Talking Stocks: How BlackBerry, Apple, Google and Microsoft performed the past year

Two giants, one surprise and a still-struggling BlackBerry
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By Chris Umiastowski on 15 Mar 2014 08:57 am EDT
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While today doesn’t mark any particularly important day on the calendar as far as mobile technology goes, I thought it would be useful to pull up a one year chart of the stocks that make up the most relevant names to Mobile Nations. From largest market value to smallest, these are Apple, Google, Microsoft and BlackBerry.

Here’s the one-year chart for the bunch. This is a comparison chart so the time axis has all stocks starting together, like horses out of a gate, with a 0 percent change. I like the format because it’s so easy to see what’s happening on a relative basis. The first obvious thing to note is that BlackBerry is the only stock to show a decline in the period, and you can really see how the Canadian firm started to underperform after the weak quarterly results from late June 2013 and again in September. In comparison to the three other major platform makers, BlackBerry did not demonstrate stability and paid the price in the market. We’ll come back to BlackBerry further down.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Google posted the best stock performance over the last year, having risen more than 40 percent. Apple and Microsoft both still show very decent price improvements in the last year.

Look at the P/E

It’s worth pointing out that Google has the highest price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of the bunch. In fact Google trades at about 19 times next years earnings forecast while Microsoft trades at 13 times and Apple trades at 11 times next year’s earnings forecast. BlackBerry is not profitable today, so its P/E ratio is irrelevant to any discussion right now.

For those of you just learning about stock analysis, the P/E ratio is a quick way to look at how big the expectations are on a company’s future results. Investors are buying a share of Google for 19 times as much as we expect them to make in profit next year. This means investors expect more future growth from Google than from Apple, which is the cheapest stock of the bunch. And Microsoft? It’s slightly more expensive (by looking at P/E) compared to Apple, but not by much.

I consider one year results to be short-term stuff. And in the short term, the market is a momentum machine. Notice how the stock with the highest expectations also has the highest one-year performance? Microsoft has the second-highest expectations and the second-best performance, while Apple has the lowest expectations and the worst performance out of the three profitable companies on that chart.

It’s also worth noting that Google and Microsoft, the two best performing stocks on the chart, are well-diversified beyond mobile. Google’s main business is online advertising while Microsoft’s main business is in the consumer and enterprise computing segments.

A few words about each company (or stock) on the chart:

Google

It’s impressive that Google is dominant in so many markets. First came online search. Then the ads to accompany search. Then services such as Gmail to suck in more users and present more relevant ads. Then came video (the YouTube acquisition) and then more recently we have Android, the No. 1 mobile platform in the world. It should be no surprise that investors hold high expectations for the future. Google has been moving further into hardware and home automation (Chromecast release, Nest acquisition, and has obvious plays on wearable computing (Google Glass) and more out-there stuff like self-driving automobiles.

Apple

Apple has become more of a pure play on mobile. It’s obviously not a pure play, but the iOS business has grown so fast that it makes the Mac business look tiny by comparison. Apple is king of beautiful but more expensive products that are dead easy to use. Apple has posted record results and Tim Cook has clearly told us they’re launching new product categories this year. Yet investors hold very low expectations for the future. What gives? Simply put, investors are worried that Apple won’t be able to hang onto its price premium in the cut throat world of mobile. Google is, in my opinion, the largest reason for this investor concern.

Microsoft

Microsoft is a strange one. I left them for dead last year in the consumer market and I still feel like they are under enormous threat by Apple and Google. Windows market share is slipping, yet Microsoft continues to post very solid growth because of its dominance in the enterprise. That, along with the acquisition of Nokia and a big push to go after the emerging markets (which I think is absolutely the right strategy), gives them a solid chance of staying relevant in mobile.

BlackBerry

This takes us to the smallest company on the list, BlackBerry. Last year at this time I was very optimistic BlackBerry 10 would become the No. 3 mobile platform. I wasn’t convinced a huge app ecosystem was important and there is one word for that opinion today. Wrong. Unfortunately, through a mix of poor marketing and inadequate population of their app store, BlackBerry was not a winning choice among consumers and Microsoft captured the #3 position.

Thing is … last year I thought there might be enough room for a No. 3 and a No. 4 in the space. But today I’m not so sure. Maybe all the folks who said there will be no #3 were right. In the mobile market I think apps are as important today as web accessibility was in the prior generation of devices. There are tons of niche markets, and the most popular apps in each niche need to be available for every successful platform. You don’t need a million apps. It’s actually harder. You need practically all the top apps that matter. If Microsoft can make it happen, they should do just fine. But if not, I think next year’s chart will look very different.

And BlackBerry has clearly made the right move in deciding to focus heavily on the enterprise. The market seems to think so too. Just look how the direction of the stock chart changed course in December. BlackBerry fans need to remember that BlackBerry is less than a $5 billion company (market value) today compared to over $300 billion for the smallest of the other three competitors. Winning in the device market is absolutely not required for BlackBerry to be a solid performer going forward. But staying relevant in the enterprise is relevant.

And there is always BBM. It’s clearly one of the best cross-platform IM applications out there, and aside from being an enterprise player BlackBerry should stand a chance at being a communications application company. There’s a lot of money to be made in displacing SMS over the next decade. Just look at Facebook’s $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp as proof of what the big boys believe.

Personally, I own all of these stocks except for Microsoft. I’m most optimistic about Google and Apple, and I think it makes sense to own both stocks as the #1 and No. 2 players in the mobile industry. I still own BlackBerry based on the potential for a turnaround under John Chen’s leadership, and I think there is an increased chance he may ultimately sell to Microsoft after fixing the business. After all, Microsoft is the giant in enterprise.

