Chap calls it! BlackBerry have made it! They’re safe!

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I realise that the title of this post is like click bait to most other tech blogs and journalists, but we here at UTB know that this is the inevitable truth.  I have read an article today which just had me nodding my head and saying ‘Yeah! You know what?  They’ve done it. It’s over.’

What have they done? What’s over?  Let me take this a step at a time.

Firstly, I was pointed an article written by iTWire.com’s Ray Shaw.  Its title is BlackBerry Priv is only a small part of what it does.  In it Ray shows how over the last two years that BlackBerry has transitioned from a handset maker to a ‘software company that just happens to make devices’, to quote BlackBerry Australia General Manager Matt Ball (and myself I think from an early Blogcast).  The five key acquisitions that Ray points to to prove this are: Secusmart (July 2014) a company which secures encrypted voice and text messaging, Movirtu (Sept 2014) a company which secures virtual identity for mobile operators and allows multiple numbers on a single device, WatchDox (April 2015) a company which secures file sync and share with collaberation and advanced DRM, AtHoc (July 2015) a company which secures network alerting, crisis communication and response, and finally Good (October 2015) a company which secures mobile device management and enterprise app ecosystems. What these acquisitions along with the likes of QNX, BES12, IoT platform, existing encryption protocols, cross platform software infrastructure and multiple device solutions (phones, tablets, computers, wearables and IoT devices) bring to BlackBerry is an impenetrable fortress of revenue arena’s.

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wpid-watchdoxlogo.jpg73741_athoclogologo-good-home-312x115Secondly, I was once again trolling through the trash of articles, forums and comments to find the usual arguments about BB10 being dead because BlackBerry have gone Android or BlackBerry is getting out of the handset business because the Priv isn’t selling well (based on no actual sales data).  The one I’m always fascinated with is that apparently Chen doesn’t have a clue because he has no direction regarding the handset business and doesn’t know the numbers.

A few years back we were all taken with the ‘Prosumer’ moniker.  The BlackBerry user is better than just a consumer, he’s a ‘Prosumer’ because he’s about getting things done.  This was at a time when we all believed that BlackBerry must remain a handset business.  As any good journalist will (or should I put should) know, the most important question in any article is Why?  Why is this here?  Does it mean anything.  So I ask the same question about the need to remain in the handset business.  Why?  I ask the same question about the need for BB10.  Why?  I’m not saying I think BlackBerry should get out of those things and I’m definitely not saying that those things aren’t part of why I still believe in this company.  If we look however at the strategy as a whole, what BlackBerry can now do is to look upon these apparent ‘deal breakers’ as peripherals which have little to no bearing on their growth and development as a company.  One of the questions often asked at earnings calls is why BlackBerry can continue to reduce their estimates of what the handset division needs to sell in order to be viable.  The reduction does have something to do with increased average sales cost of individual devices.  It also has to do with the fact that the handset division is just a peripheral to the core business of BlackBerry.  If we stop thinking of  BlackBerry as a mobile device maker and start thinking of them as a software solutions company, then we can see that BB10, Handsets and even BBM are just cogs in the wheel.  If a cog isn’t able to keep the machine moving, you replace it.  The focus is on the functionality of the machine and not the life and death of its individual parts.  Those parts are important, but they can be replaced in order to keep the machine moving.

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Do I think BlackBerry are giving up on BB10?  No I don’t.  Do I think BlackBerry are giving up on Handsets?  No I don’t.  Do I think BBM is dead and BlackBerry will force us on to less secure messaging platforms?  No I don’t.  Is that what I’m making a call on?  No it isn’t.

I’m saying that BlackBerry the company which provides the solutions we all love will be here in 2017, 2018, 2019 and beyond.  I think that mobile phones running BB10 will be an integral part of that, but I’m not making a call on that.

So what have they done?  What is over?  The speculation that BlackBerry is dead, the thoughts that BlackBerry as a company will cease to exist.  BlackBerry have achieved what they set out to achieve.  The company is safe and we will be here reporting on the positive solutions it continues to provide along with it.  The experts of security have secured themselves.

Remember.  Chap called it, and he called it on UTB.

Chaplain_Clancy

Chap has been a BlackBerry user since 2009 when he picked up his trusty new Torch 9800. Since then he has been about all things BlackBerry keeping tabs on the Australian market. As a hobby he also supports an Australian Aged Care organisation as their in-house spiritual practitioner.

  • Wayno

    Great article Chap. And I wholeheartedly agree. Long live BlackBerry!!!

  • HYMAN

    Nice, positive points of view. :-)

    Love to slam this article to some other idiotic BlackBerry fan sites who keep riding the wave of idiocy.

  • bambinoitaliano

    It’s interesting these so call bloggers and detractors are stuck in the same outdated mode as Apple Iphone. Regurgitating the same BB10 and BlackBerry are dead since 2011. Just as Iphone keep adding irrelevant upgrades and updates on an OS that has come to the end of it’s life span.When Chan took over BlackBerry he liken the company to a patient in critical condition. Now it’s on the path of recovery and getting healthier and healthier. If I can use the same analogy on Apple, it’s health is getting worst, no amount of money can save it if the company insist on continuing that bad habit of feasting on an unhealthy diet. A diamond encrusted gold coffin to lay in makes no difference if you are dead.

  • Speedie20

    Hi Chap,

    You have provided a very insightful analysis into how BlackBerry has adapted and diversified its business model as a company as part of surviving and setting a foundation to enable it to compete more effectively and remain viable in a highly competitive market, whilst focusing and building on its core strengths.

    As you aptly put it Chap, it’s about people needing to “stop thinking of BlackBerry as a mobile device maker and start thinking of them as a software solutions company”. This is a very useful descriptor about the paradigm shift that has occurred within BlackBerry that will hopefully enable this pioneering company to remain an active and viable business in meeting the needs of governments, businesses and consumers in the software solutions and communications fields! Here’s to wishing BlackBerry success so that we as end users may continue to enjoy their innovative products and services! :)

    Cheers,

    Speedie20

  • newcollector

    Good article, Chap. The next few years are a great opportunity for BlackBerry to grow it’s software business and incrementally increase its handset division. BlackBerry makes the best phones in my opinion. I for one will continue to invest and purchase BlackBerry products.

  • fishlove73

    Good perspective Chap and I agree. I also find it amusing that both Google and Apple at the present moment are not even capable of, with all the vast resources that they have of producing the devices, software and let alone 2 different OS’s that Blackberry has in such a short period of time. And as Bartron said…”even with 800 engineers ” they can’t manage a fraction of Blackberries innovation.

  • Observation Junkie

    Great article Chap, it’s been quite a few weeks since I’ve properly been able to read the posts, so just catching up.

    Great article and well written. :)

  • Great Read.
    Thank You,
    With regards to BB10, that OS is technologically far superior to anything out to date. So long as BlackBerry stays faithful to BB10, the future of mobility looks positive. Not sure how a future BlackBerry Android will look like, but Android itself is incapable of running like a BB10 interface. If they can achieve this good. But despite BlackBerry being highly secure, I am not confident Android, regardless of manufacturer can be secure as BB10.

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