04-10-14 02:03 AM
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  1. lnichols's Avatar
    So I was looking over the Fire TV, Kindle Fire HDX, Samsung Fit/Gear2Neo/Gear2, Samsung tablets, and then onto Qualcomm's website to see what processors are being put into what devices. I see the BlackBerry Cyclone that never was, and I'm wondering if BlackBerry ever plans to expand beyond phones. The PlayBook was a fiasco, that could have been salvaged, and the Cyclone obviously got to advanced prototype stages, but BlackBerry decided to drop both and only focus on phones, which is still their myopic focus today.

    Other manufacturers are building the connected, complimentary devices to work with the other devices they have out there, and BlackBerry is chasing low end markets with the Z3 and totally ignoring this expansion beyond the phone into complimentary, connected devices. They talk of the the Internet of things and machine-to-machine communications, while others are making it happen. By the time BlackBerry gets back to being a serious consideration for phones again, if they can, the market will have moved on again and people will be asking where the fitness/smartwatch, TV adapter, etc. from BlackBerry is and say that manufacturer X has all this that will work together flawlessly. While I don't think that they would be successful with any single type of these devices off the bat, and the 1st gen will definitely be a flop, but they need to start working on these things and get them out there. The original Gear didn't sell well, but they came out with a second one, and included the fitness tracking thing that is all the rage now. I have found that in tech recently, while their are standards out there for interoperability, they never seem to work as well as they should in theory, and when vendors control the end-to-end solution they make sure that it works with their own gear that they advertise it to. People don't want to have to deal with the smart watch vendor blaming the phone maker and vise versa when things don't work as advertised.

    Anyway I think BlackBerry must delve into these things now, and not wait for things to stabilize, which could take a long time. The longer they wait, the further they will be behind, and the more irrelevant they will get IMHO.
    johnm137 likes this.
    04-07-14 04:01 PM
  2. BergerKing's Avatar
    Most of the other devices mentioned come from Product lines that have money to burn. BB is still in transition, and I don't expect to such much diversification until the damage control is done.
    04-07-14 04:37 PM
  3. anon(6038817)'s Avatar
    The other companies also serve huge amounts of content that can be consumed through the devices they make, and their devices are built with that as the primary focus.

    BlackBerry doesn't have an equivalent to iTunes, Google Play, or Amazon's massive media and retail empire.

    BlackBerry's focus has always been communication and productivity, in stark contrast to the others.
    04-07-14 04:47 PM
  4. early2bed's Avatar
    Simply put, Blackberry is no longer in the same league as the other companies you are thinking about. Someone posted this snapshot of tech companies and their stock price. Look at the right column. The companies that you are thinking about are 50 to 100 times larger than Blackberry in terms of market cap.

    While BlackBerry Focuses on Phones, Others Expand Beyond!-261333d1396890946t-i-support-bbry-i-buy-shares-clipboard01.jpg

    Blackberry has no business making anything other than smartphones and it certainly isn't clear that they will continue to do that.
    04-07-14 04:49 PM
  5. Tre Lawrence's Avatar
    BlackBerry's focus has always been communication and productivity, in stark contrast to the others.
    I get your overall point, but I believe BBRY's biggest misstep was losing sight of what communication and productivity is.

    To OP's point, I think we'd all agree that it would be hard for BBRY to spend cash on other ventures, but can BBRY afford not to?
    04-07-14 05:06 PM
  6. Tre Lawrence's Avatar
    Simply put, Blackberry is no longer in the same league as the other companies you are thinking about. Someone posted this snapshot of tech companies and their stock price. Look at the right column. The companies that you are thinking about are 50 to 100 times larger than Blackberry in terms of market cap.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Blackberry has no business making anything other than smartphones and it certainly isn't clear that they will continue to do that.
    Can't really disagree, really.

    But would the company be better served, say, spiting out something competitive in a growing field like wearable tech?
    04-07-14 05:07 PM
  7. early2bed's Avatar
    But would the company be better served, say, spiting out something competitive in a growing field like wearable tech?
    There's no point in putting out something crappy just because it's trendy. First, it could cost you a lot of the product isn't very good (think Storm and Playbook). What makes you think Blackberry would be able to come up with a competitive wearable? Thus far, if it's a Blackberry and it doesn't have a keyboard, then it hasn't been competitive.
    Kashan Osama likes this.
    04-07-14 05:29 PM
  8. lnichols's Avatar
    Most of the other devices mentioned come from Product lines that have money to burn. BB is still in transition, and I don't expect to such much diversification until the damage control is done.
    If that is the excuse then they will never succeed as they will always be in a Catch 22 situation. They have been in "transition" now for how long? Funny how smaller companies can make a TV box, or fitness band.

    Posted via CB10
    southlander and dannykavs like this.
    04-07-14 07:04 PM
  9. lnichols's Avatar
    The other companies also serve huge amounts of content that can be consumed through the devices they make, and their devices are built with that as the primary focus.