Reader comments

Talking Stocks: How BlackBerry, Apple, Google and Microsoft performed the past year

206 Comments

Where is Quicksilver??

On topic... Thanks for the great write up as always Chris. You do a solid job breaking down huge topics into easy to see and understand pieces. It's also nice to see a person call themselves our when they were wrong :)

Posted with a Verizon Z30 running 10.2.1.2141 and CB10. [URL="bbmc:C0004F9BB"] My channel with zero subscribers [/URL]

Cool, now tell the BBM team that the only reason I use WhatsApp is because of the image quality when sharing pictures.

Visit GTR Lifestyle @ [URL="bbmc:C001247FA"]C001247FA[/URL]

You can still request for higher quality. The person with the android phone has to hold down the pic and the side bar will pop out with the option to request for a higher picture. I think allow people to adjust the picture quality in the settings is a must have. people don't realize that you can do that.

This process is too much work also it is antiquated. Most people have data plans that can support the sharing of these high resolution images. We should be able to set/save our preferences for sending and receiving HQ images. A simple fix that would make a world of difference

Posted via CB10

100% agreed.

If you have to come to a forum to find out that this option even exists, then the feature *may as well* not exist since 90% of users will never learn of it.

At MINIMUM there should be a visible link under the image that says "request high resolution image".

Dismissing ease of use and discoverability of functions in a user interface is a huge mistake... unless you want your product to fail.

Posted via CB10

Excellent reading and analysis Chris. We'll have to see now how it all pans out the next few quarters. I very much want to see the quarterly results after the new Foxconn BlackBerry launches.

Posted via CB10

Good post about how the stocks work but OUCH the reality hurts... MS buying BB.... I need some time to think about that...

Posted via CB10

Ya that really hurts if Mr Chen was able to turnaround BlackBerry and make it successful / profitable again only to sell it to someone like Microsoft.

Posted via CB10 with my  Z30

It's sad people are even buying Windows Phone. It's BY FAR the absolute worst mobile OS out there right now. And this is coming from a Microsoft supporter...

You can't make that kind of stock comparison with a stock like BBRY. 1 year from now back in March 2013 Blackberry was riding high on the launch of BB10. Investors were hopeful that BB10 would turn the tide. If you start the chart from September 2012 you will see a 45% increase to today. A volatile stock like blackberry can have dramatically different comparison charts by just starting 1-2 months before.

For some who'll read this article, the way Umi just dropped that last tidbit at the end of his blog.... it's akin to having dropped a grenade and leaving the room. :)

What do you think would happen to BB hardware and the OS if Microsoft got their hands on it? My guess is they would just use BB's patents or put Windows Phone on the devices.

Yup.

And although I appreciate the windows phone user interface, I would never use a "Microsoft BlackBerry" phone as I honestly can't stand the WP user interface.

Just my opinion.

Posted via CB10

I am certain that blackberry will be sold before the end of next year. And the buyer will not be Microsoft even though it seems very plausible. The buyer will be Apple.

I would very much like that. I want apple to get into the enterprise space and create/develop items/apps for the enterprise. As someone invested into the apple ecosystem after comparing the Google and the ms ecosystem, I can say they are far more superior and need to address the enterprise market. I know this because I'm in a multi-billion dollar company with over 80,000 employees. We've stuck with blackberry in spite of all the upheaval in the last 12-18 months.

Posted via CB10

No, you don't want Apple mucking around in the enterprise sector with their ideal of "simplicity" and "you must do it our way". Just try attaching a DOC, PDF and XLS file to the same email from the Mail app on an iPhone. Do you really want your "work" phones to be hamstrung?

Posted via CB10 on Z10

+1 I will switch to Microsoft if apple ever buys BlackBerry. Or I will get the new Linux based phone.

Posted via CB10

Ubuntu Phone is nice. I got it on my Nexus 4. The swipes are awesome. And it will probably get Android app compatibility or dual boot, even into desktop mode via HDMI / USB.

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

I hope you are wrong. It would be the death of bbry, the death of its consept. I'll drop down my smartphones. BlackBerry is the only vendor producing smartphones for business, the others are garbage.

Posted via CB10 on my Z10

If Apple does buy BlackBerry it would certainly mean the death of the Blackberry devices and it's os.

Posted via CB10 from my spectacular Z10

As always, really enjoyed the article and effort. It’s nice to have a realistic perspective but still love or appreciate the brand. Thanks for the info.

Posted via CB10

It would be a fiasco, to sell BlackBerry to Microsoft. I think, Mr. Chen wouldn't do something like that after the turnaround. BlackBerry isn't for sale.

I'm thinking that too. Probably unloading BBM on someone if it ever really gains traction in a meaningful way. In which areas are they actually ahead of the curve? I don't think any.

I think Sybase was Sybase. And now Mr. Chen is CEO of BlackBerry. They stated, that BlackBerry isn't for sale. BlackBerry is a company which can survive for its own.

Posted via CB10

I think Chen wouldn't think twice about selling the company if the price was right. If he thinks the deal being offered is good for investors, he'd do it.

Posted while peeking and flowing on my incredible BBQ10! 

BlackBerry is THE Canadian Firm, they wouldn't sell their best peace. And there is Prem Watsa, they are friends. He will see BlackBerry grow. And for that, they took the for sale sign down. The only thing they could do, is to take BlackBerry private, but if the share price is getting higher, they don't have that option. I think the turnaround of BlackBerry will happen, and the share price will rise.

Posted via CB10

Prem Watsa is an investor. He clearly believes that BlackBerry has growth potential and was greatly undervalued by the market.

