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Should Blackberry abandon their own OS in favour of Android?


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Old 27-03-2013, 00:37
TelevisionUser
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Here's the news report:

America leaves BlackBerryís next big thing on the shelf
Just as BlackBerry appeared to be hauling itself off the ropes at long last, the company was hit with more bad news yesterday when initial sales estimates for its new Z10 phone suggested that the device may be a flop in the United States. Phone retailers surveyed by Goldman Sachs over the weekend reported selling fewer than ten Z10s a day. Some were selling only two or three.
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/busine...cle3722905.ece

Shares in Blackberry have tumbled following the disappointing sales debut of the Z10 and their market share is on the slide: http://www.macrumors.com/2013/03/06/...-market-share/

Would it make sense for them to abandon their own OS and just make Blackberry-branded phones with the android OS and would that help them to survive?
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Old 27-03-2013, 00:44
Jordosaur
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Hmm, I've never considered this actually. A move to Android might not be such a bad idea. They could overlay some of their features onto Android, the security/business features mostly I imagine, to retain the business market. I personally think the Z10 is good looking phone, so I don't doubt their ability to make an attractive Android phone either.

But I'm no expert and I have no idea if it would make any real financial sense. I s'pose when it comes to Android, other companies like Samsung, HTC and to a lesser extent Sony have well and truly established themselves as THE places to go for an Android experience, it may be a little difficult for Blackberry to make any significant dent in their market share.
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Old 27-03-2013, 01:03
Step666
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I don't think there is a solution for Blackberry.

Continuing with BB10 seems to be a hiding to nothing, sales are poor, the devices aren't hugely well received by customers, it doesn't look like it's going to turn around their fortunes.
Trying to switch OS at this point would be expensive and damaging, not to mention they'd struggle against more established OEMs. With Android in particular, they've laid into it's supposed systemic lack of security so much that it would backfire IMO.
The previous suggestion of switching away from producing hardware to becoming a services company and producing BBM for other platforms may have worked a couple of years back but with the rise of WhatsApp et al and the embarrassing service outages Blackberry suffered, I'm not convinced it would prove to be all that successful.

Give it 12 months, 18 tops, I don't think Blackberry will still exist - I reckon they'll be chopped up and harvested for patents.
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Old 27-03-2013, 01:17
swordman
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Too late to switch now they would be lost as an android oem at least they have a loyal following for now albeit small.

The z10 just isn't good enough of a phone in its own right so maybe the new flagship they will be releasing may be more successful if they can last that long.

However I do fear for them and can't see an easy road out of this for them at present.
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Old 27-03-2013, 08:27
Big Poy
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I don't think there is a solution for Blackberry.

Continuing with BB10 seems to be a hiding to nothing, sales are poor, the devices aren't hugely well received by customers, it doesn't look like it's going to turn around their fortunes.
Trying to switch OS at this point would be expensive and damaging, not to mention they'd struggle against more established OEMs. With Android in particular, they've laid into it's supposed systemic lack of security so much that it would backfire IMO.
The previous suggestion of switching away from producing hardware to becoming a services company and producing BBM for other platforms may have worked a couple of years back but with the rise of WhatsApp et al and the embarrassing service outages Blackberry suffered, I'm not convinced it would prove to be all that successful.

Give it 12 months, 18 tops, I don't think Blackberry will still exist - I reckon they'll be chopped up and harvested for patents.
Where did you hear these official sales figures?

Ah yes, just reading articles from people who are mostly trying to manipulate the stock.

At least wait till the ER provides some FACTS before you continue with the bashing.

By all means go ahead after that.
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Old 27-03-2013, 08:51
grumpyoldbat
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Going to Android won't help them. Then they're competing with a bunch of other manufacturers (some of whom are struggling anyway) with the same OS. It then becomes even harder for them to differentiate.

IMO BlackBerry's two key USPs were hardware keyboards and BBM.

For their first new phone, they broke the mould and did away with the keyboard. They'd have been better going with the keyboarded model first. Anyone I know with a BB chose it primarily because of the keyboard.

Secondly BBM's position as the free messenger of choice has been usurped by Whatsapp and to a lesser extent iMessage (where former users have moved to an iPhone).

The two things that really set them apart for consumers aren't really USPs now.

