07-01-20 03:03 PM
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  1. Dunt Dunt Dunt's Avatar
    There is an alternative approach which could help BlackBerry.

    But first I ought to say that I live in a country which has never followed capitalistic principles so I have a totally different mindset, my education was built on different paradigms than people's from the Western World. Perhaps I'm wrong at some points, so don't treat this idea seriously, consider it like a fiction story.

    What is the fundamental problem I see? Lack of apps and outdated hardware. The OS itself is great, build quality is awesome, design and variety fit everyone's needs.
    How could the problem be fixed if BlackBerry was found in my country? The government would step up and offered its help to save the company. Here what it means in practice:
    1. The government would become a loan guarantor.
    2. It could order thousands/millions of devices (phones/tablets) for public sector, schools, police, etc.
    3. Start a campaign in mass media and on the market, smth. like "Buy Canadian phones". Everyone from the government starting from the PM would claim "I use a Blackberry phone", "Let's have chat in BBM", etc. Everyone must be really proud of using such a great device.
    4. Make a list of "socially important" services: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Force the owners of those services to provide an app for Blackberry OS. Otherwise they would be blocked in the country.
    5. It's not easy to get a Snapdragon 865 CPU and put it into an old phone to upgrade it. OS Drivers are the main issue. It can be solved by manufacturers as well. The government just need to force them to develop the drivers. Otherwise, forbid sales of devices with those CPUs or increase tariffs.

    So with the help of the government the company could increase demand, increase and improve supply on the local market. Boom, the strong foundation is built and the company can expand to the world's market.
    Why should the government help to a private company? The answer could be that the higher is the income the more taxes you get. But in the worst case the government could nationalize the company.

    Why could it work? Canadian market is large and wealthy enough not to let "Big Players" to ignore the threat.
    Why it won't turn into reality?
    1. This approach breaks the nature of capitalism, private property, liberty, etc.
    2. It violates the rules of WTO and probably dozens of other organizations which Canada is a member of. Anyone cares?

    On the other hand, never say never, the history knows a lot of examples like Roosevelt's statism during the Great Depression, Trump's attempt to bring the companies back to the US, this coronavirus stimulus thing. How much money has Fed already "printed"? Why won't the Canadian government "print" few billions for their high-tech flagship? We're witnesses of a huge crisis so ideas and approaches shouldn't be trivial.
    A lot of effort for a few million jobs. Not like Blackberries were really built in Canada, or that BlackBerry was much of the countries GDP. Canadian government did what they could via tax breaks....

    Sorry but BlackBerry got out of that business two-half years ago... and even they aren't interested in getting back into it. Unless your name is Apple, there isn't a lot of profit in making smartphones these days. A few Android OEMs are making a profit, but only on volumes that hits over 100K units a year. You'd have to have the UN pass laws to force people to support BlackBerry to that level.
    05-28-20 01:41 PM
  2. Alexey Gurevski's Avatar
    BlackBerry does not want to have its handset division "saved". It has more profitable avenues to direct its resources.

    There is nothing BB10, or BlackBerry Android can offer that others can't, so why waste taxpayer dollars on a pet project?
    Excuse me, I guess you're mixing up the cause and effect. Do you think that if anyone came to Chen and offered him smth. like "We guarantee to buy one million devices per year, and we'll help you to upgrade with some administrative non-market "tools" ", he would tell them "Well, you know, we're a software company now, so... not interested"?
    As for taxpayer dollars, the reason is the same as some countries host Olympics or spend billions on their country brand. There is another thread regarding "pride", so I think "pride" is the right word here.

    It wasn’t ever about the money as Microsoft has plenty and yet couldn’t achieve success with it’s mobile OS and $USD billions to spend.
    BlackBerry has a privilege to be a single smartphone company in their country. So the country could help it to become a monopolist.
    In general, my point was that if it first became really strong on the local market then this could be enough for generating profit, ROI, etc. After that the company could think about further expansion.
    05-28-20 01:42 PM
  3. conite's Avatar
    Excuse me, I guess you're mixing up the cause and effect. Do you think that if anyone came to Chen and offered him smth. like "We guarantee to buy one million devices per year, and we'll help you to upgrade with some administrative non-market "tools" ", he would tell them "Well, you know, we're a software company now, so... not interested"?
    As for taxpayer dollars, the reason is the same as some countries host Olympics or spend billions on their country brand. There is another thread regarding "pride", so I think "pride" is the right word here.


