12-16-17 03:28 AM
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  1. Vegano's Avatar
    https://seekingalpha.com/article/4090707-blackberry-10?

    "Summary

    BlackBerry's BB10 platform is stuck in an update limbo; 10.3.4 update was promised 21 months ago.

    Its app store is in poor shape, with just two developers responsible for 72% of all the apps published over the past 2 years.

    It's unlikely that the BB10 platform would turn into a revenue-driver for BlackBerry going forward.

    It seems BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY) is still undecided on the fate of its BB10 operating system. The Canadian EMM provider exited the hardware business late last year but reaffirmed shortly after that it “remains committed” towards the development of its BlackBerry 10 OS. Apparently, BB10 powers its now-defunct handsets. Since making its “commitment” publicly known to all, BlackBerry has done next to nothing to resuscitate its dying OS. And going by the current state of affairs, I believe that there is very little that the company can do now to revive its moribund mobile platform. Let’s take a closer look.

    Stuck in a limbo

    I’d like to start by saying that BlackBerry 10 was first released back in 2013. It’s a fine mobile OS (one that yours truly has used for several years) but the lack of app diversity pretty much restricted its adoption amongst the masses. Sure, security conscious enterprises found a great use for it, but BlackBerry could never crack the mass market as its limited app availability was quite crippling for general purpose tasks (like getting an Uber).

    Just to give you an idea about its current state, BlackBerry’s 10.3.4 update was announced 21 months ago but there’s no sight of it till date. There has been only one update over the past year. Also, the mobile OS is based on Android SDK 4.3, which is quite old by today’s standards, considering the fact that we have Android 7 available in the market and Android 8 currently in the works. This essentially means that thousands of modern-day apps wouldn’t work on BlackBerry 10 platform using its highly touted APK installation method.

    I did some sleuthing of my own to find how BlackBerry’s app world has evolved over the recent past. This would’ve been a tell tale sign of whether or not the management has learnt from its mistakes and if BB10 OS stands to make a comeback anytime soon. I have to admit; the results of my findings were rather shocking.

    Here it is – Speaking strictly about BlackBerry’s app store, a little over 2130 apps and 630 games have been published over the past 2 years. Yes, a total of around 2760 apps and games published over a span of 24 months. In the cutthroat industry of mobile ecosystems, where thousands of apps and games get published on Android and iOS stores over a week’s time, BlackBerry has failed to garner developers’ interest quite noticeably.

    It gets interesting. Of all the apps published on BlackBerry App World over the past 24 months, about 72% were built by 2 developers alone. The remaining 232 developers managed to get only around 600 apps published over the period. And we’re not even talking about high quality or innovative apps here. Just to give you a sense of app quality, the measly near-2130 app count includes around 850 FM radio apps. The word “spam” comes to mind when describing BlackBerry’s app store. I created and attached a chart below that classifies apps by vendors.

    (Source: Author, BlackBerry app store)

    If BlackBerry was truly committed towards making its mobile OS successful, it could’ve taken several critical steps to ensure that. For starters, it could have slashed its commission fees to support developers, launched competitive app-porting solutions to get good quality apps on its OS, updated its SDK frequently to open up new possibilities for developers or even reached out to major developers to build quality apps for its platform.

    But clearly, none of these things happened. It seems BlackBerry has given up on the future of BB10. Publishing less than 3000 apps and games over a span of 24 months, averaging 125 apps/games per month, is miniscule. Growing a mobile ecosystem is a chicken-and-egg problem. You need users to lure developers while at the same time, you also need a great library of apps to lure users. However, BlackBerry has done nothing in the recent past to lure either of the two parties (Note: We’re not talking about its secured-Android OS here).

    So, why is BlackBerry still keeping its BB10 OS alive and what future does it hold from an investor' s standpoint?

    The numbers game

    Well, BB10 is no longer a revenue-generating asset. It powers devices that are no longer being manufactured by the company. This means that BlackBerry is probably:

    Trying to find potential licensees to license out its BB10 OS, and/or
    Letting the OS live due to contractual obligations towards its enterprise clients (governments) and/or
    Hoping for a miraculous turnaround, and/or
    Trying to find someone that would buy its OS for its IP.
    Quite honestly, I don’t see the first and fourth bullets playing out anytime in the future. BlackBerry 10 has failed to generate the interest of developers and users in large numbers. Therefore, it’s highly unlikely that any investor or licensee would oversee its sheer failure and still want to invest in the near-dead mobile OS. It just doesn’t make any business sense to overlook Android and license BB10 from an OEM’s standpoint.