Their third weapon was security, which made them incredibly appealing to enterprise and government, and the new version of the OS reportedly doesn't pass muster on that front.

I don't know what will fix this for them to be honest. It feels a bit like Palm's webOS all over again. Too late and not enough of the stuff that made them great.
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Old 27-03-2013, 08:59
Big Poy
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Going to Android won't help them. Then they're competing with a bunch of other manufacturers (some of whom are struggling anyway) with the same OS. It then becomes even harder for them to differentiate.

IMO BlackBerry's two key USPs were hardware keyboards and BBM.

For their first new phone, they broke the mould and did away with the keyboard. They'd have been better going with the keyboarded model first. Anyone I know with a BB chose it primarily because of the keyboard.

Secondly BBM's position as the free messenger of choice has been usurped by Whatsapp and to a lesser extent iMessage (where former users have moved to an iPhone).

The two things that really set them apart for consumers aren't really USPs now.

Their third weapon was security, which made them incredibly appealing to enterprise and government, and the new version of the OS reportedly doesn't pass muster on that front.

I don't know what will fix this for them to be honest. It feels a bit like Palm's webOS all over again. Too late and not enough of the stuff that made them great.
Reported from where? Lol

The article from The Guardian that they had to retract?

http://crackberry.com/guardian-backt...security-story

It may seem like I work for Blackberry or something along those lines but in reality i am just pointing out facts when people read all the negative articles and take them as gospel.

There's so many people wanting Blackberry to fail (not talking about you guys) its unreal.
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Old 27-03-2013, 09:53
grumpyoldbat
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Hadn't seen the retraction. Unsurprisingly it didn't get as much coverage!
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Old 27-03-2013, 10:18
konebyvax
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I'm not sure whatever BB do will be enough to save them TBH. They are no longer the brand that young people go for (imo it was a total fluke in the fist place). Simple as that, really.
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Old 27-03-2013, 10:30
darkjedimaster
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They should stick to what their own OS as they do have some customers that prefer them to other phones. However imho they should keep well away from tablets & not release another disaster like the playbook. A few of my friends had the playbook, and only found improvement on the device, once they rooted it.
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Old 27-03-2013, 10:34
TheBigM
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There's one Hail Mary then can still go for. Pull a Nokia and go exclusively with Windows Phone. It would be an incredibly strong proposition for corporates combining the best of Blackberry and Microsoft's enterprise offerings.

They could differentiate themselves by demanding exclusivity on Q10 style keyboard devices (Maybe for two years or something). Keyboard style devices is something MS were going to do for WP8 using an HVGA resolution screen then they dropped their plans, this could bring a revival.
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Old 27-03-2013, 11:45
Zack06
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Blackberry are heading the same way as Palm, I've said this for a while. Like Palm they are a company stuck in 2002 that failed to adapt. And like the Palm Pre, the Z10 is just not strong enough to save the company. It's a decent effort I'll give it that, but it has come way way too late to save the company. They had a huge marketing budget for the Z10, getting all kinds of celebrities to endorse it, but it has still fallen flat. The buyers just aren't interested.

Blackberry is heading for bankruptcy or a buyout tbh, nobody in North America is interested, which happens to be one of the largest markets in the world, in the UK the popularity is also dwindling as people trade up for Android and iOS devices.

As someone else said, I just don't think there is a way to save this company now without some kind of divine intervention. BB have already used Android to try and save themselves. They were forced to allow Android apps into their Blackberry World store in a desperate attempt to boost the app count, but it was a bad decision. What's the point of having Android apps that run on an emulator in the OS....

They should have gone to Android and put their own UI on top. Selling themselves to Google wouldn't have been such a bad thing in the short term, if it meant that they returned to profitability. But I think it's too late for that kind of decision now. It's a downward slope for them now.
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Old 27-03-2013, 12:01
slick1two
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It's only been out 2 seconds in the US,and already being declared a flop there. What are people expecting? that they shift iphone numbers? In Apple's backyard? Come on people, don't be so naive.

Still they have the Q10, keyboard phone to be released soon, a lot of people still favour a physical keyboard. Combined global sales could be pretty decent.As far as keyboard phones go, BB have no competition in that area, so they will still shift a good number. BB user base was reported to be around 80m users worldwide. That was before the z10 release and with q10 still to come. They may still win back some market share within the next 6 months. They won't be up to Apple Samsung level, but they won't be heading for bankruptcy like some people are predicting.