    BlackBerry has a privilege to be a single smartphone company in their country. So the country could help it to become a monopolist.
    In general, my point was that if it first became really strong on the local market then this could be enough for generating profit, ROI, etc. After that the company could think about further expansion.
    BlackBerry needed to sell 5 million devices per year to break even with BlackBerry Android. They needed to sell 10 million BB10 devices to break even.

    They never got beyond a tiny fraction of either.
    05-28-20 01:57 PM
  4. Alexey Gurevski's Avatar
    BlackBerry needed to sell 5 million devices per year to break even with BlackBerry Android. They needed to sell 10 million BB10 devices to break even.

    They never got beyond a tiny fraction of either.
    Alright, the thing I was afraid of is happening... We think in different paradigms: you think in the "market economy" paradigm and I'm trying to describe a hypothetical situation (not likely to be realistic though) under "non-market economy" assumptions.

    Just imagine that you are a monopolist, you don't need to spend money on marketing, you don't need to spend money on innovations just because other companies will share their technologies with you to stay on your market (refer to my example regarding Snapdragon and "socially important" apps), you don't need to compete with other companies. In a way everything is facilitated by the government. I believe the costs will be lot less. And in fact the government doesn't need to spend the budget at all, they just need to introduce right tariffs, barriers, etc. to protect you.

    The only risk is that Big Players can give up on your market and it and the country in general will transition to the "North Korea" mode.
    05-28-20 02:26 PM
  5. Chuck Finley69's Avatar
    Alright, the thing I was afraid of is happening... We think in different paradigms: you think in the "market economy" paradigm and I'm trying to describe a hypothetical situation (not likely to be realistic though) under "non-market economy" assumptions.

    Just imagine that you are a monopolist, you don't need to spend money on marketing, you don't need to spend money on innovations just because other companies will share their technologies with you to stay on your market (refer to my example regarding Snapdragon and "socially important" apps), you don't need to compete with other companies. In a way everything is facilitated by the government. I believe the costs will be lot less. And in fact the government doesn't need to spend the budget at all, they just need to introduce right tariffs, barriers, etc. to protect you.

    The only risk is that Big Players can give up on your market and it and the country in general will transition to the "North Korea" mode.
    Even the largest communist single government supported market economy on the planet couldn’t pull this off with Harmony OS and the largest Android OEM Huawei and it's giant cash pile.
    05-28-20 02:31 PM
  6. conite's Avatar
    Alright, the thing I was afraid of is happening... We think in different paradigms: you think in the "market economy" paradigm and I'm trying to describe a hypothetical situation (not likely to be realistic though) under "non-market economy" assumptions.

    Just imagine that you are a monopolist, you don't need to spend money on marketing, you don't need to spend money on innovations just because other companies will share their technologies with you to stay on your market (refer to my example regarding Snapdragon and "socially important" apps), you don't need to compete with other companies. In a way everything is facilitated by the government. I believe the costs will be lot less. And in fact the government doesn't need to spend the budget at all, they just need to introduce right tariffs, barriers, etc. to protect you.

    The only risk is that Big Players can give up on your market and it and the country in general will transition to the "North Korea" mode.
    But BlackBerry doesn't bring anything unique to the handset table. Why spend the resources on this? Surely there are 8,453 things higher on the list for an autocracy to worry about.
    05-28-20 02:31 PM
  7. Dunt Dunt Dunt's Avatar
    Alright, the thing I was afraid of is happening... We think in different paradigms: you think in the "market economy" paradigm and I'm trying to describe a hypothetical situation (not likely to be realistic though) under "non-market economy" assumptions.

    Just imagine that you are a monopolist, you don't need to spend money on marketing, you don't need to spend money on innovations just because other companies will share their technologies with you to stay on your market (refer to my example regarding Snapdragon and "socially important" apps), you don't need to compete with other companies. In a way everything is facilitated by the government. I believe the costs will be lot less. And in fact the government doesn't need to spend the budget at all, they just need to introduce right tariffs, barriers, etc. to protect you.

