| | 08-20-14, 02:27 PM Thread Author #1
So What is BlackBerry Doing to Fix It (which obviously is not advertising)?
This is my second of 3 'blog' posts I had to do for internship this summer. This one is more of a fact-finding one, but I hope you find it interesting all the same
So what is BlackBerry doing to fix it (which obviously is not advertising).
With BB10 not performing as well as it hoped, and it's shares tumbling at an alarming rate, BlackBerry was getting more desperate. It needed to adopt a new strategy if there was any chance to prevent the once great mobile technologies company from failing.
With the appointment of John S. Chen, BlackBerry's newest CEO and replacement of Thorsten Heins, the company quickly got to work, with Chen taking out an ad in the Wall Street Journal announcing his continued interest in consumers and the handset business. The decision to continue on with the handset business of the company was something that many were doubting BlackBerry would do and has been continuously stirring up a lot of controversy as to whether or not it was the right decision. Somewhat in contrast to his statement in the Wall Street Journal however, was John Chen's decision to highlight the fact that BlackBerry was no longer a handset manufacturer, but a company that offered complete mobile solutions, including enterprise software, security, and conveniently, handsets. This business model would help calm investors and show that BlackBerry is not solely dependent on smartphone sales, but actually well diversified throughout the mobile market, all together an understandable decision.
The 'interim' CEO then initiated different cost cutting programs that aimed at helping the company 'tighten the hatches'. This included selling most of BlackBerry's property in Canada, as well as laying off 4,500 jobs. One of Chen's more highly regarded moves was his decision to enter in a five year partnership with Foxconn, a Taiwanese electronics manufacturer known for its mass production of Apple's products. The agreement meant that BlackBerry has negated a significant portion of the risk of having poor smartphone sales and excess inventory, something BlackBerry was seeing too much of lately. So far, the cost cutting programs have paid off, with the company's operating expenses down 57% last quarter compared to the same time a year ago.
Chen then announced a restructuring program, again aimed at the continued diversifying of BlackBerry, with an emphasis on mobile enterprise solutions (in short, when companies give their employees work phones) as well as the expansion of BlackBerry Messenger, a.k.a. BBM (which apparently is quite popular, though I don't know a single person that uses it), into Android, iOS, and Windows operating systems.
More exciting (at least for me) is BlackBerry's new phones that are hitting the market this year. On May 14th, the smartphone manufacturer officially unveiled the Z3, a low cost smartphone aimed at trying to grab a higher market share in developing Asian markets such as Indonesia, India, and the Philippines. It might be too early to tell, but the phone appears to be selling rather well. More relatable to the U.S. markets is the unveiling of two physical keyboard smartphones, the Passport, due in September and promising to bring the innovation that BlackBerry was known for (seriously, look it up), and the Classic, due in November and trying to convince old BlackBerry users to join BB10 by re-introducing the infamous trackpad (again, look it up). All three phones will help bring BlackBerry back into the positive spotlight and propel it's turn around. To appease the more business minded, in the event the new phones flop, which to many standards the previous BB10 models did, BlackBerry has already mitigated the risk and cost so much that the consequences will hopefully be minimal (not an optimistic view, but a reasonable one).
In a general standpoint, the past year has been an important one for the mobile technologies company, and at the reins, John Chen has made some impressive and decisive decisions. So far, the company has impressed investors and beat analyst expectations (in other words, the company's stock is up), and as far as publicly traded companies go, that might just be enough to "save the patient" and keep the pride of Canada that is BlackBerry alive.
P.S. I typed this entire blog on my BlackBerry Q10
Is BlackBerry Actually Going To Turn It Around? ? Co.Labs ? code + community
BlackBerry Says Growth in Sight as Turnaround Takes Hold - Bloomberg
BlackBerry Z3 | CrackBerry.com
BlackBerry Officially Unveils BlackBerry Z3, Jakarta Edition - Press Releases
BlackBerry CEO shows off new Passport and Classic phones - GSMArena.com news
BlackBerry's Passport to the future - CNET
Posted with no typos using the Q10