1. bb10adopter111's Avatar
    This post is concerned only with smartphone strategy, not software, patents, etc.

    I've noticed in hundreds of posts and comments that some of the Blackberry enthusiasts on CB seem incredibly naive about the strategic options that BlackBerry has in the real world of selling smartphones in 2015.

    Specifically, I see posts suggesting that more marketing to consumers would stimulate significant demand for BB10 phones, and that if Blackberry's CEO, John Chen, made different decisions, he would sell more BB10 phones.

    The assumption in both these cases is that there is significant demand AMONG CONSUMERS WHO MAKE THEIR OWN BUYING DECISIONS for a mobile OS that is neither iOS or Android, and if BlackBerry could find the right combination of hardware and messaging it could sell many more phones.

    The reality is that there is no evidence to support those hypotheses, and lots of evidence and history to challenge them.

    You cannot force an OS, or any other product, on people through more marketing. The software and user ecosystem is what many people want, not the OS. Back in the early 90s, IBM's 32 bit OS/2 was vastly superior to Microsoft's 16 bit Windows 3/3.1, and IBM was a much more powerful company than Microsoft, but they still had their heads handed to them in the PC OS market.

    Apple has a huge "first mover" advantage in having brought personal entertainment to the smartphone, and both Apple and Android have huge "network effects" with 100s of millions of users and thousands of Apps. Right now, in 2015, these are simply insurmountable obstacles for BlackBerry to make meaningful market share gains. The fact that BlackBerry has what most of us believe to be a superior OS is not relevant to the majority of consumers.

    Windows 10 may present an opportunity for Microsoft, because the installed base of Windows users is immensely large, and the vast majority of them will be getting free upgrades to Windows 10 on their PCs in the next month. Some of them may be interested in trying a mobile OS that matches their PC experience and integrates well with it.

    Currently, BlackBerry's strengths in selling smartphones are its history of Enterprise security and productivity and it's reputation for having great physical keyboards. Both of these appeal to only a small fraction of the smartphone market.

    This is the market reality that BlackBerry has to accept in planning it's strategy and deploying its resources. For BB10 smartphones, the question is whether they can solidify a profitable customer base among Enterprise purchasers, while retaining their small consumer base. The Passport, Classic, and Leap were aimed at these segments.

    In this context, releasing Android versions of their phones could conceivably expand their market to a small percentage of Android users who care about Blackberry's strengths in security and productivity. If successful, this could grow hardware sales to a sustainable level, especially if their hardware can support both BB10 and Android, so that they could develop new hardware platforms for both market segments.

    If BlackBerry can manufacture and sell both BB10 and Android on the same phones, they could very easily reach a sustainable level of hardware sales of 10M+ units per year.

    This could be a viable strategy for staying in the hardware business, and it may be what BlackBerry is up to.

    Posted via CB10
    Last edited by bb10adopter111; 07-03-15 at 08:27 AM.
    07-03-15 07:52 AM
  2. early2bed's Avatar
    If BlackBerry can manufacture and sell both BB10 and Android on the same phones, they could very easily reach a sustainable level of hardware sales of 10M+ units per year.

    This could be a viable a tragedy for staying in the hardware business, and it may be what BlackBerry is up to.
    Would dual boot be a good strategy for any significant segment of the user base? That's a lot of fiddling around with the OS of a smartphone which the vast majority of people aren't going to want to do either enterprise or consumer.
    07-03-15 08:00 AM
  3. FR33MAN's Avatar
    For me, to sell you have to do your phone available, build distribution. The day I will see as many blackberry as iphones in shops, this thread will be closed

    Posted via CB10
    07-03-15 08:00 AM
  4. keithhackneysmullet's Avatar
    Great Post

    The smartphone battle is over. It followed almost exactly like the PC battle of the 80's and 90's

    Posted via CB10
    GadgetTravel likes this.
    07-03-15 08:09 AM
  5. mcstravi's Avatar
    The differentiator BlackBerry will have with Android will be the physical keyboard. Sure not everyone wants one, and for those people they'll be able to buy the BlackBerry experience (hub, etc) for the Android phone of their choice (possibly iOS as well).
    But if the classic, Passport, Slider are Android, they might appeal to more prosumers who would otherwise ditch BlackBerry with BB10.
    It's not going to make them compete in the same leave as the Apple, Samsung, but might help them push to the 10+ million devices and beyond. Without the shift selling hardware is not profitable so it's really their only choice.

    Posted via CB10
    Z30Commission likes this.
    07-03-15 08:10 AM
  6. bb10adopter111's Avatar
    I don't know. Dual boot seems confusing to me, personally. I meant that BlackBerry would release the same phones in BB10 and Android versions.

    Posted via CB10
    07-03-15 08:20 AM
  7. bb10adopter111's Avatar
    For me, to sell you have to do your phone available, build distribution. The day I will see as many blackberry as iphones in shops, this thread will be closed

    Posted via CB10
    Distribution does not stimulate demand. BlackBerry can lose sales if phones are out of stock and people who want to buy them can't find them and buy something else instead, but there is little evidence that this is happening to BlackBerry. If customers were asking for them, the distribution would follow.

