they insure that no spy chips are implanted in the devices? That's why i don't think they will sell the manufacturing side of the business. Once they do that governments (DOD) will be reluctant to buy their products.

How do they ensure it now? They don't make any of the ICs they use in the phones, they buy them from a fabricator/packager.

This could be the biggest Canadian story in the news for a long time.Blackberry is a great Canadian company that needs to stay Canadian with this deal with Fairfax and maybe Mike back as CEO, after all this is his baby and a great one, all we can do is pray that this will happen, i have a playbook and a bold 9900 and i would not trade for anything esle. THANK YOU!

The way I see it, BlackBerry became popular this way to begin with. If they just focus on the enterprise workers, they will hopefully come home with BlackBerry 10 devices. I know it's a different landscape now, but word of mouth has to start somewhere. Many of my old freinds found out about BlackBerry this way years ago. How do you think BBM became a hit with teenagers in the first place?

Posted via CB10

The "enterprises" existed 5 years ago is no longer the same "enterprises" that exists today...

At the end of the day, still the question is "how many?"...

Posted via Z10

Let other companies make consumer phones for bb10 and let blackberry make their pro consumer devices themselves would probably be a better idea. That way blackberry can gain in both markets investing only half the amount of money into hardware and developing new phones.

Love the hub! (owner of Z10, Q10, iPhone 5)

The biggest thing I get from this is there is actually someone fighting for Blackberry. it would of been nice to have someone fighting the last 6 months!

Yes, take private, everyone makes money. Short sellers, Insiders, Fairfax. Public sharehollders get screwed. Any wonder capitalism will die within 25 years. Wanna bet? People with money make more money, while those who go paycheck to paycheck get screwed.

Remember to vote NO to this sale. I will. Prem only has 10% of the vote, and he needs a majority. He's not getting my vote.

Prem cannot vote his shares for the deal, I think. Buit het gets $157 million for , dont know what? Why Thorsten gets $55 million on top of $10 million? Dont know for what? Do you guys know why hundreds of millions of dollars are transferred from the company to a few folks?

Thor only gets the a severance pay if he is fired. They should demote him, and bring in someone with more charisma to bring excitement to the brand. I already like My Z10, but some people need a pep rally. If Prem cannot vote for his 10% then he needs a majority of 90% of the investors' vote. Since most of these investors paid over $9/share, I couldn't imagine that they would say, YES take my money...

My message to BB leadership and Prem Watsa, watch how you message to the public and the media. Keep the message moving forward like: "We're focusing on our strengths in corporate, government and prosumers who value unmatched security, manageability and efficiency. We recognize the considerable overlap between the consumer and business users and we continue to embrace and partner with app developers across the globe. Consumers and businesses alike are benefiting from our growing library of app and features. We're excited about the power 10.2 brings to the platform." It needs to be reassuring and recognize BYOD without being exclusionary to consumers. You can't leave out people in your messaging that you want buying your phones! Never.

Prem is absolutely not getting my shares for a measly $9. Blackberry is worth way more than that! The shareholders have to agree to this sale, and no investor in their right mind would allow Prem to run away with the deed to this gold mine! The stock will stay stagnant until next quarter, the sales figures should be better, and this is when we will hear Prem announce that he is backing out of this deal. He will not get investor approval, so he'll have to wait like the rest of us to bank on Blackberry's success.

I hope you are right, Herbie. I stand to lose 10's of thousand of dollars while the BB execs and BOD all stand to clean up if that deal goes through. It is some majorly shady business. And while I appreciate everyone here wanting BB to persevere, it should not be at the cost of their shareholders who put up large sums of money because they believed in the company. Their behavior in the last several quarters makes it pretty evident that pushing this deal through was the goal. I will not vote yes to the $9 deal either.

I agree Herbie. Prem said Blacvkberry is worth $40 or more just 4 months ago. He should pay minimum $40 per share. If not, this is the biggest rip-off, a total scam.

BlackBerry has got advantage every where if they believe in themselves, as just building some small goal is not good enough

Posted via CB10

When they say "BB can't compete with Android/Apple" , they should say why or people can thing that they're saying that the others are better...

I belive that it's possible to BB stays on the consumers market. For that they have to listen what consumers want and give then that.

In the begining of 2014 we'll have, Android, IOS, BB10, Windows phone and Ubuntu.

I really belive (and want) that BB can stay in podium...

If once they can prove to worldwide customers that communications are not available to NSA and the like, a lot of companies will come back to BlackBerry again.

Posted via CB10