The question is what is a fair price for BlackBerry? If Microsoft, or anyone else, offers a price exceeding Fairfax's evaluation why wouldn't BlackBerry sell?

I don't know you, but would you turn down a million dollar offer for your car? Even if you love everything about your current ride at somepoint the economic consideration is going to override any emotional attachment.

Posted via CB10

Prem Watsa knows and believes, that BlackBerry has in the future very much potential. BlackBerry is now at its beginning of a great rise.

Posted via CB10

Gotta agree. Any CEO is in it for the shareholders. That is his job by definition.

Founders differ. Their company is tightly linked to their identity.

But, the reality is BlackBerry is a business owned by shareholders who expect a return on their investment. A sale price that benefits shareholders would be considered. It would have to be.

Posted via CB10

Refusing to consider a legitimate sale opportunity could lead to a lawsuit for breach of fiduciary duty.

Posted via CB10 on Z10

What about the National Security implications for the Canadian and other governments using BB tech?

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

I feel this exact same way. I hope they don't leave the consumer segment as I use my BBRY for personal rather than business. I just love the multi -task and gestures over anything else out there.

Posted via CB10

More likely SAP though with all the prior connections between people and the fit with enterprise services. I still think IBM or Cisco would still be far better potential acquisitors if it HAS to come to that since I would see them building out a secure mobile communications service division around the BlackBerry acquisition instead of stripping it for parts and throwing the rest away as I believe Microsoft would do.

This post Powered by BlackBerry

You are exactly right, that's his specialty, rebuild and sell for a profit. Naive to think otherwise.

I could see BlackBerry being attractive to Apple actually : QNX to diversify on devices (automotive, etc); BES to further their position in enterprise and reworking bb10 for a rebranded iOS. I'd love to see BlackBerry remain independent ideally though.

Posted via CB10

They don't need to diversify. iMacs, iPads, iPods, iPhones, iOS in the car and so forth. If anyone needed to diversify it would be BlackBerry.

iOS in the car already uses QNX. But that won't get QNX anywhere, it will be referred to as iOS or Apple or Siri by just about everyone. They also don't need BES, what for? Enterprise is already choosing Android and iOS en masse, as well as WP8.

And the biggest absolute and with 110% certainty what will not happen is a BB10 reworked iOS.

And hey, not to sound overly pessimistic, I'd definitely pick an iPhone if it ran BB10. I do like the OS but like everyone else, I have no desire to sideload, no desire to not use an official appstore, no desire to lack native apps.

Apple doesn't have mobile device management software in enterprise; QNX has potential in a multitude of devices beyond automotive; reworking bb10 for iOS is admittedly a stretch... I can still see it being a potentially attractive acquisition for Apple. Shrugs.

Posted via CB10

After spending billions on

long lasting bashing media campaign,
BBRY stock manipulation and hidden stock buying through some shareholders,
"motivating" BBRY management to make unjustified business decisions,

finally comes THE SAVIOUR.

..APPLE..

This fruit is really rotten to the core.

My guess is that deal is already done. The sale is pending BlackBerry being profitable, which is what John Chen was brought in to do. It just seemed a little strange how abruptly they went from 'we're for sale' to the current scenario.

DON'T SELL TO MICROSOFT!!!!!

Don't sell to any of the big three .

Security is not their priority!!! Why not buy up all the smaller security software companies.

Stay independent.

Posted via CB10

I'd like to see them acquiring more security companies as well. I think it will help them be the one and only company that comes to mind when a company needs a secure mobile solution.

Posted while peeking and flowing on my incredible BBQ10! 

Yes yes yes! Buy Secusmart, buy anything that will secure (haha) the secure mobile communications space. That is their real brand.

This post Powered by BlackBerry

I really hope they rise out of the ashes and stay independent too. I honestly don't understand how big corporations and governments (their IT execs) would sacrifice security for a bunch of apps and games they shouldn't be using while working anyway.

If BlackBerry can convince all the big financial and big business companies to build quality BB10 apps then they'll be fine as a business focused #4 player. Hope that happens by mid 2015.

Posted via CB10

Not to Microsoft.

I personally use Microsoft tech, but BlackBerry does it best when it comes to communication. BlackBerry staying independent is good for the market.

Posted Via CB10 for Z30

The battle for a nonconformist independent communication company will die with BlackBerry.

With the NSA having their hooks in all US based tech companies .

We need to Stop being information whores. BlackBerry is the only company where security is their top priority.

No one else cares, apps above anything else. It saddens me to people being fooled so easily.

No one asks what happens to my information?

Tim Berners Lee has warned of the Internet losing its freedom. We are helping those who wish to control.

Mr Chen needs to play his hand very carefully.

The World needs BlackBerry .

BlackBerry...Get it done!!!

Posted via CB10

Security and privacy are different things and blackberry has demonstrated that it does not care about your privacy

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

Lack of security will cause what? Data leakage, (information theft)

Lack of privacy will cause what? Data leakage
(maybe of a slightly different kind)

-->Can't have one without the other

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

If BlackBerry can focus on enterprise and get some nice devices into their hands, anything can happen. This is how they first became popular at work.... then home....then teenagers. Nothing is impossible, it just looks that way now.

Powered by BlackBerry

I think this is a great article and really puts reality in place. P/E ratios, as you elude to, are a great indicator of both quantitative and qualitative potential. The fact that BlackBerry has fallen so far behind puts so many things in perspective. I'm really pulling for RIM...er...BlackBerry. This would be a great comeback story.

Addessing the app issue you couldn't be more spot on. We don't need 1 million apps, but we do need the relevant ones that are so basic to compete. No Bank of America app? No Pandora app? I realize we have native options for some of these but still....