    Also, I don’t see the OS becoming popular amongst the masses going forward. It would take time and money, lots of money, to get quality apps built for the platform that would encourage masses to opt for BB10. Since BB10 is a non-revenue-generating asset with a history of failure behind it, it’s unlikely that Chen would dedicate hundreds of millions of dollars for something that has a low probability of getting success. It would perhaps be wiser if BlackBerry spent that money in acquiring companies that already generate revenue.

    I suspect that BB10 is being kept alive to live out its contractual obligations. Imagine how governments across the world would react if, on a fine morning, they read a press release that their smartphone provider is slashing software support for their hundreds of thousands of devices. So, it’s likely that BlackBerry’s large-scale enterprise clients sent their purchase orders on the condition being that BB10 is kept alive for a predefined number of years at least, in a bid to safeguard themselves from the discontinuation of the OS.

    Investor takeaway

    Keeping an operating system alive has huge costs attached to it (cloud hosting for all its code, manpower to keep it running, staff to audit app store submissions, etc.) and BlackBerry will have to bear these costs until the OS is discontinued. Also, it doesn’t look like the OS is going to become a revenue-generating asset anytime soon. Therefore, it seems BlackBerry’s BB10 platform has become more of a liability than being an asset. It would make financial sense for the company and its shareholders if the deadwood was chopped off."
    07-26-17 12:27 PM
  2. kvndoom's Avatar
    Gotta love Seeking Alpha. I swear this guy just read a few dozen threads on this forum and paraphrased all the bickering that we do here.
    07-26-17 12:34 PM
  3. brookie229's Avatar
    Earth-shattering discovery by the author of that research article! /s
    PHughes and dmlis like this.
    07-26-17 12:39 PM
  4. conite's Avatar
    What? So it isn't so!
    PHughes likes this.
    07-26-17 12:44 PM
  5. bb10adopter111's Avatar
    What a non-story!

    Are there still people who think that BB10 "support" means future OS updates? 10.3.3 was so late it likely included all of the 10.3.4 updates we are going to see.

    And, frankly, that's not a problem for the vast majority of us still using the OS. I'm satisfied that BlackBerry has maintained support for so long. I am well into my fifth year on a phone that is faster, more intuitive and problem free for my daily use than the Android phone I bought last month to replace it!

    Posted with my trusty Z10
    anon(9742832) and INFOmuzRON like this.
    07-26-17 01:06 PM
  6. BronzeBeard's Avatar
    You understand seeking alpha is just a blog focused on investing? Anyone can sign up and write articles (and get paid per click too). I wouldn't take advise, opinions, or anything else from that site. Seriously, I can go there right now and write an article about how well BB10 is doing, and how it will soon beat Google and Apple with BB 10.4, powered on Lithuanian rainbow farts. (And I would get paid for such article as well.)

    That being said, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see BB10 is at EOL. Outside of third party channels you can't buy a BB10 device. You don't need an amateur investment blogger who gets paid 10cents per 1000 page views to tell you that.

    Posted via CB10
    07-26-17 01:08 PM
  7. Ment's Avatar
    I wonder what the business model is of those busy two devs who make up 72% of new app submissions, they can't be spending much time creating per app, probably mere minutes to make it worthwhile . Ads/analytics must make more than I thought.
    07-26-17 04:07 PM
  8. thurask's Avatar
    Are there still people who think that BB10 "support" means future OS updates?
    You'd be surprised.
    Dunt Dunt Dunt likes this.
    07-26-17 04:08 PM
  9. brookie229's Avatar
    I wonder what the business model is of those busy two devs who make up 72% of new app submissions, they can't be spending much time creating per app, probably mere minutes to make it worthwhile . Ads/analytics must make more than I thought.
    Hobbyists. The vast majority of app developers never really make any money to speak of. Something like 80-90% cannot make a living purely from developing apps.
    07-26-17 04:17 PM
  10. app_Developer's Avatar
    I'm sure the author is wrong when he says there are huge costs associated with keeping the OS around. I doubt BB is spending more than a drip on BB10. At least we can see there is no evidence of any significant money being spent here.
    07-26-17 05:05 PM
  11. bb10adopter111's Avatar
    I'm sure the author is wrong when he says there are huge costs associated with keeping the OS around. I doubt BB is spending more than a drip on BB10. At least we can see there is no evidence of any significant money being spent here.
    These are just hacks writing either for a few dollars for clicks or hoping to move stock prices for day traders and shorts. It's not even worth discussion, IMO. There is no original thinking, new information or other news cited in the article. It could have written months ago.

