Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Mobile: Blackberry Tells Wall Street What Main Street Already Knows But Was Surprised Anyway

The title of the post didn't quite get it.  Essentially, Blackberry is in a lot worse shape than they thought.  Worse than Wall Street expected as well.  Essentially, things are unraveling at a rate that Blackberry had not expected and the pace is picking up as customers look else where for their mobile fixes.

How's this to wake up to.  A $400 million charge out of its cash reserve, which Blackberry is burning through rather quickly, is 4x the expensive it thought it would cost to cut about 40% of its workforce.  Essentially, someone screwed up majorly.

It also says that the company could be worth less than what the Canadian insurance/financial company, Fairfax Financial, is paying for with the deal valued at $4.7 billion.  As of this moment, Blackberry has dipped below $4 billion.

The worrying thing is the defection.  I know this feeling as I expected it as an Apple fan back in the late 90s when many around me, particular the university environment which I was working in, began hooking up HP PCs in labs, replacing the rooms and rooms of Macs that were there before.  And while some of the professors and post-docs remained true, the departments were beginning to save money by going with cheaper Windows options.

Unfortunately for Blackberry, the smartphone market and is current situation is vastly more different than the one that Apple faced.  While Windows 95 and 98 had their issues, Apple was still able to convince enough of its fans that it can turn things around.  Sure, the Macs then were not that great but they were still enough to make us stick around.  And then, of course, Steve Jobs came back to Apple.

For Blackberry, the alternatives to Blackberry was not like Macs and Windows PC.  The iPhones and Androids are very good.  Not to mention that Windows Phone is beginning to take hold in certain markets.

It is over for Blackberry.  I'm hoping that we will see another refresh in the hardware before everything begins to unwind.  I'm hoping there is an improved Q10, maybe a Q30 that I can pick up before Blackberry abandons hardware development and focuses exclusively on software and app services.

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