BlackBerry’s reaction to Gartner’s reporting of their market share show that it matters naught.
Gartner has released it’s numbers for operating system market share for the fourth quarter of 2016. Those numbers state that BlackBerry has 0.0% of market share. As explained in a previous post this percentage doesn’t give the whole picture. Part of the story is that this number is rounded, another part of the story is that BlackBerry has not released any current devices for their own OS since the BlackBerry Passport SE. Yet another part of the story is that BlackBerry’s latest android offerings of course fall under the android category and not the BlackBerry category. Nevertheless, every headline, no matter what the theme of the website, carried the same story of BlackBerry’s 0.0% market share.
BlackBerry has released the following statement to press inquiries;
As has been widely communicated, our current strategy focuses on providing state-of-the-art software and security for enterprise and devices. As part of this aggressive pivot to software, we have shifted away from hardware and toward a licensing model where partners develop hardware and distribute and market the BlackBerry brand. We are very excited about the new BlackBerry branded smartphones that our licensing partners – TCL, BB Merah Putih and Optiemus – will soon be introducing.
It’s written as a very typical media response, but the underlying truth is very easy to see. It’s that while these numbers seem to matter very much to tech and mobile phone sites of other platforms, these numbers don’t matter to BlackBerry, and shouldn’t matter to us.
BlackBerry has pivoted it’s business to a software focus. In fact, even while BlackBerry was still producing BlackBerry hardware, the hardware business was folded into their mobility segment, meaning that reporting would be based on the segment and not on hardware itself. Of course since then, BlackBerry has completely changed it’s direction in terms of hardware, licensing the design and manufacture of these devices to hardware partners, and these partners are currently developing android handsets. The BlackBerry segment of these Gartner numbers, are for a niche platform. This platform, BB10 is now focused entirely on those high security enterprise customers. It’s a small group of customers. A very small number, and since BB10 is no longer attempting to be a consumer device, market share simply doesn’t matter.
What does matter to BlackBerry is it’s various other areas of business. Automotive, enterprise, the IoT and the EoT, and of course, licensing of it’s secure android and branding. Let other’s care about mobile OS market share. We don’t need to anymore.