    Posted with my trusty Z10
    app_Developer likes this.
    07-26-17 05:14 PM
  12. Ment's Avatar
    Hobbyists. The vast majority of app developers never really make any money to speak of. Something like 80-90% cannot make a living purely from developing apps.
    I mean the two devs who submitted 2000 apps in two years. That's not a hobby. They probably only get a couple hundred installs if that per app. The other devs submitting apps during that time period average an app per year. Alot of those are hobbyist.
    07-26-17 06:41 PM
  13. Troy Tiscareno's Avatar
    I wonder what the business model is of those busy two devs who make up 72% of new app submissions, they can't be spending much time creating per app, probably mere minutes to make it worthwhile . Ads/analytics must make more than I thought.
    Most of it is automated. They type in a unique app name and hit "Generate" and it builds a slightly different version of an app than the one before.

    One developer, S4BB, has tens of thousands (or maybe hundreds of thousands by now), and many of them are just things like an app that "packages" the Wikipedia page about a city in the world. Instead of a simple Wikipedia app that covers EVERY city, they make a separate app for each city with articles sucked from Wikipedia. They built an automated process to do this - just copy and paste a city's Wiki page and the app is built and uploaded. So useful!
    anon(9742832) likes this.
    07-27-17 12:05 AM
  14. grandam30's Avatar
    I just read that article online and was going to post it here and I see that someone else did I think the comments the people have made don't make it sound quite as gloomy as the article
    07-27-17 12:12 AM
  15. southlander's Avatar
    Wow. That article is a lot of paragraphs to say something that often gets summed up here in a brief forum post. Seeking Alpha must pay by the word lol.
    anon(9742832) and BigBadWulf like this.
    07-27-17 01:13 AM
  16. Drenegade's Avatar
    Most of it is automated. They type in a unique app name and hit "Generate" and it builds a slightly different version of an app than the one before.

    One developer, S4BB, has tens of thousands (or maybe hundreds of thousands by now), and many of them are just things like an app that "packages" the Wikipedia page about a city in the world. Instead of a simple Wikipedia app that covers EVERY city, they make a separate app for each city with articles sucked from Wikipedia. They built an automated process to do this - just copy and paste a city's Wiki page and the app is built and uploaded. So useful!
    It's not S4BB anymore doing that. Those thousands of apps are put out mostly by some Waterloo company called "EventMobi" that produces android apps in mass amounts for the Blackberry App World. It's strange because they are all android-based apps but they aren't available on the Google Play Store.

    The rest of them are Nobex radio apps.

    These days we are lucky to see 5 native cascade apps per month appear in BBW. And maybe 1 or two of those are actually useful to the general public. I know this because one of my morning routines before work is to check the news and then check the new arrivals in BlackBerry World. Old habits die hard.

    Posted via CB10
    07-27-17 01:24 AM
  17. stlabrat's Avatar
    i would love to know if the author of the article is shorting BB stock or not...
    07-27-17 03:56 AM
  18. yessuz's Avatar
    You understand seeking alpha is just a blog focused on investing? Anyone can sign up and write articles (and get paid per click too). I wouldn't take advise, opinions, or anything else from that site. Seriously, I can go there right now and write an article about how well BB10 is doing, and how it will soon beat Google and Apple with BB 10.4, powered on Lithuanian rainbow farts. (And I would get paid for such article as well.)

    That being said, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see BB10 is at EOL. Outside of third party channels you can't buy a BB10 device. You don't need an amateur investment blogger who gets paid 10cents per 1000 page views to tell you that.

    Posted via CB10
    I love you mate!
    07-27-17 05:24 AM
  19. anon(9742832)'s Avatar
    I'm shocked! Over? Who are these people? Lol.
    07-27-17 08:48 AM
  20. spyros_81's Avatar
    What's with all these radio apps btw?
    Asking the real question

    Posted via CB10
    07-27-17 09:10 AM
  21. yyz321's Avatar
    It was over when they decided not to release any more BB10 OS phones.
    07-27-17 11:35 AM
  22. Yeg's Avatar
    c'mon ppl - why are you still harping on the 10?

    Bla1ze: "build a bridge, and get over it"
    07-27-17 11:42 AM
  23. SeeBeeEss's Avatar
    It may be over for BB10, but when BB11 is released, it will be so amazing that app developers will trip over themselves to support it and iOS and Android will slowly fade away into oblivion.
    app_Developer and FF22 like this.
    07-27-17 11:52 AM
  24. Bla1ze's Avatar
    What's with all these radio apps btw?
    Asking the real question

    Posted via CB10
    Easy contracted work by large radio stations with a cookie cutter app.
    07-27-17 01:35 PM
  25. spyros_81's Avatar
    Easy contracted work by large radio stations with a cookie cutter app.
    What's the app? Can we use it to create more apps?

    Posted via CB10
    07-27-17 01:38 PM
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