We have to be cognisant of the BES. I think I've heard about several hundred thousand deployments of these servers which is awesome news.

Let me tell you why I still think my Q10 is better than my Iphone because I have both: The sound quality when I play music isn't even close. BlackBerry kicks iphone's bootay on this one. The call quality is also WAY better. What a crisp sound I get when I speak with my Q10. The clarity when I listen through my ear is superior to Iphone. As a personal preference, I obviously love the physical keypad. It is such as awesome keypad. I also love the Q10 size. I can hold the device so easily in my hands. Then there is the security which needs no explanation. I think the fluidness of OS 10 is fantastic too. I love docs to go. The ability to edit and save documents on the fly is awesome.

Let me talk why I aslo use my Iphone. Screen size is great. Not too big, and the video and picture quality is so much better. Also, SIRI has come a long way. I can ask her to do so many things. The voice command on my BlackBerry is worthless. Now, I'm running 10.1 because I'm on ATT in US, but I'm not sure if 10.2 helps. Then there is the fact that all of my friends are on Iphone which mean imessage is a great advantage. Sharing pics and videos is so easy.
Then Itunes and the app world are incredible. There are so many tools for free I can get in their store. Superior!

All in all, I continue to use both devices for different reasons.

I really hope the Q20 comes with more screen real estate!

Posted via CB10

Well said.
I think you're really going to like 10.2.1 though. I just started using voice recognition while driving in my car. I'm not sure if it has improved with the update, but I do know it works great. Hopefully it will for you.

Powered by BlackBerry

Voice command improved a lot in 10.2.1. They would do well to focus on improving it further

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

Great post. Particularly love this statement: "The call quality is also WAY better." Isn't this what these devices are, first and foremost, PHONES?

U sell BlackBerry to an American company and you can kiss ur security good buy... I won't touch a berry under American Leadership

Posted via CB10

I would be very sad if Blackberry. Were to be sold bit I'd really be upset if it was sold to Microsoft. I can't stand windows 8 and removed windows from my pc in favor of Linux. I do not like Apple as a company. We need a company like blackberry to give us what the others won't. A stable, reliable & secure device.

Posted via CB10

Commercially, QNX isn't worth that much. When BB bought QNX in 2010, annual revenues were only $40M (BB paid $200M for QNX, or 5 times annual revenue). Even though profit margin on that revenue is high, that's still pennies to a company the size of BB. Even if BB has managed to grow QNX 50% over the last 4 years, that's still only $60M in annual revenue. BB spent half of that just buying a used Jet.

There are several embedded OSs on the market to choose from, and licensing fees from them aren't very big on a per-unit basis. And QNX's potential is tied directly to pieces of hardware to grow, which is a considerable limitation. It would be FAR easier for BB to grow value from BBM, which isn't tied to a hardware sale anymore.

@Chris - give it a break already! We know BlackBerry has missed many opportunities but with Chen at the helm I expect a turn around. Z3 will be launched next month and I am sure many additional devices to come. As an investor I am betting in BlackBerry and no one else.

Z10

That last bit about BlackBerry possibly being sold to Microsoft... kinda spoiled my otherwise beautiful morning. the problem is, now that you mentioned it, it makes quite some sense :(
-pac

Posted via CB10

Same feeling about the sell to Microsoft in 2 years no more.
BlackBerry has a good experience in Enterprise Market and Microsoft must stay in this with a strong strategy... BES (which is not as BES was in the past) like a gateway with Exchange. BBM for enterprise to complete Skype experience for consumer market. BlackBerry has nothing else to propose because it lost a big part of its market in emergent countries.

Hi Chris. Taking the last year for comparison seems to give one story, but wouldn't taking the period of the changes in the BB Team be a better projection of where the Company is heading?? Making the same graph over the last 3 months seems to indicate a very different story. Comments?

Great article. I thought there was room for four, but now I am not sure there is room for three. If Microsoft buys BlackBerry it might be a bridge to androidness?

Posted via CB10

Enterprise is OK but, I think it would be totally wrong not to focus on devices especially BB10 ones as they are best one's amongst the smartphone's..... as some one said it is mercedes among toyota's, hyundai's etc!!

If John Chen capable to turn this around, I don't think he will sell the company. He is probably want to make name recognition like Steve Jobs.

Privacy and security in the mobile space is going to become a priority for more and more people in the future. If BlackBerry leaves this space, I will be rocking a Blackphone (or something similar) .

Posted via CB10

Crackberry: Why do the articles not expand when viewing in landscape on a z30?? I'm using your own app.

Posted via CB10

Open the article in landscape mode and it fills the screen but if you switch to landscape after you open the article then it fails to resize.

Posted via CB10 on my Z30

Not sure about your numbers but I'm using first call estimates for next year. Not a difficult calculation.

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

OK,I missed that ,my bad, I see... Forward P/E 1Yr... for Google at 27 not 19 which would be a huge drop from the current P/E of 32,why would it drop so drastically?I used the Nasdaq site for reference and the Apple and Microsoft figures are in line with yours.

When it comes to security (a huge reason I use BlackBerry today) I don't hear About Microsoft; maybe they have a secure platform.

About the stocks, I do hope Chen can keep doing what he's doing!

Keep The Faith  BlackBerry Q10 

It amazes me how little value this report has. First of all, those investing in Google will take a beating in the next stock market crash which is looming. The world wide central banks holding interest rates low, while the printing of money are factors that over support stock prices. Good money will be were sentiment is weak, and bad money will be trimmed where sentiment is way too confident. P/E if 19 for Google is dangerous ground. As for BB, sentiment is extremely low. There is not much downside unless they go broke, which isn't over the next year for sure. If BlackBerry shows promise in the next few quarters, then this chart will look a lot different in the next year.

