11-10-16 08:23 AM
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  1. keyboardweeb's Avatar
    I posted part of this in a reply on one of the Mercury threads but figured I should flesh it out and give it a wider audience.

    Basically, I think I am missing something with regard to BlackBerry's licensing strategy because I'm not sure what they have that others might want, aside from a custom Android and maybe the DTEK app, and the name. What value does BlackBerry licensing offer to the licensee? Honest question, I'm missing a significant piece of the puzzle here. There's gotta be something, otherwise really have seen the last of the BlackBerries.

    The problem with the licensing scheme is how much value does BlackBerry place on their name and software, vs how much does everyone else? I'm not sure the name has much value. Maybe it did some years ago, but not anymore. A potential partner could just walk, put their own name on a pkb phone if they want, and just slap stock Android or even Cyanogen (there was at least one maker doing that IIRC) on it and not give BlackBerry squat. What does the maker need BlackBerry for if the maker still does all the work?

    Software-wise (remember, they're a software company now ) they'd miss out on BlackBerry's customized Android, but the vast majority of the market doesn't care. In fact, selling it with Cyanogen pre-installed would attract a lot more buzz and attention than BlackBerry Android. For apps, Blend doesn't exist for Android, and isn't being updated anyway. Hub and other BB apps are available for any Android phone. I'm having a hard time seeing a compelling reason a maker might want to license anything from BB.

    Unless they want to re-use specific design elements from actual BlackBerry phones (such as the Classic's awesome keyboard) or something similar, what does a potential licensee need BlackBerry for?

    Posted on my Model M
    John Albert, cgk and JeepBB like this.
    10-29-16 11:02 AM
  2. Bla1ze's Avatar
    • You're missing the patents BlackBerry owns.
    • You're missing the additional security layers they have brought to Android, even though you think people aren't interested in them I can tell you some certainly are.
    • You're missing the fact that despite the brand being beat up in a lot of regions, it's still attractive to many in other regions. You sound as though you have very North American thoughts when you really need to look beyond that.
    • You're also missing the fact that not everything BlackBerry related has to go into a 'smartphone'. eg: Look at what webOS turned into.
    • You're also missing the fact that BlackBerry doesn't REALLY have to make money in this arena, as long as they're not SPENDING money on handsets anymore, they can carry on with whatever other software ventures they have.


    Just to name a few.
    dusdal, Griffin2012 and glwerry like this.
    10-29-16 11:14 AM
  3. cgk's Avatar
    I posted part of this in a reply on one of the Mercury threads but figured I should flesh it out and give it a wider audience.

    Basically, I think I am missing something with regard to BlackBerry's licensing strategy because I'm not sure what they have that others might want, aside from a custom Android and maybe the DTEK app, and the name. What value does BlackBerry licensing offer to the licensee? Honest question, I'm missing a significant piece of the puzzle here. There's gotta be something, otherwise really have seen the last of the BlackBerries.
    It's a hard one to work out at this point of time.

    Based on what we can work out about their only partner and what Chen himself said - 'Value' is likely connected to how much companies are paying for licensing. Chen himself says they don't have to pay for any security enhancements they don't want - so I'm guess there is some value in a couple of markets like Indonesia as long as you are making rock bottom hardware AND you don't have to pay BBRY very much per unit (I would think the Indonesia partner got the license pretty cheap simply so they could point towards a partner).

    If that is the case we might see a couple of other players take a license but they might be waiting to see if the Indonesia one is a bust. If it is, that will kill the licensing stone dead.
    10-29-16 11:39 AM
  4. keyboardweeb's Avatar
    Well, perhaps I should qualify the question as in the context of smartphones. Phones are what most of us care the most about, right? Doesn't do us much good if BlackBerry's underpinning a car infotainment system, if what we really want is a good phone.

    • I'm skeptical of the value of their patent portfolio in the context of smartphones. If they had some killer, desirable patents wouldn't they have more partners lined up? More revenue from existing licensees?
    • Security is valued by a small segment of the market, sure. Not enough to market a phone based on security as a differentiating factor--it'd have to compete on every other level as well.
    • Yes, very North American.


    Let's say I'm a manufacturer with the crazy idea of trying to design, build, and sell a pkb-equipped phone. What do I want or need from BlackBerry in that scenario? I'm already taking a risk on pkb, why not save the license fee and roll my own? I don't need BB's blessing just to make a pkb phone.
    10-29-16 12:20 PM
  5. Troy Tiscareno's Avatar
    Let's say I'm a manufacturer with the crazy idea of trying to design, build, and sell a pkb-equipped phone. What do I want or need from BlackBerry in that scenario? I'm already taking a risk on pkb, why not save the license fee and roll my own? I don't need BB's blessing just to make a pkb phone.
    You are absolutely correct. BB main keyboard patents include their sculpted keys and probably something related to being touch-sensitive (using the keyboard as a touchpad). They may also have patents on certain keyboard shortcut functionality.

