Print 24 comment(s) - last by asliarun.. on Aug 6 at 11:43 AM

Chen hopes that BlackBerry will be cash flow positive by the end of the current fiscal year

BlackBerry’s workforce has been slashed to 40% of its high mark from three years ago, its global smartphone market share has plummeted from 8.8 percent in Q4 2011 to below 1 percent currently, and the company has resorted to a using a quirky Fact Check Portal to counter “ false claims” by its competitors and the media.
However, BlackBerry CEO John Chen claims that the company is no longer on a downward trajectory and is now aiming skyward.
"We have completed the restructuring notification process,” said Chen in a leaked memo provided to Reuters. "More importantly, barring any unexpected downturns in the market, we will be adding headcount in certain areas such as product development, sales and customer service, beginning in modest numbers.”

BlackBerry CEO John Chen
Chen expects BlackBerry to be cash flow positive by the end of its current fiscal year and bluntly added that there is “no margin for error to complete BlackBerry's turnaround to success.”
That means that devices like the Classic and Passport have to be certified hits on market for BlackBerry to have any hope of staying even somewhat relevant in a world dominated by smartphones from Samsung and Apple. The latest figures from IDC show that Samsung and Apple command 25.2 percent and 11.9 percent respectively of the global smartphone market.

BlackBerry Passport
The Classic takes on the form of popular past BlackBerry devices like the Bold, while the Passport goes in an entirely new direction with a 4.5” square 1440x1440 display. BlackBerry’s Matt Young explained early last month that the Passport is a superior option to rectangular-display smartphones that currently dominate the market, claiming that it “is like the IMAX of productivity, and you don’t have to sacrifice screen real estate, vertically or horizontally.”
While the BlackBerry faithful will likely flock to the Passport (or any device that the company puts forth at the this point), it remains to be seen if it will be warmly greeted by everyday consumers and corporations that have abandoned the Canadian company over the past five years.

Source: Reuters

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By callmeizzy on 8/5/2014 9:18:53 AM , Rating: 2
These guys are hilarious. The Black Berry faithful? That's rich!

RE: They should just change their name to delusional
By Flunk on 8/5/2014 9:44:47 AM , Rating: 2
I've decided that their mindset is still hung up on what it was like in 2009. You know, back then BlackBerry had fans and was a serious contender, before Windows Phone destroyed their ability to compete in even a marginal way by massively overselling them and still being a sales failure.

No one is writing new BlackBerry Apps, that's enough said right there.

By asliarun on 8/5/2014 10:38:48 AM , Rating: 5
Don't underestimate John Chen. He is the guy who took a similar dog (Sybase) that was in almost the exact same situation, turned the company around and delivered 55 quarters of profit and sold it to SAP for $5.8 billion.

Personally, I have always felt that BB suffered most from a lack of focus. If they had kept their focus on the enterprise market instead of getting tempted into the consumer market, they might have still done a better job.

The other thing is that this is the age of platforms. Devices are just a pretense for Apple and Google to lock you into their platform. While Blackberry has lost its developers, they still have a fully encrypted and secure platform that can support messaging and data communication at a global level. Also consider the fact that they now own QNX and if they have the vision, they can combine QNX with their global platform and get into all sorts of interesting possibilities like in-car networking and IoT (networked devices).

I'm not pretending that their problems don't exist. However, companies like Blackberry and Nokia have enormous strengths that get buried and neglected due to their bureaucracy, bad strategic thinking, and not being innovative enough. Perhaps it might take strong leadership to uncover some of the these gems? Not sure. But they sure as heck have a better chance than many of the other pretenders, especially if they have their leadership and vision sorted out.

By asliarun on 8/5/2014 11:08:30 AM , Rating: 3
I'm sorry but you are thinking only along one line. I never said that Blackberry *devices* will dominate the enterprise market. However, there is nothing that is preventing blackberry platform from dominating this market.

For example, Blackberry can easily decouple some or many of their apps - maybe come up with a proper sandbox that can run in multiple phones, and that IT can manage and administer easily enough.