Posted via CB10

Wait when someone reveals the quality of the AD clicks on facebook ,....heck. I have not. Clicked or even seen any ads on my BlackBerry FB app. I have done my own small research and asked if anybody on FB. Clicked on any ads or purchased anything on FB and you guessed it NO! Heck they said they do not trust the site. Not the same on EBAY or Amazon. If BBM Money can be implemented in BBM Channels I believe it can be a great micro enterprise platform eg. Math Tutor BBM Channels or Family Medicine Advice BBM Channels etc...

Z30 : posted via CB10 app

It's interesting to talk about 12 month performance but ignore ytd, in which BlackBerry was actually the top performing tech stock. There is definitely still downside, but clearly there is a pretty solid floor set around the $5 mark. Considering the diversification of revenue streams made possible by the acquisition and expansion of QNX into multiple industries, I think the market hasn't yet priced the upside into this stock.

Posted via CB10

I can't say the rise in BlackBerry stock ytd is based on fundamentals. It's primarily based on the hopes of John Chen leading the company to positive fundamentals. BlackBerry is trading at basement prices plus minus a few bucks. Given the potential upcoming stock crash, and it will happen, based on the fundamentals of low interest rates, extreme currency printing, and the current world currency wars, there is a real potential of investors losing 30 to 50 percent across the board. The real reality is savers and investors are being set up to pay for the debts that have been accumulated world wide.....of course that is a massive discussion in itself. What I am saying is that the rise of Google, MS, Apple and even that of BlackBerry ytd is not truly reflective of fundamentals, but more due to fact that investors are being forced to the stock markets since traditional safe havens pay no interest. Ie 1 percent in a GIC of 1000,000.00 dollars is only $10,000.00 per year. Peanuts so to speak. If you own Google, FB, Apple, expect a major haircut soon enough.... these stock prices are based on hope, not fundamentals. 19 billion on Whatsup! Are you nuts? Have we forgotten the dot com bubble? It's worthless in real sense. When the shit hits the fan, only quality and real goods will stand. All else will fall hard and so will wishful investors.

Posted via CB10

The problem with chen's decision to partner with Foxconn is the stigma that is haunting Apple. Unethical labor practices, exposure to the leukemia causing benzene, and n-hexane. Worker committing suicide by jumping off of the roof tops. Their answer is suicide nets. BlackBerry should tread lightly with their partnership, and prove that the conditions in the Jakarta facility is safe, and humane. Americans are getting sick of Apple, and their greed, and in order for BlackBerry to reclaim their consumer base they need to tighten up their OS, retain their leadership in security, and be socially responsible in order to be a respected device and software company. I have a Blackberry because I respect this company more than Apple, if I am forced to choose between one Foxconn device or the other then, I may have to find an alternative. Sure Foxconn maybe Blackberry's only solution for retaining their lead in Indonesia and other emerging markets, but here in America, we want a device that meets our needs and makes us feel good about our choice in the company we are supporting. BlackBerry users have been very patient in this difficult transition, but I know that I will not support Foxconn. I hope that the high end devices stay closer to home in North America.

Posted via CB10

I hate the idea of Bbry selling to Microsoft. I probably will switch handset if that happens because then BlackBerry will not represent anything at all...

Posted via CB10

Switch to what? All the major platforms will be owned by American companies. There is no other alternative. I'm really interested in hearing ur response. By the way in case u r unaware, the platforms are windows mobile, iOS and Android. Android maybe modifiable but still it is owned by Google. So I really want to hear about ur alternative on this.

Posted via CB10

Tizen? Korea

Ubuntu Phone? South Africa / UK / international (open source)

Firefox OS? open source

Jolla? Finland

Blackphone....

Still a few options for us out there.... where there is a need, there is a (niche) market

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

If Microsoft ever bought BlackBerry i would drop them like a brick. I just bought a new laptop and it now sits in a drawer never to be used. I just can't believe how ms could take something good like windows and totally fuck it up. Windows8! Is it tablet os? Is it pc os? Or was it designed to be fucking useless. To say i hate it is an understatement. Microsoft have managed to sell me a mac because they are still user friendly! Unlike the messy knot that's windows 8.

Tapping and flicking on my Zed 10

Absolutely 1000 percent correct. It amazes me how Microsoft turned windows into a complete disaster. My new windows 8 laptop is used to burn cd's. I do everything with my z30. It's way more efficient. Hoping the day my z30 can control my windows computer. Until then, my z30 is my goto device. Still use my playbook as my smart tv.

Posted via CB10

Is the start button your gripe?

I feel with a few modifications (Classic Shell, and a few tweaks), a Windows 8 laptop can be made into a Windows 7 one, just don't log into a "Microsoft account".

Or nearly a 7 laptop. Windows 8 runs faster and the memory management is miles better. With right -click "Troubleshoot compatibility" even almost all old XP apps run flawlessly.

And finally, I can pause a copy process, in Windows, natively. I have been waiting for that for over 10 years!

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

PS BlackBerry and MS couldn't be more different BlackBerry is all about productivity and doing things quickly, MS is why do something in one click when we can make it 20!

Tapping and flicking on my Zed 10

Don't forget MSFT has a "reputation" for buying companies, taking things apart and
shutting down the company they just bought at their will. About the only reason I could think why MSFT would buy BB is for getting hands on their patents (security) and once they have them killing the rest of BB.

I can't imagine MFST having real interest in BB as a company since for decades their only message to the market was and still is "windows or windows".