    BlackBerry doesn't have an equivalent to iTunes, Google Play, or Amazon's massive media and retail empire.

    BlackBerry's focus has always been communication and productivity, in stark contrast to the others.
    Samsung has zero content. They make devices to consume content. Roku makes TV boxes and don't create content. BlackBerry needs to be able to make great communication devices and partner for content. A smartwatch or fitness band requires no content, just functionality and working with an app in a smartphone. A TV box just needs to be able to run apps to access content (Android runtime???) and work with the smartphone (Bridge and Miracast). Amazon Fire TV does access Amazon Prime, but the rest if the box is just apps to access Netflix, Flixster, etc. Sorry but I don't see why BlackBerry can't walk and chew gum at same time.

    Posted via CB10
    southlander and Shadowyugi like this.
    04-07-14 07:12 PM
  10. lnichols's Avatar

    To OP's point, I think we'd all agree that it would be hard for BBRY to spend cash on other ventures, but can BBRY afford not to?
    It will never be a good time to do it. They will never have the market dominance they once had, or beat iOS or Android. But I think it is safe to see that without the pieces available that customers are moving to, that the competition is putting out, that they won't be considered at all. They should be able to do these things on the cheap, the OS is done, the hardware is a Z30 without a screen. Game pad support us in the OS.

    Posted via CB10
    04-07-14 07:18 PM
  11. lnichols's Avatar
    There's no point in putting out something crappy just because it's trendy. First, it could cost you a lot of the product isn't very good (think Storm and Playbook). What makes you think Blackberry would be able to come up with a competitive wearable? Thus far, if it's a Blackberry and it doesn't have a keyboard, then it hasn't been competitive.
    Why does it have to be crappy? I'm not asking them to put out garbage, I'm asking for a competitive product features wise, that inter operates flawlessly with the phones. If they can make a phone work with a QNX car with screens everywhere, they should be able to make a simple set top box and watch that talks to the phone.

    Posted via CB10
    04-07-14 07:23 PM
  12. Zirak's Avatar
    I have to agree. Too many things are passing them by, they need to add a few items to round out the platform. What is a tablet really, a big phone without.. the phone. A TV box should not be a hard thing to develop either, they are already halfway there with the software.

    Sent while driving from my Crackberry.
    Shadowyugi likes this.
    04-07-14 08:38 PM
  13. svelt's Avatar
    BlackBerry does have a couple of current products for audio, mainly BlackBerry Music Gateway - ShopBlackBerry.com and
    BlackBerry Mini White Stereo Speaker - ShopBlackBerry.com

    Both of these products received relatively decent reviews. Maybe BB can carve a small niche for itself in the mobile audio sector?
    04-07-14 08:44 PM
  14. Troy Tiscareno's Avatar
    BB would ineveitably make a wearable that ONLY works with BB phones. Yet there aren't enough BB phone owners to buy them to make such a venture profitable.

    Comparing BB to Samsung: Samsung is a mega-corporation and could easily spend BB's entire net worth on a "let's try it and see" project and simply shrug if it failed.

    Comparing BB to Roku: Roku is a TINY company with very low overhead, so profits that would barely move BB's needle can make a very fine profit for the company.

    Roku is also a leader in their niche, with a well-regarded name and reputation. BB has destroyed its reputation, and its brand-image is extremely damaged.

    If BB only had one or even two big problems to deal with, that would be one thing, but as even Chen admits, problems are EVERYWHERE and he's been running around trying to fix EVERYTHING. BB spent YEARS digging themselves into a HUGE hole, and it's going to take HUGE successes to get them out. The fact that they are so limited on resources doesn't bode well (at least for the handset business).
    ljfong, look_alive and richardat like this.
    04-07-14 08:50 PM
  15. Tre Lawrence's Avatar
    I have to agree. Too many things are passing them by, they need to add a few items to round out the platform. What is a tablet really, a big phone without.. the phone. A TV box should not be a hard thing to develop either, they are already halfway there with the software.

    Sent while driving from my Crackberry.
    Without the ecosystem to support it, I don't know that any tablet foray would be successful, as the runtime is not a good solution for the average customer.

    But what abou well-made health/sports/lifestyle wearables? Cross platform options. The segment is still in its infancy, yes, and BBRY has struggled in hardware, but still... one can dream...
    04-07-14 08:51 PM
  16. Gnomesane's Avatar
    BB would ineveitably make a wearable that ONLY works with BB phones. Yet there aren't enough BB phone owners to buy them to make such a venture profitable.

    Comparing BB to Samsung: Samsung is a mega-corporation and could easily spend BB's entire net worth on a "let's try it and see" project and simply shrug if it failed.

    Comparing BB to Roku: Roku is a TINY company with very low overhead, so profits that would barely move BB's needle can make a very fine profit for the company.

    Roku is also a leader in their niche, with a well-regarded name and reputation. BB has destroyed its reputation, and its brand-image is extremely damaged.