Despite Apple and Android evolving their devices and OSes for many many years, their enterprise support is still woefully inadequate. It is inadequate in terms of security, management, auditing, policy enforcement,.. the list goes on.

Besides a couple of players like Good and Iron, there are hardly any players in this market. Just to be clear, BYOD the way it stands right now, is an enterprise nightmare. Even the end to end security of many of these solutions will cause massive heartburn for someone whose job is to secure their enterprise's data and information.

Apple has *now* announced a partnership with IBM. Any guesses why??

By retrospooty on 8/5/2014 11:45:54 AM , Rating: 2
"I never said that Blackberry *devices* will dominate the enterprise market. However, there is nothing that is preventing blackberry platform from dominating this market."

That is correct... 6 years ago. There would have been nothing preventing BB from opening up and allowing other platforms. They very well could have held the enterprise market. Now BYOD and EAS owns it and BB is just history. There are 2 typed of companies with regards to mobile email. Those that have already dumped BB and those that have not yet.

By Makaveli on 8/5/2014 3:38:22 PM , Rating: 3
Good post but good luck getting any level headed non bias opinions on this site.

Everyone here knows the future and you are just wrong lol.

By Reclaimer77 on 8/5/2014 4:03:59 PM , Rating: 2
How in the hell is it "biased" to shed some reality on his absurd post?

Blackberry is circling down the drain, even if they had a plan to take over the so-called "enterprise" smartphone market, they don't have the capital to execute it.

Being optimistic is one thing, but to anyone with any common sense, Blackberry is teetering on the edge of a cliff. Give me a break! The phones they just released are a universal JOKE to just about everyone on the planet. Their app development is nearly zilch, which is irrelevant because they can't seem to make devices anyone would want to own in the first place.

Rule #1, put your phones in the consumers hands
Rule #2, give them an ecosystem that KEEPS your phones in their hands.

Blackberry has failed at both of these, so they're dying. This isn't rocket science.

By Warwulf on 8/5/2014 4:44:42 PM , Rating: 3
If they had kept their focus on the enterprise market instead of getting tempted into the consumer market, they might have still done a better job.

I'm sorry, but THIS is exactly why Blackberry went down. They had blind faith that "the Enterprise" will save us. They pretended that they weren't in the same business of making phones as everyone else... that they were somehow in a special market all of their own.

Blackberry's key selling points were e-mail and productivity capability back at a time when the only "competition" were some elementary feature phones. The iPhone revolutionized the market in the way they expanded phone capabilities and user friendliness using conventional technology. Blackberry's days were numbered if they didn't keep pace with improvement... and they didn't.

Employees were coming to work with phones that were more capable than their fancy and expensive "enterprise" phones. Purchasing managers aren't stupid. They ended up dumped the expensive enterprise setup to access company e-mail and went with a cheaper corporate e-mail system... one that could even be used on employees' own phones (suckers were buying the phones for them!).

Blackberry still has a market. Probably to the same people who think one-way pagers are a necessity. Me? I knew Blackberry was dead when it's newest "flagship" phone used the same processor (624 MHz Marvell Tavor) as my 2 year old Blackberry Bold.

Their best hope is to become an OEM phone manufacturer distributing Android or Windows Phone with business oriented UI and security enhancements.

By asliarun on 8/6/2014 11:43:24 AM , Rating: 2
My argument is that blackberry did not go down because of their focus on the enterprise. Instead, it went down because they insisted on selling hardware for a software solution. In other words, they focused on the enterprise market but went about it backwards. They should always have been a platform fist and software first company. The accompanying hardware should always have been only a means to deliver the platform in the hands of the people who need it. This can be done through blackberry devices, or android or apple devices.

Look at Apple and Google. They both know that their software platform and app store (which in turn allows people to use their platform in creative ways) is their real crown jewel. Not their hardware devices. Heck, Xiaomi and OnePlus One are already making much better devices at much lower cost.

As far as BYOD is concerned, all it is going to take is one massive security breach of an enterprise email network. Or a stolen BYOD phone that leaks confidential company data and emails. Or given enough time, when IT will be pulling its hair trying to manage all these disparate devices and enforce any kind of policy on these devices.