Interesting that same article is posted on android central and comments have a completely different perspective

Posted via CB10

Chris, nice article. I appreciated your comments about apps

I'm not an app user in the way that the people clamouring for more apps are. Whenever I asked people I know about which apps they wanted, their responses were all over the place without concensus. May have been a small sample size. Yet it seems when CrackBerry asked which apps people wanted the responses via the comments was similarly unfocused. So, I completely misjudged the importance of the app demand.

I question why BlackBerry does not set up a development group to write native BB10 front-ends for the popular apps. The point is that the team need not predict demand, fast response is enough.

Native apps like Blaq for Twitter and iGrann as the front-end for Instagram are what I envision. Each of these are the work of talented developers and I don't want to deny them their revenue stream. But there are many other "popular" apps that can be subject to the same treatment, no?

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Most apps to not have public APIs, which prevents third parties from writing sanctioned apps for them. Twitter has public APIs (with a token limit), and Facebook/Instagram is, for now, allowing small, independent devs to make apps under certain conditions, but they could change their mind about that at any time.

Besides, the average consumer doesn't want a 3rd-party app, they want an official one. And you have it exactly right: most people only *really* care about 10-20 apps, just like they only care about a dozen TV channels, but for both, the ones that one person cares about will be very different from what the next person cares about. It isn't just the Top 100 apps that are critical, but the tens of thousands of smaller, industry or hobby-specific apps that people can't live without. That's the "long tail" of a comprehensive app ecosystem.

Chris all was great until BlackBerry selling to MS. Heck No !

Partnership with Qualcom, SAP, Foxconn / Google with Canadian Govt support / Canadian Pension plans can make BlackBerry a viable Canadian Tech company !

Z30 : posted via CB10 app

In usual Canadian fashion, the Canada Pension Plan is too busy investing in high end retail (what could go wrong? ) compared with making a strategic investment along with other SMART money in a key sector of the Canadian economy. It's how we roll....

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BlackBerry should set up a Prosumer developer and support division.

1- to make native BB10 Apps.

2- to provide support to assist you to setup your phone with features you request all for a fee which will cover the cost of building the native Apps $.

Z30 : posted via CB10 app

The only reason Apple stock gained back some recently is because they used a bond issue ( corporate debt) to bolster the stock. The reason for the bond issue was to finance future promised dividends. Iphones maybe simple to use, but because of that simplicity they are missing features other manufacturers now provide, making Iphone a good phone for people with little or no technology awareness.

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If BlackBerry is ever sold to a US company I think a lot if governments would drop it in favor of something more secure.

Zed30

If only they could get people to try the BB10 devices, oh if only, then they would see what they are missing, I did.

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Not a trchnician.the P/E is not whole story. Depend upon forward or back looking, you can manipulate a lot. Be careful Chris. Never brought anything based on P/E.

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Obviously this isn't the right forum for detailed deep dives into how stocks are valued, but there are plenty of readers who will appreciate a bit of a warm up on the basics.

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@TheStory ..You might be right.Probably are,doesn't mean they can't make BBM huge,or BES and QNX and what about Certicom,that's a shoe in if it was owned by Microsoft.It's too bad we won't be able to trust anyone .If you're not a bad guy I don't see a problem.

Advertising is a huge part of consumers. Clearly apple, microsoft and android master that. I've never really seen a blackberry advertisement anywhere.

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These companies are awash in cash. That's all their mastery is about. And they have a better skilled marketing department.

Of course, we would have liked better ads and commercials for Super Bowl, and a dude jumping through different slides, etc.

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

I wish my Surface had swipe typing. Then I might buy some MS stock. I could never give up swipe typing now.

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Man, the end of this Article is like a movie where the star is the last person alive ,and in that next scene ,they cross the road and get hit by a truck!
Like many, I'd hate to see blackberry get bought by Microsoft. That would be sad. A microsoft world would be Hell.
BB10 hold on baby!

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I believe that during the recent time frame when BlackBerry was up for sale and/or in search of strategic partners and all the big names not wanting to buy it whole, but instead each wanting a 'piece' of BlackBerry, presented information to Prem and others that BlackBerry was worth far more as a whole. All they needed was the right leadership to create synergy properly, tactfully, agressively and with passion. I believe they have it. Mr. Chen is the person to do it, and the house is being cleaned and energized. BlackBerry will remain whole, and not sold out, imho. They owe it to their enterprise base, at a minimum, to ensure it doesn't.

Definitely an interesting possibility, msft buying bbry.

Think about it, windows phone in the enterprise, not so much. BlackBerry, most definitely.

Microsoft in cars, seems not to be going too well (Ford considering a new partner). BlackBerry QNX, most definitely.

Msft might have to do something like that to stay in the game and compete with Google and Apple.

Just because he says that MS may buy BlackBerry, doesn't make it so. He's one guy with an educated opinion, but I don't agree with that type of rumor spreading.

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You need to look up the definition of rumour. It's called a possibility the way I've framed it. You're taking this far too seriously.

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

BlackBerry selling itself to MS? I can't see that happening unless MS plans on growing with BB10 and BES12.
The reason why the Enterprise are going with BlackBerry is because of BES10/BB10 along with its high security.

It would depend on the type of transaction the two companies negotiate. One being BB10 and it's superior OS and security remains, and MS mobile OS either gets dumped or both Co-exist.