    The only risk is that Big Players can give up on your market and it and the country in general will transition to the "North Korea" mode.
    You realize that BlackBerry would then charge Canadians $1,200 a phone.... But then in your fictional scenario the "state" will control what BlackBerry can charge?

    Economies are tricky things.... you don't place tariffs on one thing, without it having a ripple effect. Fictional socialist/communist Canadian might find fences between it and the US and a lot less Aircraft or Auto shipments. Never mind the whole open market tech sector would up and move away.... as what's the point in innovation, if you can't cash in.

    I get the idea that in a perfect society we all would work for the betterment of each other. No need for different companies duplicating the same work. But show me where that has worked?
    05-28-20 03:58 PM
  8. Bla1ze's Avatar
    Excuse me, I guess you're mixing up the cause and effect. Do you think that if anyone came to Chen and offered him smth. like "We guarantee to buy one million devices per year, and we'll help you to upgrade with some administrative non-market "tools" ", he would tell them "Well, you know, we're a software company now, so... not interested"?
    As for taxpayer dollars, the reason is the same as some countries host Olympics or spend billions on their country brand. There is another thread regarding "pride", so I think "pride" is the right word here.


    BlackBerry has a privilege to be a single smartphone company in their country. So the country could help it to become a monopolist.
    In general, my point was that if it first became really strong on the local market then this could be enough for generating profit, ROI, etc. After that the company could think about further expansion.
    The Canadian Government has pushed a lot of cash into BlackBerry in the past but even they know that the handset business is not viable. BlackBerry as a company is alive and kicking, there is no pride in the handset business itself to be found. Any pride remains with BlackBerry and their overall business. Putting them back into the handset business would potentially be yet another breaking point for BlackBerry and they could end up where they were before Chen arrived. On the chopping block, days away from being sold off for parts.
    05-28-20 04:05 PM
  9. Alexey Gurevski's Avatar
    Okay, it seems thay your arguments are stronger than mine. So this will be my last post on the topic. I'm happy that many of CB's legends took part in the conversation.
    I would also name the last argument like "national security" but this is a too broad topic to discuss. And I believe that Canada will always be a part of the American technology zone so nothing to worry about (referring to the Huawei's case).

    Posted via CB10
    05-29-20 05:49 AM
  10. Sigewif's Avatar
    Thanks again for the info! I obviously did not look at all the brand's TCL sold. My point is still that we can only conjecture whether TCL wanted to renegotiate the contract for BlackBerry much more to their benefit, whether they saw better ways of making money with their in house brand or whether John Chen pulled the renewal of the contract due to frustration with negotiations with TCL.
    The announcement of the end of the contract was Feb 2, 2020. I speculate that added to any other hiccups in the contract negotiations, the coronavirus had a large role to play in the contract being terminated early. It was brewing a few weeks before it exploded as a worldwide story. But those who were watching closely, and I am sure Chen was, could see what was starting to unfold. This is besides the philosophy of the Chinese company, TCL, running counter to the philosophy of BlackBerry. What a disaster it would have been if they had tried to go ahead with a KEY3 in the middle of the pandemic. When the "dust settles" after the coronavirus crisis passes, it will be a whole new landscape. Then after a time who knows whether BlackBerry will find another company to licence phones, or not, or if miracles will happen and they will produce one themselves. Note the word "miracle" before giving the reasons it won't happen. I hear the reasons and they all make sense. But weird things can happen. Who knew that starting 2 or 3 months ago people would not be sure they could buy toilet paper when going to the store? Also, elastic cord was rapidly selling out because everyone needed it to make face masks.
    Last edited by Sigewif; 06-09-20 at 03:56 AM.
    06-09-20 03:38 AM
  11. conite's Avatar
    The announcement of the end of the contract was Feb 2, 2020. I speculate that added to any other hiccups in the contract negotiations, the coronavirus had a large role to play in the contract being terminated early. It was brewing a few weeks before it exploded as a worldwide story. But those who were watching closely, and I am sure Chen was, could see what was starting to unfold. This is besides the philosophy of the Chinese company, TCL, running counter to the philosophy of BlackBerry. What a disaster it would have been if they had tried to go ahead with a KEY3 in the middle of the pandemic. When the "dust settles" after the coronavirus crisis passes, it will be a whole new landscape. Then after a time who knows whether BlackBerry will find another company to licence phones, or not, or if miracles will happen and they will produce one themselves. Note the word "miracle" before giving the reasons it won't happen. I hear the reasons and they all make sense. But weird things can happen. Who knew that starting 2 or 3 months ago people would not be sure they could buy toilet paper when going to the store? Also, elastic cord was rapidly selling out because everyone needed it to make face masks.
    This deal was over a year ago. They waited to make the official announcement when inventory was almost depleted.