    Posted via CB10
    Z30Commission likes this.
    07-03-15 08:25 AM
  8. FR33MAN's Avatar
    But no phone in stores = no sales.

    Posted via CB10
    07-03-15 08:52 AM
  9. early2bed's Avatar
    The difficult and risky reality is that you have to both sink the big bucks into advertising and order a bunch of components/devices that you will have to pay for no matter what. You can't just do a bunch of advertising and see what happens. You have to have ordered and distributed the devices.
    app_Developer likes this.
    07-03-15 08:53 AM
  10. bb10adopter111's Avatar
    Yes, but you don't do either of those things until you have a product that your market research shows will be a winner. It's not a "close your eyes and swing for the fences" approach. It's more like the D-day landing where you are sure you have an advantage if things go right.

    Posted via CB10
    07-03-15 09:11 AM
  11. Bbnivende's Avatar
    This post is concerned only with smartphone strategy, not software, patents, etc.

    I've noticed in hundreds of posts and comments that some of the Blackberry enthusiasts on CB seem incredibly naive about the strategic options that BlackBerry has in the real world of selling smartphones in 2015.

    Specifically, I see posts suggesting that more marketing to consumers would stimulate significant demand for BB10 phones, and that if Blackberry's CEO, John Chen, made different decisions, he would sell more BB10 phones.

    The assumption in both these cases is that there is significant demand AMONG CONSUMERS WHO MAKE THEIR OWN BUYING DECISIONS for a mobile OS that is neither iOS or Android, and if BlackBerry could find the right combination of hardware and messaging it could sell many more phones.

    The reality is that there is no evidence to support those hypotheses, and lots of evidence and history to challenge them.

    You cannot force an OS, or any other product, on people through more marketing. The software and user ecosystem is what many people want, not the OS. Back in the early 90s, IBM's 32 bit OS/2 was vastly superior to Microsoft's 16 bit Windows 3/3.1, and IBM was a much more powerful company than Microsoft, but they still had their heads handed to them in the PC OS market.

    Apple has a huge "first mover" advantage in having brought personal entertainment to the smartphone, and both Apple and Android have huge "network effects" with 100s of millions of users and thousands of Apps. Right now, in 2015, these are simply insurmountable obstacles for BlackBerry to make meaningful market share gains. The fact that BlackBerry has what most of us believe to be a superior OS is not relevant to the majority of consumers.

    Windows 10 may present an opportunity for Microsoft, because the installed base of Windows users is immensely large, and the vast majority of them will be getting free upgrades to Windows 10 on their PCs in the next month. Some of them may be interested in trying a mobile OS that matches their PC experience and integrates well with it.

    Currently, BlackBerry's strengths in selling smartphones are its history of Enterprise security and productivity and it's reputation for having great physical keyboards. Both of these appeal to only a small fraction of the smartphone market.

    This is the market reality that BlackBerry has to accept in planning it's strategy and deploying its resources. For BB10 smartphones, the question is whether they can solidify a profitable customer base among Enterprise purchasers, while retaining their small consumer base. The Passport, Classic, and Leap were aimed at these segments.

    In this context, releasing Android versions of their phones could conceivably expand their market to a small percentage of Android users who care about Blackberry's strengths in security and productivity. If successful, this could grow hardware sales to a sustainable level, especially if their hardware can support both BB10 and Android, so that they could develop new hardware platforms for both market segments.

    If BlackBerry can manufacture and sell both BB10 and Android on the same phones, they could very easily reach a sustainable level of hardware sales of 10M+ units per year.

    This could be a viable strategy for staying in the hardware business, and it may be what BlackBerry is up to.

    Posted via CB10
    I like your post except that there does not seem to be a market for a Android based all touch BlackBerry. I do not think there is a large market for PKB phones either. Not sure that there would any consumer market for a BB10 device that could not run Android apps.


    I would have BlackBerry build a high quality all touch and PKB devices for business and consumers using BB10 with a Android based BBW app store or a Google approved Snap built in.

    I say high quality vs high spec. For example, I would have paid iPhone prices for a Porsche designed Z30 version 2. Think of comparing the Porsche version of the Z10 to the consumer version. If they could increase the ASP, they could be profitable with fewer units.

    Posted via CB10
    mcstravi likes this.
    07-03-15 09:19 AM
  12. early2bed's Avatar
    And if your market research tells you that you have a niche devices then you are simply trying for a base hit or, in the case of the Leap, trying for a bunt. That probably means the marketing for these devices is about what it should be.
    Bbnivende likes this.
    07-03-15 09:19 AM
  13. Bbnivende's Avatar
    The differentiator BlackBerry will have with Android will be the physical keyboard. Sure not everyone wants one, and for those people they'll be able to buy the BlackBerry experience (hub, etc) for the Android phone of their choice (possibly iOS as well).
    But if the classic, Passport, Slider are Android, they might appeal to more prosumers who would otherwise ditch BlackBerry with BB10.
    It's not going to make them compete in the same leave as the Apple, Samsung, but might help them push to the 10+ million devices and beyond. Without the shift selling hardware is not profitable so it's really their only choice.