    But it's very possible to make PKB phones without those things - many have done so already. The real question for potential licensees is: "would the potential customers of my device value a BB-style PKB more than a non-BB-style PKB, and would the difference be enough to allow me to charge enough additional money to both pay for the license and make a larger profit?" If they believe the answer is "yes", then they'll consider licensing the design. If not, they won't. Of course, the price BB charges will play a big part into that calculation - BB can only charge what the market will bear, or they'll make nothing.
    JeepBB likes this.
    10-29-16 12:38 PM
  6. cgk's Avatar
    As mentioned above - I'd discount (as Chen seems to) security from that pricing given there is no evidence it provides any added value to consumers especially as you slide down the scale to the low end.

    I would think the cheapest possible way to do it - is to slap the blackberry name on a low end reference design (that meets the minimum spec).
    10-29-16 06:37 PM
  7. anon(9607753)'s Avatar
    Licensing is nothing more than the final phase of BlackBerry's exit strategy from devices. Since they cannot share their "roadmap" please allow me to indulge:

    Phase 1a: BlackBerry 10 OS, BlackBerry designed hardware, BlackBerry built hardware

    Phase 1b: BlackBerry 10 OS, BlackBerry designed hardware

    Phase 2: BlackBerry Android OS, BlackBerry designed hardware, BB10 support discontinued

    Phase 3: BlackBerry Android OS, BlackBerry designed hardware discontinued (3rd party reference designs only)

    Phase 4: BlackBerry Android OS supported, no hardware <--we are here

    Phase 5: BlackBerry Android OS support discontined
    wojt7, sorinv and Dunt Dunt Dunt like this.
    10-29-16 07:24 PM
  8. app_Developer's Avatar
    The new venture in Indonesia believes that people there are more likely to buy a phone with BlackBerry on it than a local brand. That may be right. That may also work in India and maybe 1-2 other countries.

    That may be all we see from this licensing scheme. That's fine, since they've moved on to other things.
    JeepBB likes this.
    10-29-16 07:58 PM
  9. alfredo85's Avatar
    "You're missing the additional security layers they have brought to Android, even though you think people aren't interested in them I can tell you some certainly are"

    Some?
    How many? 400K units last quarter and it is still falling. A number that could be achieved by the big companies in this business within few hours only.
    How many of those 400K bought BlackBerry for the security features?

    You're missing the fact that despite the brand being beat up in a lot of regions, it's still attractive to many in other regions. You sound as though you have very North American thoughts when you really need to look beyond that.
    I was watching the selling volume of DTEK60 in shopblackberry site in Europe (UK, Germany, France, Netherlands, Italy, and Spain) since the launch day of DTEK60, and the website couldn't sell more than 250 units in the entire region along three days. This is a catastrophic number when you take into your consideration that this phone is new and Shopblackberry is the only distributor right now!.
    In the US BlackBerry sold over 500 units. Still not that good for a newly released phone, but better than other regions.
    North America is the strongest market for BlackBerry and encountered over 50% of company revenue last quarter.

    People are talking about Indonesia and how the BlackBerry brand is still very strong there.
    No evidence over this at all. BBM is still popular, that's true, but not the BlackBerry handsets. Also, could anyone tell me why BlackBerry didn't release the PRIV, DTEK50, and DTEK60 in Indonesia if they are truly having that strong brand recognition?!

    I think the companies which want to licence BlackBerry's brand and software should be third tier companies or barely known ones, and they also couldn't sell over 100k units per quarter, so that they can get the probable benefit of licencing BlackBerry's brand.
    With all due respect to the moderators and BlackBerry Limited that I very love, but, if the parent company failed in selling its handsets, why would the way smaller ones success now!. Hard to believe indeed.
    wojt7, JeepBB and cribble2k like this.
    10-29-16 08:32 PM
  10. Bla1ze's Avatar
    With all due respect to the moderators and BlackBerry Limited that I very love, but, if the parent company failed in selling its handsets, why would the way smaller ones success now!. Hard to believe indeed.
    Shhh, you'll scare the partners off. BlackBerry just have to collect money from them, not care about their success.

