Friday, September 20, 2013

Time To Call It: Blackberry, It's Been Great Knowing You. This Is A Lesson for Apple and Google

Source:  Marketwatch.

Apple and Google showed that you can disrupt the norm by offering new services that solve problems, creating new industries, or create chaos in existing ones.  Anyone can do that.  Look at Twitter and how it has become so ingrained in society today.  Then there are companies that show that if you don't try to get out ahead of everyone else and feel safe about your situation like Palm did, you can find yourself quickly relegated to nothingness.

Today, that company is Blackberry.  When the iPhone hit the market back in 2007, no one including Nokia, Palm, Microsoft, and RIM (before they became just Blackberry) thought Apple could offer anything in the phone market that they did not already offer that was better, including the fact that many smartphones then had physical keyboards while Apple's iPhone did not.

Steve Balmer, "ousted" CEO of Microsoft, famously suggested that he looked at the situation, what Microsoft had to offer, and what the iPhone offered, and he liked his position better.  We have talked about Microsoft before and I'm sure we will again but this is about Blackberry.

Today, it's stock took a big hit.  When WSJ reported Blackberry was about to rid itself of 40% of its workforce, the stock shaved off about 2%.  No one thought much of it.  I didn't but I'm an optimist and I think the WSJ report should have been taken with a grain of salt because, well, you know, the media, print or anything else.

But Blackberry did come out and warn about a huge short fall and major cuts.  How bad?  It was supposed to make around $3 billion in revenue.  Instead, this ain't a typo, it's going to make $1.6 billion.  And this also isn't a typo:  expect to lose about $1 billion.  And WSJ was right.  Blackberry will let go around 40% of its workforce.

I looked at to see their take on this.  They only reprinted Blackberry's finanial press release.  I had hoped for more comment about this.  I did look at the forum a bit.  One user thought news of a buyout was pending or a breakup of the company was coming when BBRY stock was halted for trading. I don't think anyone thought this was coming.

I think for Blackberry fans, this is still a bit of a shock.  A big, big shock.

I had hoped that I can get a successor to the Q10 but right now, I'm not sure there will be one.

It looks like the end could be closer than anyone expected.

For the top dogs in mobile, your stay there is temporary.  You're bound to slip up just as an upstart is getting ready to strike when you least expected.

Note:  I looked through the Crackberry forums.  It's a live with activity but also kinda sad.  Lots of issues.  There was even one about how seeing someone else with the Q10 for the first time in the wild.  One poster mentioned he saw someone with a Q10 in DC and another asked which part of DC because it might be him.

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