Better yet, BlackBerry becomes profitable, and becomes one of the major players. MS had a chance to purchase BBRY, and was rejected for good reason. MS? No Thanks,

Posted via CB10

If Blackberry can't get positioned to sell phones to consumers and recapture the business sector with help from Foxconn. Than Blackberry will have no other choice to be like Microsoft and basically license out the software to say lenovo or samsung. Either of those companies are fine or both would greatly even out the playing field as a last resort. And please don't tell me.. the concern about the os being run on a another owned country. That is ridiculous. There would be no leak of the os code. But we will have to see. And this earning report means nothing in terms if there is a turn around yet because the Foxconn phones are not out there selling yet in emerging markets. If apple has large inventory iphones sitting at US carriers, what makes anyone think that Blackberry had made any recovery yet. I believe googles android is making the traction in the US market share and that eventually with marketing and cost cutting on blackberry phone will make a recovery to 3rd spot over Microsoft phones and first has to take place outside of US and make its way to US with or without out US carrier help in advertising. Another words..think outside the box.. direct sell the phones on Blackberry website to US customers and get some Blackberry stores in hot spots in the US. The carriers in the US did nothing to allow an equal playing field for selling phones to customers. They allowed Apple to monopolize the industry. Why has there not been an antitrust case for the mobile sector.. Apple needs a break up like Microsoft. Actually, apple hurt a lot more jobs and customers with there business practices where played out with US phone careers. Apple did the combination of what Intel did to Amd in hardware and at the same time did what Microsoft did to the the software end of the industry. Everyone needs to know this.. because it costs jobs and stifled other job creation and worse customers over pay and get less in terms of a good product. In the past couple years though, looks like apple is losing customers to googles android and that is great for Blackberry as you get the best if both worlds.. BB10 runs blackberry os and Android. With all those z10,z30 and q10's written off for losses.. how hard is it to give them out and get some dame market share back and when people know what the phone are capable of...with dual os running than there will be a comeback.

Posted from a Blackberry Z10

jasm817
You hit the nail square on the head. And I believe Mr. Chen not only reads comments off of CrackBerry, he listens to people's ideas and reasoning's. If BlackBerry can grow its Enterprise Business 10 Fold, while increasing BB10 device penetration all over the world excluding the USA which have been brainwashed by Apple, then only then can BlackBerry once again enter the USA in a more aggressive fashion with aggressive in your face marketing and advertising. Because they would have the world market share to back them up.

I am curious if and when they can get the rumoured Monster Phone Z50 out the door in 2014. That alone will carve into Apple's market share.

A couple of very good points, agree with most of it.

Please, those BlackBerry stores in strategic locations sounds like an awesome plan. But don't limit it to phones, give them an Enterprise Specialist as well for BES etc., and showcase QNX products. Have consultants install BBM for free on people's phones, regardless of the platform (Genius bar?). Emphasize security, privacy, productivity, communication.

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

"I think there is an increased chance he may ultimately sell to Microsoft after fixing the business"

... hmm so the company/brand famous for the Blue Screen Of Death would own the QNX RTOS (life support systems, aircraft piloting, ...)?

That's gotta be interesting

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You forget on all the combinations of hardware Windows runs on. That in itself is amazing. Apple just has to work on their models. How many combinations does that add up to? maybe 5% as many. I rather build my computer of the parts I want then get locked into having to dump everything my last computer and buy another.

Apparently, to an extend malware was involved that led to the disaster and the bluescreen. Even bad RAM or a silly driver issue could have caused it.

Sure you are right with your statement about Apple / Mac only running on a small selection of hardware. But is Apple the only other option beside Microsoft? No.

Linux runs on anything that allows a gcc compiler. I got it on my Nexus 4 (Ubuntu Phone OS). Linux powers most of the Apache web servers that deliver content to us every day.

NetBSD / OpenBSD by Theo de Raadt has a focus on security and stability, and almost totally paranoid security settings.

QNX has a real-time kernel, that can have dual drivers loaded, if one crashes, the second copy kicks in. It can even restart the kernel layer below the applications, without shutting down the apps that run on top of it.

Any other OSes can be added here: ...........

All in all, I still believe MS Windows is the most unreliable choice for mission-critical use cases.

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

Good on ya for building your own rig. Great thing for the environment, and always upgradeable. ;-)

GNU / Linux runs equally fine on standard hardware. Also various BSD flavours. Heck, even a "Hackintosh" is doable. All in all, Un*x variants are the more stable environment. Malware is (almost) totally absent.

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

The instant BlackBerry gets sold to Apple, Google, MS, Samsung, Lenovo or whatever, I am going to sell my bb phone and get something from and independent firm.

If I wanted a phone from Apple or G or MS, I would own own already!

Blackberry will survive. That is all I'm choosing to believe. There's a lot of doom and gloom surrounding our beloved company. But it will survive. We just have to keep the faith, I guess and persevere...

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If you don't own MSFT you are a fool. Mobile ya, at the end of the day bee all go home. MSFT owns the firm and the house mobile is going to get squeezed out.

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I have the name for the BlackBerry Prosumer and BES stores located in the strategic locations
" BlackBerry Bar ! "

BlackBerry don't sell your company to those American Companies (Google, Apple, Microsft). Don't give up. You're unique and I believe you will survive.

Maybe if BlackBerry is gone, there's no sense to live on this planet anymore.

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Great find. Apple keeps digging themselves in a hole. Eventually people will finally realize there products are Lack Luster and overpriced.

The less iPhones sold the better for the industry. iPhones have caused industry stagnation and are responsible for pushing out the competition (Anti-Competition Practices), in this case BB10 devices which are superior.

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I feel as though Chen is waiting to see what part of the business might take off. He does not really know what will hit. Will it be BBM? Server software? The OS10 phones?

I've been in and out of BBRY and have been lucky to avoid losses. Now I'm waiting for Wall Street to lose patience if Chen can't find something to sell so that revenues can level out rather than shooting downwards.