    Some?
    How many? 400K units last quarter and it is still falling. A number that could be achieved by the big companies in this business within few hours only.
    How many of those 400K bought BlackBerry for the security features?
    Confused why you turned this point into a consumer point. We're talking about licensing, not BlackBerry selling to consumers. We all know the security side of things for consumers is not a HUGE interest point.
    10-30-16 06:18 AM
  11. fschmeck's Avatar
    For someone interested in licensing the name, I can see the value for a company that has little to no carrier relationships, and little brand recognition. Alcatel, for example, is pretty much in the "low-end prepaid" phone market where I am. Nobody would go looking for one of their devices. Call it a Blackberry, and there is at least a brand people recognize there (perhaps not favourably in some circles of course). As for the corporate customer, I could see a company perhaps being able to offer end-to-end services: the devices, BES/Good, and eveything in-between, being perhaps a viable option. Not everyone wants BYOD.

    It's a niche I guess...perhaps one too small for BBerry, butone maybe someone else can fill?

    Posted via CB10
    app_Developer likes this.
    10-30-16 09:45 AM
  12. darkehawke's Avatar
    Shhh, you'll scare the partners off. BlackBerry just have to collect money from them, not care about their success.



    Confused why you turned this point into a consumer point. We're talking about licensing, not BlackBerry selling to consumers. We all know the security side of things for consumers is not a HUGE interest point.
    Basically, a company will realise that some enterprises and governments will still have need of the security Blackberry offered and jump on board to try and fill this niche market.

    Since this is the market that Microsoft is gunning for, they are more likely to be successful with Blackberry licensed products then they are alone.

    Of course this has no impact on you the consumer, unless a few gets released on general sale.
    But dont expect to see these devices in a carrier shop unless you live in one of the few remaining blackberry strongholds
    10-31-16 12:29 AM
  13. keyboardweeb's Avatar
    I was watching the selling volume of DTEK60 in shopblackberry site in Europe (UK, Germany, France, Netherlands, Italy, and Spain) since the launch day of DTEK60, and the website couldn't sell more than 250 units in the entire region along three days. This is a catastrophic number when you take into your consideration that this phone is new and Shopblackberry is the only distributor right now!.
    In the US BlackBerry sold over 500 units. Still not that good for a newly released phone, but better than other regions.
    Well, at least according to this that's still better than Q1 this year. Compared to the others in the report though, it's no wonder BlackBerry's pulling out.

    Note those are worldwide numbers, which increases my skepticism about the value of the BlackBerry name in the smartphone world.

    Continuing my hypothetical of being a manufacturer trying to get my phones onto store shelves, I suspect the name might have at least some value, but I think I'd also be saying, "It's a BlackBerry, but it runs Android," although that might not be too helpful considering the sales figures. OnePlus came out of nowhere with a Cyanogen-powered phone and generated a lot of sales and buzz. I might be better off making a PKB-equipped phone with Cyanogen (It's OnePlus-A-Keyboard, get it? lol) and skip the license fees.
    10-31-16 09:19 AM
  14. JeepBB's Avatar
    I might be better off making a PKB-equipped phone with Cyanogen (It's OnePlus-A-Keyboard, get it? lol) and skip the license fees.
    At the ER, Chen came that close to an admission that use of BB's secured Android was optional for a licensee. He rambled a bit about how it was up to each licensee what they decided to licence and said something like "... if they decide not to go for our security features, then that's OK". I can't be bothered to search the transcript for the exact words, but that's the gist of it.

    So, unless the licence for the BB Android is near-enough free, and as taking it appears to be optional, you might be right that a licensee decides to put a non-BB Android on the PKB phone.

    I guess we'll see "within 6 months".
    Dunt Dunt Dunt likes this.
    10-31-16 02:17 PM
  15. eshropshire's Avatar
    The name - if you are a small asian manufacture with no name recognition - you can now use the BlackBerry name. This is what the one announced OEM is doing. Since no other OEMs have come forward who knows what they will want. BlackBerry has already said they do not expect any big name companies to be OEMs.
    JeepBB likes this.
    10-31-16 05:40 PM
  16. stlabrat's Avatar
    license the following: (1) instead google go out to build up new OS... license the BB10 - more efficient clean QNX compare to the droid. Hardware/software integration has been 3 years back. But can be dig out from the ground - easier than start fresh. (2) hybrid BB-Droid is a good way to migrate to full BB10 (QNX) with Ford Syn 3 or 4 and beyond. (3) full compatibility to car system with removable tablet type in Syn 3 bay QNX of course - removable also allow to expand hardware easily = provide battery can handle - may be extra solar panel on the car roof? (4) root out inferior app and security issues by BB software overlay... etc.etc. I know it not going to happen... logically, it is still possible (too bad no hardware left in BB, perfect fit for google if both hardware and server farm still there - but you can use IBM cloud... OK thunder storm)...
    11-01-16 09:53 AM
  17. Jonas Hagglund's Avatar
    I agree in that Blackberry would have great difficulty to find partners that manufactures phones under the BlackBerry name. The market is very limited.
    Blackberry isn't that known anymore.
    They should have kept manufacture and sell their own cell phones but spent more money on marketing. Work harder to reach new costumers. Maybe have two different lines of phones. One towards companys and governments and the other towards the public.
    11-04-16 05:37 AM
  18. ohaiguise's Avatar
    Licensing is nothing more than the final phase of BlackBerry's exit strategy from devices. Since they cannot share their "roadmap" please allow me to indulge:

