BlackBerry is on the up and up. Once upon a time, there was nothing but doom and gloom in their forecast. Now, our favorite company is starting to turn things around. It’s been a slow process so far, but watchers of the smartphone maker will have noticed a changing of the tide.
There are four weapons in the BlackBerry arsenal that will prove to be instrumental to seeing it become a successful company once again. I’d like to briefly discuss each of these with you.
Not too long ago, CEO John Chen made a comment that was interpreted as him saying he was not interested in the hardware business. That quote flew around the Internet and caused people to start another uproar against BlackBerry. The very next day, he changed his tune and clarified that he would only be interested if he could turn a good profit from devices.
In order to break even, the company only needs to sell 10 million devices in a year. After that, the profit will start rolling in.
10 million might seem like a lofty goal to some, but we’re headed in the right direction. The Passport and Classic have seen a success that BlackBerry devices haven’t known for at least a couple years. Both phones sold out in pre-sales and have received mostly positive reviews from the media. A pretty solid estimate is about half a million devices sold between the two of them, and they’ve both been out for a short amount of time.
This year will see the release of the BlackBerry Rio, a mid-range device that will be a follow up to the Z3. We’re not sure what other devices will follow that one, but if I had to guess I would expect another high-end all touch device and maybe a follow-up to the Passport.
2. Enterprise Mobile Management
BES 12 was recently released and has seen excellent acceptance and implementation. Even though the market for this type of service is fiercely competitive, BlackBerry has always been synonymous with enterprise and security. BES 12 took an already phenomenal service and brought it one step closer to perfection.
One month after it was launched, BES 12 had 89 customers fully deployed on a beta program. In the next 11 months, 174 more customers are expected to deploy BES 12. (Seeking Alpha)
What makes this a particularly powerful weapon is that approximately 70% of the devices running off BES 12 are running off Android and iOS.
That might seem like a scary majority running the service, but if you think about it, all it does is show that BlackBerry is able to succeed outside of just devices.
Chen has been known to place more of the focus on the software end of things, and while this may upset fans of BlackBerry devices, if it’s the technique that will make the company successful, then it’s a technique that I will support.
Messaging is a powerful tool that will definitely bring in tons of revenue for BlackBerry. Even though it’s still not as successful as the inferior WhatsApp, that’s not the main concern of the company.
BlackBerry is more focused on monetizing the customers it already has. Not to say that they wouldn’t welcome another 10 million active users, but the priority is currently the ones they have in the bank already.
BBM Protected and BBM Meetings will be the two products that they will use to bring in the cash. They recently presented a price model of $12.50/device/month for BBM Meetings, and $2.50/device/month for BBM Protected. Chen expects messaging to bring in $100 million in the 2016 fiscal year.
4. The Internet of Things
This whole IoT craze is still pretty new in the tech industry, so it’s understandably difficult to project how BlackBerry will perform in this area.
However, BlackBerry is jumping in the deep end with IoT and has been at the forefront of the new craze since it first started appearing in the media.
BlackBerry could very easily see overwhelming success in this area because of its reputation for security. The real test will come in how the company will market their services to ensure that both businesses and individuals will choose BlackBerry over any other competition that will most definitely begin appearing sooner rather than later.
It will definitely be a long and trying journey to see BlackBerry achieve unquestionable success as in the days of old. While the days of selling 50 million units and leading the market are likely dead and gone, that doesn’t mean that the company can’t find another way to become prosperous once more. With a strong leader like John Chen at the helm, as well as a team of supportive executives and the undying loyalty of its users, there’s no question that it won’t be long until we see strong and successful BlackBerry once again.