Blackberry Ltd. (BBRY) is a technology stock that may have almost bitten the dust, but is definitely not out of reckoning, simply because of the secure and high-quality services it brings to enterprise users.
Given time, and John Chen continuing at the helm, the turnaround should be around quicker than expected. The recent third quarter reports announcements led to Chen along with his Blackberry colleagues holding discussions with analysts, which revealed more than the financial discussions – new confidence – in how the company can achieve its earlier market leadership!
Will Blackberry See a Turn Around?
On the question of BlackBerry hoisting a turnaround, there is a resounding YES, from financial analysts, read market sentiment and skeptics alike! In many ways the unanimous positivity is first largely based on the unique strengths and strongly secured platform features that BlackBerry has successfully developed thus far and second, the exclusivity it, once upon a time, brought to its products a la Steve Job’s Apple Inc. and iOS devices.
However, hurdles will persist and BlackBerry will have to scale these to crest again.
Hurdles Ahead for Blackberry
Not long ago, Research In Motion, the original name under which BlackBerry debuted as a service and product, set the standards for the smartphone industry. Its secure data communication, driven by proprietary software, BlackBerry Messenger, had established it as the Enterprise User’s style-cum-functional statement. Employees of a company could communicate on RIM’s BlackBerry secure communication services without fear of privacy compromise. It was only later that iPhones could even begin to match the services BlackBerry delivered.
For a start, the brand name itself is now viewed negatively. The technology that BlackBerry currently delivers is ridden with security loopholes. The blackouts in Europe and other regions in the years past are not forgotten yet, and so is the ineffectiveness of the latest operating system revisions. The expectation was that BlackBerry 10 would deliver some relief; however, that version too proved to be an ignominy.
First, BlackBerry will have to rework its name, strengthen features it offers on its products, develop more powerful software and operating systems, which will once again, bring back the users it lost. It needs to build quality vs. quantity and achieve on-par features if not get ahead of what the competition offers.
Rebuild Reputation on Enterprise Platform
As John Chen has repeatedly stated on forums and platforms where he presents his BlackBerry case, the market continues to view his company as a "secure enterprise solutions provider. The direction BlackBerry is heading is very clear.
BlackBerry has already chosen its new hardware partner, Foxconn, a Chinese phone-assembling and manufacturing facility which also executes outsourced production for Apple Inc. Chen expects to see prices come down on the limited number of smartphones it expects to design and debut in the coming two to three quarters.
Additionally, with the iconic BlackBerry Messenger now available for non-BlackBerry devices such as iOS and Android, it has meant that the number of users has grown to 40 million and more. BlackBerry intends to monetize this user base to turn in higher revenues and earnings.
Emerging markets is where BlackBerry will see its coffers swell, and it is well on its way to match the demand by closing deals with several OEMs, mostly low-cost Android phone makers, including LG, which will launch with Blackberry 10 pre-installed. Besides, it will also launch the first Foxconn-made BB10 3G device in March/April 2014.