But they will need to up their game for the next phone, it needs to be a powerhouse, with great specs and a revamp of bb10.
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Old 27-03-2013, 12:10
Zack06
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It's only been out 2 seconds in the US,and already being declared a flop there. What are people expecting? that they shift iphone numbers? In Apple's backyard? Come on people, don't be so naive.

Still they have the Q10, keyboard phone to be released soon, a lot of people still favour a physical keyboard. Combined global sales could be pretty decent.As far as keyboard phones go, BB have no competition in that area, so they will still shift a good number. BB user base was reported to be around 80m users worldwide. That was before the z10 release and with q10 still to come. They may still win back some market share within the next 6 months. They won't be up to Apple Samsung level, but they won't be heading for bankruptcy like some people are predicting.

But they will need to up their game for the next phone, it needs to be a powerhouse, with great specs and a revamp of bb10.
Sorry, but it had a massively hyped launch and celebrity endorsements. It should be doing way way better than it is doing. I reckon they spent more than they should have on the Z10 launch and it has been a disaster so far.

In the US, Comscore shows the market share as Android: 53.4%, Apple: 36.3%, Blackberry: 2.9%.

I think it's just wishful thinking to suggest that they can find any success out of this. They have been selling off their assets to stay afloat, and the Z10 failure is going to seriously affect the company. The Q10 may possibly do OK, but it's not going to sell anywhere near the volume needed to save this company.

They are so desperate for this to succeed that their CEO even lied and claimed the "Z10 has sold out in the UK", despite all the retailers here saying that they still had "loads left" up and down the country. The Z10 failing is just going to paint BB as an even more undesirable brand, especially with the S4 around the corner, another Nexus, and Apple's next offering near the end of the year.
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Old 27-03-2013, 12:18
slick1two
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Sorry, but it had a massively hyped launch and celebrity endorsements. It should be doing way way better than it is doing. I reckon they spent more than they should have on the Z10 launch and it has been a disaster so far.

In the US, Comscore shows the market share as Android: 53.4%, Apple: 36.3%, Blackberry: 2.9%.

I think it's just wishful thinking to suggest that they can find any success out of this. They have been selling off their assets to stay afloat, and the Z10 failure is going to seriously affect the company. The Q10 may possibly do OK, but it's not going to sell anywhere near the volume needed to save this company.

They are so desperate for this to succeed that their CEO even lied and claimed the "Z10 has sold out in the UK", despite all the retailers here saying that they still had "loads left" up and down the country. The Z10 failing is just going to paint BB as an even more undesirable brand, especially with the S4 around the corner, another Nexus, and Apple's next offering near the end of the year.
The best and only real indicator of how well they are doing, will cone in the form of official sales figures and what kind of profits they have made. It's all relative. They may not brake any sales records, but that does not instantly mean they are going out of business. Some people just can't wait to see BB die, but for as long as they still have a loyal albeit smallish customer base, they can still stay in business. Also they can win back enterprise customers which they seem to be doing, then they will still be around.

Believe it or not, you don't need to have a Samsung sized market share to exist. It may be a good move to license out their software or build up a partnership with one of the big players, at least for the long term, it would be beneficial. But it's too early to say if they are out of the game or not.
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Old 27-03-2013, 12:22
Hugh_
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Well, Samsung abandoned its own OS and piggy backed off Google Android OS and it hasn't done it any harm. Not every company is as strong and innovative as Apple being able to create a successful and advanced operating system like iOS.

So perhaps they should copy Samsung, and piggy back of Google's Android.

Its a real shame that Blackberry were brave enough and innovative to create their own OS but people slate them for it. Not everyone want to be an Android sheep, some want to be individual. Blackberry and Apple should be applauded.

If Google had their way EVERY company and every model of phone would run Android and Google would have complete control over it, yet the poor blind sheep can't see it happening right in front of them.
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Old 27-03-2013, 12:27
Zack06
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The best and only real indicator of how well they are doing, will cone in the form of official sales figures and what kind of profits they have made. It's all relative. They may not brake any sales records, but that does not instantly mean they are going out of business. Some people just can't wait to see BB die, but for as long as they still have a loyal albeit smallish customer base, they can still stay in business. Also they can win back enterprise customers which they seem to be doing, then they will still be around.

