For the past few months BlackBerry has been in the news for a wrong reason: dismal business conditions heading into a seemingly unavoidable death. As one of the most iconic tech companies of our times, BlackBerry is promoting any news that would distract and/or please their investors and employees in any attempt that could possibly dampen their lowly expectations. Could this possibly mean that BlackBerry’s misery is finally stopping?
BusinessWeek reports that BlackBerry reached the deal to sell 1,000 phones to DATEV, a German technical information services provider. Although it would not be sufficient, as BusinessWeek points out, if BlackBerry was selling 7,000 phones per hour. The news brings a more positive spin to the company’s attempt to survive after BlackBerry’s inability to find a white knight investor to save the company.
BlackBerry still has a formidable presence in smartphone market with around 50 million subscribers as of September 2013, according to sources. Moreover, companies in India, one of the largest markets in the world, are embracing the BlackBerry 10 as their choice of a secure and safe business smartphone platform. Nevertheless, for the last few months BlackBerry has had a nightmarish global business environment especially when its flagship model BlackBerry Z series failed to meet sales expectation in 2013. In addition other platforms like Android and iOS and smartphone manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung, are rushing to improve security features in their phones in order to attract more customers in business, which is much more profitable than regular consumers. In December 2013, ABI Research reports that Samsung and Apple sit at the top of enterprise smartphone market shares, while the report indicates that BlackBerry is “hanging tough” as third. While it may be too early to tell if BlackBerry has also lost its place in the business community as the most business-friendly smartphone, the company was heading into that direction all throughout 2013. Even though good news has been fairly rare recently, the news that a company such as DATEV still purchases BlackBerry products is a fortunate sign for BlackBerry and sends a message to potential investors that the company possibly can still survive.
Yet, it is still too early to tell if BlackBerry’s misery is finally stopping and reaching an end. In the fast-moving world of technology, the lack of activity in the product pipeline does not help any company. BlackBerry has not released any newsworthy products that can solidify their position as a leader in the enterprise smartphone market, while Samsung and Apple created a buzz around the world every year, or almost every quarter with new smartphones and tablets. Moreover, Microsoft acquired Nokia in 2013 and will use their position in the enterprise computer industry to penetrate into the smartphone market with its Windows Phone; Microsoft already took over the third place in smartphone makers even before it acquired Nokia in the second quarter of 2013.
BlackBerry is certainly not out of the woods yet with so many obstacles to overcome in 2014. As shown in recent sales, the darling of Canada’s technology industry is still in a fight in the smartphone market. There is still no denying that Blackberry has been beneficial to the competition and both businesses and regular consumers in the last decade with all their innovative technology.
Editorial by Jonathan Jooyoung Jung