By amanojaku on 8/5/2014 10:08:31 AM , Rating: 2
Those are Brandon's words, not BlackBerry's. Chen is actually quite level-headed. He acknowledged the fact that BB can't make mistakes by telling employees there's no longer any margin for error. From here on out BB has to be perfect, and he knows this.

Additionally, BlackBerry has $9.5B in equity and brought in $11B in revenue. It's declining, yes, but from pretty high up. BlackBerry even purchased Secusmart, a company known for its mobile and land line encryption. Considering the recent "revelations" that ALL governments with enough money spy on their people and other nations, there is a renewed push for electronic security.

Both Germany and Russia are using typewriters for their most secure communications. They'd rather be using phones. Pretty sure we are, too. Chen is likely aiming for governments and corporations with the mindset of extreme security + technological flexibility. Smart, because BB can't win over the Android/iOS fanatics.

By callmeizzy on 8/5/2014 10:24:57 AM , Rating: 2
Last I looked, they had about $2.5B in cash, $1.25B in debt, and were losing $500M per year.

You do the math.

By amanojaku on 8/5/2014 11:30:51 AM , Rating: 2
You're ignoring investments, accounts owed to BB, real estate and property assets, IP... BB could keep going for the next five years at this rate. That's more than enough time to turn the company around provided the proper steps are taken.

By callmeizzy on 8/5/2014 11:37:34 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry, but negative cash flow is negative cash flow. Sure, they can sell their old, stale IP but to who, and for how much. Eventually lenders will stop lending.

Investments? That's rich too.

How long have you worked for Black Berry? Or are you on their PR or advertising team?

By DanNeely on 8/5/2014 11:32:28 AM , Rating: 2
Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported <$1bn in quarterly revenue and !.3m phones sold. Not sure if your numbers are a few years old, or if it's the most recent annual result and they're falling even faster than I thought.

1.3m phones sold means that phone sales were less than 10% of their revenue for the quarter (probably several times less since I've read that old BB7 phones in the developing world are still outselling BB10 devices). If BB survives the next few years, it'll be as a primarily non-phone design/manufacturing company that has a small sideline in phones.

By DanNeely on 8/5/2014 11:36:04 AM , Rating: 2
Disregard the <10% part; just realized I had an extra 0 in my calculation. Phone sales were probably 30-70% of their revenue for the quarter.

By amanojaku on 8/5/2014 12:09:36 PM , Rating: 2
Your source lists sales revenue for the fourth quarter of 2013, while I quoted 2013's annual closing financial statement, after assets and liabilities where accounted for. BB was able to LOSE $1.5B and still wind up with $9.5B at the end of last year. BB has been able to fail for so long because it has a lot of cash and equivalents to burn through.

By DanNeely on 8/5/2014 1:23:57 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks. The fact that less than 10% of their 2013 revenue came in Q4 really shows how fast they're plummeting.

By chimto on 8/5/2014 2:25:17 PM , Rating: 2
BlackBerry has $9.5B in equity

BlackBerry market cap is at $5.3B. So if I were to buy up BB, pocket all their cash on hand and sell all their assets I guess I could make a cool $4.2B! Woohoo!

By retrospooty on 8/5/2014 10:11:12 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah... The "Blackberry faithful" left Blackberry already. The only thing left are a few zealots and users that have to have it because their companies haven't figured out how to switch over yet.

By otherwise on 8/5/2014 10:45:44 AM , Rating: 2
I'm guessing there are still pockets of diehards in specific industries. I am looking to buy a condo and noticed that almost every realtor over 40 uses a blackberry.

OnePlus One
By flyingpants1 on 8/5/2014 1:33:40 PM , Rating: 2
If a small company like OnePlus can make a flagship phone for $300, what's Stopping from blackberry from at least making something decent?

RE: OnePlus One
By retrospooty on 8/5/2014 1:53:37 PM , Rating: 2
Years of experience.

I figured out where Pirks went...
By rountad on 8/5/14, Rating: 0
"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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