    Posted via CB10
    Not going to buy a PKB until BlackBerry acknowledges and fixes the DT issue.

    Posted via CB10
    07-03-15 09:21 AM
  14. Troy Tiscareno's Avatar
    I would have BlackBerry build a high quality all touch and PKB devices for business and consumers using BB10 with a Android based BBW app store or a Google approved Snap built in.
    Except you've been around long enough to know that Google will neither allow Google Services on BB10 devices nor allow BB10 to exist with the Android Runtime and still give approval for Google Services on a BB Android device.

    BB's actual options are:

    • Continue BB10 as it is now, with the Android Runtime.
    • Drop BB10 entirely and replace with Google-Certified Android
    • Keep BB10 but with the Android Runtime removed, and make a Google-Certified Android as well.
    • Keep BB10 with Android Runtime and make a forked Android that relies on the Amazon Marketplace for apps.


    No matter how many times people want to bring up BB10 with Google Services, it isn't gonna happen.
    BeautyEh likes this.
    07-03-15 09:49 AM
  15. dbmalloy's Avatar
    Great post by the OP. Pretty much nails it. The part people need to remember is that Chen has said BB only needs to sell 10 million units to make the unit profitable. As the current model is not working. Something has to be done. That being said, not that much. Stability in the device market is only a questions of millions, not tens of millions which makes an Android device a more realistic option. If they could pull it off and Samsung made it. You may see a joint marketing campaign with Google promoting the "secure Android" concept and Samsung could promote the hardware. Not saying it will happen but would make sense.
    Z30Commission likes this.
    07-03-15 10:04 AM
  16. Bbnivende's Avatar
    Except you've been around long enough to know that Google will neither allow Google Services on BB10 devices nor allow BB10 to exist with the Android Runtime and still give approval for Google Services on a BB Android device.

    BB's actual options are:

    • Continue BB10 as it is now, with the Android Runtime.
    • Drop BB10 entirely and replace with Google-Certified Android
    • Keep BB10 but with the Android Runtime removed, and make a Google-Certified Android as well.
    • Keep BB10 with Android Runtime and make a forked Android that relies on the Amazon Marketplace for apps.


    No matter how many times people want to bring up BB10 with Google Services, it isn't gonna happen.
    No, I understand and agree with your synopsis of the current state of affairs. I was suggesting that BBW include the same non-Google Play apps that are found on Amazon or sanction Snap for non Google Play apps. The Amazon app store is not working for BlackBerry. Maybe if BlackBerry had no app / media store then Google they might let in BlackBerry for apps that do not require Google Play Services. (Big maybe)

    I am not opposed to the Android for consumers solution but I am not sure that pure BB10 for Enterprise combined with Android -consumers will sell in greater numbers. Speaking for just myself, I would not buy an Android all touch BB , a pure BB10 device or a Android PKB. PKB's are just too unreliable.

    As for Google Play services - quite content with forked Android apps. I have a Tablet with GPS that I seldom use. I do however use the Tablet to transfer APK's that do not require GPS to my BB10 device.

    As far as the notion of a secure Android goes. Not sure how a BlackBerry Android would be any more secure than a Samsung unit for consumers or Enterprise. There just not appear to be a formula that will work for BlackBerry other than keeping their current OS and making a reliable PKB and a better all touch device.
    Last edited by Bbnivende; 07-03-15 at 12:07 PM.
    07-03-15 10:56 AM
  17. KNEBB's Avatar
    You have to ask at what point in the industry did BlackBerry start losing market share, why and what could have been done to combat that trend. Many would say their failure to anticipate the impact of IOS, and to state the advantages BlackBerry presented.

    Like with any comparison, you state your advantage over the alternative. Just as IOS doesn't state a communication aspect advantage, but the convenience of their app store and picture quality. But as a pure communication device, it doesn't promote it's superiority over any brand.
    So BlackBerry is known for superior qualities that they shouldn't relinquished to any brand, through any process. That's their Bread And Butter, so to speak.
    Which speaks to the problem of promoting your latest Flagship solely or initially using the competition's format. It gives the perception that you have lost faith in your own product to power your Flagship sales.
    And if you don't show faith in your own product, why would anyone else, including stockholders.
    In reference to the 2015 product launches: in every instance from the Passport thru the Leap, and now with the Venice, the BlackBerry consumer were asked and has given feedback on what features and design elements they're looking to purchase. And the powers at BlackBerry have in some fashion disregarded the input, then claims the products under sold. Well if you have only a specific buying group, wouldn't it be prudent to offer what they're asking for.

    It's a self fulfilling prophecy; in not manufacturing what is being asked for or producing an under spec'd version, in a highly competitive marketplace and then blame your shortcomings and subsequent business strategies on less than expected sales (Reminiscent of the US Auto industry circa the 1980's)

    Posted via CB10
    07-04-15 05:29 PM

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