The Gathering Storm – The People Are Buying BlackBerry

Good Choice Sir...
Good Choice Sir…

Well, here’s a funny thing.

Just before John Chen took on the job of BlackBerry CEO the ‘burn them’ mob were sensing that the end of their nefarious mission was nigh.

The company looked down and out, flattened and without the energy to strike back. The naysayers were having a field day, predicting the death and breakup of the company at any moment. Retailers were actively encouraging customers away from BlackBerry devices, refusing to stock them and, despite all the evidence to the contrary, were busily telling customers that BlackBerry no longer made phones or that it was pointless to buy one as the company was about to go down.

In the teeth of this onslaught, people who actually wanted to buy a BlackBerry had to, incredibly, fight tooth and nail in some cases to get their hands on one EVEN WHEN THE STORE HAD THEM IN STOCK and millions of sales walked out of the door by others who, understandably, couldn’t be bothered with it all.

And, long term business partners happily dumped on BlackBerry for appalling short term grabs, actively encouraging existing BlackBerry customers to trade in their useful devices and replace them with something that might not actually work properly but got them a quick buck.

And, yet…

John Chen appears. He is calmness personified. And, softly, quietly, the confidence is returning.

And people are coming #BackToBlack.

As reported in today’s Financial Post, over the last 6 months iQmetrix, a Vancouver-based firm that provides sales software to independent wireless retailers across North America has been surveying independent wireless retailers.

And the results are astonishing.

In Toronto the survey reported that BlackBerry devices accounted for 23% of all sales in the 6 months December to May.

Now, you may dismiss this, for whatever reason, and pick on the fact that in Vancouver that figure was just 9%.

Take your pick of whichever number you like, it’s not the market share of a ‘dead company’ who ‘never sell anything’ on whom the bell is tolling. And these sales are happening in the teeth of a ridiculous amount of industry opposition and, more even markedly, with NO MARKETING SUPPORT WHATSOEVER.

Or try this one.

In the North American region as a whole (US/Canada), BlackBerry sales accounted for 6% of the total. Nothing to write home about there, huh? Even though that’s 6% more than many would LIKE you to believe it really is.

But the HTC One M8, the phone that was going to blast all before it, the device that came with it’s own fanfare and parade was launched in this period. The ‘Best Android EVER!’

HTC’s share?

3.9%. A full 2.1% BEHIND BlackBerry.

In fact, when you look at you look at the totals by manufacturer, the ONLY thing that stands out is just how well BlackBerry are holding up:

Percentage of all phone sales in North America over the past six months:

Samsung (39%), Apple (28%), BlackBerry (6%), LG (5.4%), HTC (3.9%), Motorola (3.2%), Huawei (2.9%), Sony (1.9%).

Now, imagine what these figures would look like with BlackBerry back in the game? With advertising, promotion and retail availability?

It looks like the storm is gathering.

It looks like the people are beginning to speak.

It looks like they want a BlackBerry.


Bigglybobblyboo is a legend almost nowhere at all. He is a founder member of UTB and spends his spare time taking out his anger at the world with a fishfork and a spatula. He is also a Cribbage Master, having won 1 fight online as the other guy refused to turn up out of fear for his life.