Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Is Blackberry Past its Freshness Date?

Canadian mobile phone maker Blackberry, formerly Research in Motion, has made many changes to its flagship product in recent years, streamlining its phones, updating to a seek new OS, and sharpening its marketing focus to the business users that have long formed its most loyal base.  But recent performance has been disappointing, and losses of some of its biggest corporate clients now have analysts wondering if Blackberry season is coming to a rocky end.

Hunter Communications Official News Source:
Los Angeles Times

Link to article:
Excerpt: "A slew of businesses and government agencies have abandoned BlackBerry phones in recent months, a troubling trend for a company that has been refocusing its attention on business users after watching consumers depart in droves.

'Ultimately, we are skeptical that BlackBerry can penetrate the consumer market, and its remaining enterprise installed base is no longer large enough to drive unit sales' beyond August, Kevin Smithen, telecom analyst for investment firm Macquarie Group Ltd., wrote to investors. 'We think the likely end game for BlackBerry is a breakup or liquidation at a lower price.'

BlackBerry's revival efforts are being thwarted by a double whammy of workplace changes: The rise of "bring your own device to work" policies, known as BYOD, and enterprise clients' internal decisions to drop BlackBerrys in favor of iPhones, Android devices and even Windows Phones.

'BlackBerry management may have been underestimating the problem for quite some time,' said Scott Thompson, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets.

Analysts say BlackBerry's enterprise business is especially important because it is more profitable than the company's consumer segment.

Rivals that already are beating BlackBerry on the consumer side are taking notice and ramping up their efforts to woo business users — and it appears to be working. Last year BlackBerry for the first time shipped fewer smartphones to the commercial segment globally than Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co., according to market research firm IDC."

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