    A KEY³ was never in play (despite a probable early dev sample), nor was COVID.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    06-09-20 07:22 AM
  12. Dunt Dunt Dunt's Avatar
    The announcement of the end of the contract was Feb 2, 2020. I speculate that added to any other hiccups in the contract negotiations, the coronavirus had a large role to play in the contract being terminated early. It was brewing a few weeks before it exploded as a worldwide story. But those who were watching closely, and I am sure Chen was, could see what was starting to unfold. This is besides the philosophy of the Chinese company, TCL, running counter to the philosophy of BlackBerry. What a disaster it would have been if they had tried to go ahead with a KEY3 in the middle of the pandemic. When the "dust settles" after the coronavirus crisis passes, it will be a whole new landscape. Then after a time who knows whether BlackBerry will find another company to licence phones, or not, or if miracles will happen and they will produce one themselves. Note the word "miracle" before giving the reasons it won't happen. I hear the reasons and they all make sense. But weird things can happen. Who knew that starting 2 or 3 months ago people would not be sure they could buy toilet paper when going to the store? Also, elastic cord was rapidly selling out because everyone needed it to make face masks.
    Chen saw what was unfolding back Summer of 2018.... none of the licensee were delivering on the volume requirements of the contract.


    KEY2 launched with no mention of Android PIE or 2-Years
    BBMP went belly up in 2018
    Evolve was a huge flop, by last summer Optiemus was officially trying to wiggle out of their contract.
    Early in 2019 BlackBerry ended several of the device Apps (because they knew no new phones were coming).
    As for PIE, work on it should have started in late 2018, but there was no sign of it... other than some rumors it was finished and being held ransom. But none of the normal online hits of some BlackBerry developer using a Android Pie BlackBerry on browsers and benchmark sites.

    I think most at BlackBerry and TCL knew by MWC 2019 that it was all over - it was a matter of how things could be ended.

    Sorry but COVID had nothing to do three years of poor sales. BlackBerry is done because there isn't enough interest to support the additional work they do to secure Android and provide the suite of apps. And while BlackBerry is BlackBerry, they can't afford to allow the name be used without some level of protection.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    06-09-20 07:45 AM
  13. nevilleadaniels's Avatar
    If BlackBerry do bring another Android phone to the market and they even have to go very high end to take the top Notch market leaders. You don't normally find ceo's sporting a £500 phone but they will have state-of-the-art such as a Samsung Note or a high-end iPhone. Smart set money is of the Order of 1000 to 1500 pounds sterling. Nobility money probably around the 800 to 1200 sterling. American presidents for top out at $2,000 for a phone.
    All super high notch cases aside.
    06-15-20 12:44 PM
  14. Dunt Dunt Dunt's Avatar
    If BlackBerry do bring another Android phone to the market and they even have to go very high end to take the top Notch market leaders. You don't normally find ceo's sporting a £500 phone but they will have state-of-the-art such as a Samsung Note or a high-end iPhone. Smart set money is of the Order of 1000 to 1500 pounds sterling. Nobility money probably around the 800 to 1200 sterling. American presidents for top out at $2,000 for a phone.
    All super high notch cases aside.
    Taking on the top notch players would be stupid of them...

    My guess is at 300K units a year.... the KEY2 should have been $2,000 to cover their costs for software alone. No way BlackBerry could hire someone to source and build a "flagship" type phone for what the people that make half the parts themselves can do it. In the end it's all about volume.

    iPhone SE using the same processor as the iPhone 11.... had more to do with volume than what a CPU "should" cost based on it's capabilities. (that and keeping it on the latest update cycle)

    But BlackBerry is done... at this point, no one is even asking them about smartphones, because they know BlackBerry is out of that business. Building or Licensing
    07-01-20 03:03 PM
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