Believe it or not, you don't need to have a Samsung sized market share to exist. It may be a good move to license out their software or build up a partnership with one of the big players, at least for the long term, it would be beneficial. But it's too early to say if they are out of the game or not.
This is playing out exactly like the demise of Palm. The writing is on the wall as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 27-03-2013, 12:35
Zack06
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If Google had their way EVERY company and every model of phone would run Android and Google would have complete control over it, yet the poor blind sheep can't see it happening right in front of them.
That's called success. Android holds 71% of the world market share and it did this in record time compared to its competitors. Blackberry would have been better off within their ecosystem. It's doing well for Samsung, HTC, Sony and LG as well as Acer, Asus, Huawei and ZTE. Android turned Samsung and HTC into global powerhouses.

But anyhow, I do feel sorry for BB, they did put a lot of effort into the launch, but I just don't think they can compete with the top Android phones or the iPhone. BB market share is so low in the US that I really don't see sales picking up unless they splash cash which evidently, they don't have.
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Old 27-03-2013, 12:39
slick1two
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This is playing out exactly like the demise of Palm. The writing is on the wall as far as I'm concerned.
Well not everyone shares your opinion.

http://n4bb.com/blackberry-10-better...-says-analyst/

There are still plenty of bears on Research In Motion. However, one of them, Eric Jackson, has changed his position on RIM. Jackson, the founder of Ironfire Capital, says the parallels drawn by some analysts between RIM and its now-defunct rival Palm are flawed.

Palm never had the huge subscriber base. Nor did Palm have global carrier relations, like RIM. Jackson contends that RIMís new BlackBerry 10 devices have much better odds of success than Palmís Pre device.

Jackson now has a long position on RIM, saying:

I was on Breakout on Yahoo! Finance with Jeff Macke last week talking about my views on BlackBerry. Jeff asked me if Iím just in this as a trade until the new phones ship. Of course, everythingís a trade, and I might decide to get out of the stock if it runs up too much between now and February. However, Iím envisioning this as a one year trade.

RIM could be the AOL stock of 2013. AOL was left for dead in August 2011 after bad earnings. It was at $10/share. Earlier last month, it closed above $40. Yet, no one discussed it all the way up from $10.

I think RIM will be the same. The story will play out in 2013 over multiple earnings reports.
So can we at least wait until the sales figures and earnings reports come through? Stock prices, as we saw with Apple who had a massive slide from $700 a share to $400 in a very short space of time, yet they are still selling big numbers.
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Old 27-03-2013, 12:43
Zack06
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Well not everyone shares your opinion.

http://n4bb.com/blackberry-10-better...-says-analyst/

So can we at least wait until the sales figures and earnings reports come through? Stock prices, as we saw with Apple who had a massive slide from $700 a share to $400 in a very short space of time, yet they are still selling big numbers.
Erm...http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technolog...in-the-US.html
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Old 27-03-2013, 12:54
Hugh_
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That's called success. Android holds 71% of the world market share.
You mean Google's Android is in 71% of smart phones, so Google own 71% of the smart phone operating system market.

That's different to owning 71% of the smart phone market as that is split between HTC, Sony, Apple, Samsung, and many man others.
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Old 27-03-2013, 13:00
Zack06
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You mean Google's Android is in 71% of smart phones, so Google own 71% of the smart phone operating system market.

That's different to owning 71% of the smart phone market as that is split between HTC, Sony, Apple, Samsung, and many man others.
That was implied in my post. Android is not a hardware manufacturer, I thought that was fairly obvious.
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Old 27-03-2013, 13:19
slick1two
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Old 27-03-2013, 14:52
Hugh_
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That was implied in my post. Android is not a hardware manufacturer, I thought that was fairly obvious.
Android is nothing but the brand name of Google's Tablet and Phone operating system. Les all hope Blackberry don't sellout to Google like Samsung, HTC, Sony etc have.
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Old 27-03-2013, 15:23
Zack06
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Android is nothing but the brand name of Google's Tablet and Phone operating system. Les all hope Blackberry don't sellout to Google like Samsung, HTC, Sony etc have.
I'm not one to hope for companies to fail.
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