I don't think that is Chen's plan. He's slowly growing each segment he mentioned months ago. He's given everybody a clear path that will involve Enterprise, BBM, Devices & QNX. And so far he's been working hard at all of them.
- QNX continuing to gain new contracts.
- BBM adding features for other platforms, and WP8 support coming soon, not to mention BBM is the most Secure messaging platform in the world.
- Devices, such as the announced Z3 and Q20, not to mention that special device that is suppose to win over NEW customers from other platforms and have them join BlackBerry. IMO, that sounds like the Z50 come this Sept. 2014.
- Enterprise under the previous management felt stagnant, but now under Chen and his team, seems to have picked up quite a bit. BES12 for example should have been done from the start.

Step by Step, everything is coming into place. Each of those 4 sections have been growing. This quarters results will according to Chen, be negative for obvious reasons, but I know for a fact John Chen has something Juicy for us to keep everybody excited. They don't call me AT"Insider" for nothing ;)

ATInsider, I hope so. But I don't think that he is optimistic about growing the phone segment. I think his plan is to allow it to follow its current course. But what choice does he have?

Everything I have read says qnx means very little revenue even if adopted by everyone. I don't know why exactly but it's not at the sweet spot in the value chain.

I wish Chen spent more time thinking about marketing. The Z30 is the ultimate business device but it's a well kept secret among business executives.

I thought the idea of "who is buying BlackBerry" was dead and gone. Guess I was wrong and it makes me nervous because Chris isn't usually too far off mark.

I want BlackBerry to survive, plain and simple. Not compete with Apple and Google. They don't need to do that in order to survive and own their particular market orientation.

For the bloody sake of throwing my hat in the ring, If it's only these so called "big 3" that we would see buying the company, I hate Microsoft the least. They at least make sense for enterprise. Apple is too hamstrung and Google, never happen, else that'd be the complete end of security. Samsung with their huge investments into Knox couldn't make Android be taken seriously in the enterprise and/or security oriented market. The type of data security BlackBerry strives to provide is absolutely not compatible with any terms of service attached to any Google product.

All in all, I'm hoping that little bombshell at the end of this article is wrong Chris. Please for once be dead wrong.

From what I've gauged, BlackBerry is not for sale, not now and not in the future. That said, I can see a company such as Samsung buying them up. This way Samsung can trash is useless KNOX and Tizan OS. Either way, the Canadian Government won't allow BBRY to sell itself.

The BlackBerry spin doctors are really missing a massive marketing trick here. They should be promoting Rosberg's victory in Melbourne and raising the BlackBerry profile as much as possible.

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I'll be honest, I was never a fan of BlackBerry devices. My employers always issued us with the Curve model of the day and I just couldn't get along with any of them.
I've never liked the closed down OS of Apple, MS Windows Phone lacked excitement, so Android was my phone of choice.
Then I got bored with the samey sameness of the OS and discovered MIUI which was a bit of iOS mixed with Android and improved fluidity etc.
It didn't stop the boredom though, it just refreshed the look and feel. For a while.
Fast forward 12 months and I'm looking for something a bit different. Enter the Z10.
I can't believe how refreshing BB10 is to the end user experience.
The ability to run Android apps is a Godsend as now there is a viable alternative to rip-off BBW (poor refunding policy, lack of "try before you buy " versions of popular paid for apps) and I am now a firm fan of this brand. It's such a shame the masses don't know how good the Z10/Z30 phones are!
The very concept of BlackBerry selling out to ANY of the competition would be, in my view, a crying shame. This industry NEEDS variety and diversity, which the advent of BB10 delivers in bucketloads over the rest.

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Using BlackBerry z10 I must say this device is the best that I have used!! I had iPhone and I had android!! I rooted my device uploaded new roms and installed around 10gb of apps in my phn but later in over a month I deleted them all!! I got bored!! The basic needs which I needed like BBM what's app sms email nd calls were not so easily accessible nor fast!! BlackBerry is best I that terms!! I don't have a single app except of what's app and crackberry nd m enjoying my BlackBerry much more than that of iPhone nd android!! Today folks just wants to see number of apps in app market nd not the use of those apps!! BlackBerry integrated apps provides me with the functions that I don't need any other app!! Security is my main need nd ease of access nd professional looks awe me!! I think later this year BlackBerry will regain it's market!!

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Chris great straightforward easy read evaluation. IMO you left out the one piece although true we can't bear to hear. There's only one way we're going to have our Q's and Z's in the future. BlackBerry has to divest itself of the hand set manufacture whick by your own senario it can't sustain. Selfishly that's why I believe being bought by a Lenovo type company will keep that famous BlackBerry keyboard in my hands.

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Please don't sell out. I don't know what I would do device wise I have always owned a blackberry and I would hate to have to call it an apple or a Microsoft.

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Do you think BlackBerry will ever advertise in the US again? For all the business conferences I've been to with a ton of vendors, you would think BlackBerry would be displaying their capabilities to the prosumer!

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That last paragraph is what I've been saying all along. BlackBerry has such a strong dependency with Microsoft products that they will need to be acquired by them or they'll die as soon as Microsoft offers its own secure BES, along with devices.

"Snap" is the best stop-gap solution for Android apps while we wait for BlackBerry to get its act together...

It seems a bit unfair to only group BlackBerry in with the big dogs... how do they rank among the likes of HTC, Nokia, LG, and other independent device manufacturers?

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Blackberry's stock is up 33% YTD, just saying. Also, an announcement this morning that BB sold its US Headquarter building and will now be leasing the building as part of its turn-around plan. Stock prices seemed to tick up. The sale of the building was an undisclosed amount.