    Phase 1a: BlackBerry 10 OS, BlackBerry designed hardware, BlackBerry built hardware

    Phase 1b: BlackBerry 10 OS, BlackBerry designed hardware

    Phase 2: BlackBerry Android OS, BlackBerry designed hardware, BB10 support discontinued

    Phase 3: BlackBerry Android OS, BlackBerry designed hardware discontinued (3rd party reference designs only)

    Phase 4: BlackBerry Android OS supported, no hardware <--we are here

    Phase 5: BlackBerry Android OS support discontined
    hahaha so pessimistic
    11-04-16 05:40 AM
  19. glwerry's Avatar
    Well, perhaps I should qualify the question as in the context of smartphones. Phones are what most of us care the most about, right? Doesn't do us much good if BlackBerry's underpinning a car infotainment system, if what we really want is a good phone.

    • Security is valued by a small segment of the market, sure. Not enough to market a phone based on security as a differentiating factor--it'd have to compete on every other level as well.

    This could actually be a significant market. During our last provincial election I was speaking with a sitting MLA (Member of Legislative Assembly). I admired his Passport and his response was that BB was the only phone they could use, as sitting politicians.

    So, if BB can keep the reputation for security and start worming their way back into governments big time, then that's a potentially large market. Yes, they have lost a lot of it, but there's room to grow market share there and the security is a way to do that.
    11-04-16 08:53 AM
  20. ohaiguise's Avatar
    Some companies/agencies don't want Android and/or they want PKB devices, so if BB10 handsets can be produced in sufficient quantities to make a profit, why not?
    11-04-16 09:06 AM
  21. JeepBB's Avatar
    Some companies/agencies don't want Android and/or they want PKB devices, so if BB10 handsets can be produced in sufficient quantities to make a profit, why not?
    Because the "sufficient quantities to make a profit" number is 10M devices/year according to BB... and that number has never been achieved yet, and won't be happening any time soon.
    Dunt Dunt Dunt likes this.
    11-04-16 09:19 AM
  22. ohaiguise's Avatar
    Because the "sufficient quantities to make a profit" number is 10M devices/year according to BB... and that number has never been achieved yet, and won't be happening any time soon.
    That's what the incompetent company known as BlackBerry needs to make a profit but someone else might be able to make lower quantities profitably.
    11-04-16 09:30 AM
  23. glwerry's Avatar
    That's what the incompetent company known as BlackBerry needs to make a profit but someone else might be able to make lower quantities profitably.
    Please, by all means, submit your name to BB's board to replace Chen. Then show us how it's done.

    You do have a point "someone else might be able to make lower quantities profitably" - isn't this EXACTLY the strategy that BB is currently using with the DTEK machines and the licensing?!
    They have acknowledged that they can't design / make handsets profitably and so have piggy-backed onto other's efforts.
    11-04-16 10:25 AM
  24. cgk's Avatar
    You do have a point "someone else might be able to make lower quantities profitably" - isn't this EXACTLY the strategy that BB is currently using with the DTEK machines and the licensing?!
    .
    Well not for BBRY who seem to be pulling out because it's not profitable - it's profitable for TCL because they know that in terms of production N = sold because every single one is paid for by BBRY before they make them.

    The Dtek50 and dtek60 have clearly been made in smaller quantities that previous devices but from the speed at which that new strategy was dumped in favour of licensing, it's pretty clear that *end customers* aren't interested.
    JeepBB likes this.
    11-04-16 10:29 AM
  25. ohaiguise's Avatar
    Please, by all means, submit your name to BB's board to replace Chen. Then show us how it's done.

    .

    What have you been smoking?
    11-04-16 10:39 AM
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