    If BB only had one or even two big problems to deal with, that would be one thing, but as even Chen admits, problems are EVERYWHERE and he's been running around trying to fix EVERYTHING. BB spent YEARS digging themselves into a HUGE hole, and it's going to take HUGE successes to get them out. The fact that they are so limited on resources doesn't bode well (at least for the handset business).
    And you predicted there would be no more BlackBerry phones released after the Z30...
    Toodeurep likes this.
    04-07-14 08:51 PM
  17. Troy Tiscareno's Avatar
    I have to agree. Too many things are passing them by, they need to add a few items to round out the platform. What is a tablet really, a big phone without.. the phone. A TV box should not be a hard thing to develop either, they are already halfway there with the software.
    But a TV box without access to content is worthless, and BB lacks relationships with the studios (which typically take YEARS to build), and they also lack the money to license the content. Google spent 3 years and many billions of dollars just on the US Play Store alone, and is *still* working to expand the content available on GP. You don't just simply write a check and flip a switch.
    bekkay and richardat like this.
    04-07-14 08:53 PM
  18. Gnomesane's Avatar
    But a TV box without access to content is worthless, and BB lacks relationships with the studios (which typically take YEARS to build), and they also lack the money to license the content. Google spent 3 years and many billions of dollars just on the US Play Store alone, and is *still* working to expand the content available on GP. You don't just simply write a check and flip a switch.
    Where's the Samsung TV Box? Curious, no?
    04-07-14 09:01 PM
  19. Gnomesane's Avatar
    But a TV box without access to content is worthless, and BB lacks relationships with the studios (which typically take YEARS to build), and they also lack the money to license the content. Google spent 3 years and many billions of dollars just on the US Play Store alone, and is *still* working to expand the content available on GP. You don't just simply write a check and flip a switch.
    It actually exists:

    Set Top Box | SAMSUNG

    Just funny that it doesn't seem to be a hot item.... And this is Samsung we're talking about, not BlackBerry.
    04-07-14 09:07 PM
  20. Troy Tiscareno's Avatar
    Where's the Samsung TV Box? Curious, no?
    Samsung is busy selling SmartTVs (they're a top TV manufacturer). And given all of the competition, they probably don't feel like they can differentiate enough to enter this market, but that's purely a guess on my part.
    04-07-14 09:09 PM
  21. Gnomesane's Avatar
    Samsung is busy selling SmartTVs (they're a top TV manufacturer). And given all of the competition, they probably don't feel like they can differentiate enough to enter this market, but that's purely a guess on my part.
    Which is probably the same reason BlackBerry didn't go beyond the prototype in the smart TV market, AND exited the tablet market. The margins were too low for a small Canadian company like them.

    Which is probably the same reason that Chen partnered with Foxconn: to achieve economies of scale when it came to handsets.

    The fact of the matter is that Microsoft, Samsung and Apple have enough money in the bank to wear down a competitor like BlackBerry. It has nothing to do with the value of the OS or what features are missing.

    EG: Apple lacks many features, surprisingly enough, in iOS7 next to BlackBerry and Android. And yet they are vastly outselling BlackBerry. Any honest broker in mobile knows this obviously.
    04-07-14 09:15 PM
  22. TheStoryUp's Avatar
    I think Chen has been pretty clear that he wants BlackBerry to get out of manufacturing any hardware. It's a bottleneck of the company, so they are starting to outsource it to the likes of Foxconn.

    There will be a time when BlackBerry doesn't manufacturer hardware at all themselves. They may still design hardware though. It's software and services now.

    Do you know how much it cost in R&D to produce a new smartphone? I remember reading somewhere that it's upwards of $100,000,000. Now it's probably much less if your just improving on a previous device. Also the amount you spend on R&D is not as important as who is doing it. You can spend a lot less if you have the right people.

    Samsung spent $10,000,000,000 this year on R&D of all there products.

    Apple spent about $4,000,000,000




    Zed30
    04-07-14 10:01 PM
  23. early2bed's Avatar
    Sorry but I don't see why BlackBerry can't walk and chew gum at same time.
    Blackberry has fallen and it can't get up. You want it to walk and chewing gum at the same time?

    Sorry, but the set-top box idea is ridiculous. If Blackberry came out with a set-top box, there would be total ridicule in the technology press at yet another set-top box that offers Netflix. If you're going to throw in your set top box with the dozen other ones that are out there you need to have something special to offer. "We felt we needed to make one" simply won't cut it.

    It's pretty well known that neither Apple nor Amazon make any margin off of their $99 set-top-box hardware. They are all going to make money on the content that they can deliver - content that they were able to negotiate the rights to out of market power. Blackberry has no chance, there.
    look_alive and Shadowyugi like this.
    04-07-14 10:02 PM
  24. Skyforever's Avatar
    In such a short period of time Chen has done well, or very well. I believe BlackBerry will continue through Chen to do well. The Jarkata will reveal to which degree the people of Indonesia will flock to and favour the new BlackBerry experience in BB10. We all know this could be very interesting, and could have a very positive impact from sentiments with repercussions moving forward into BlackBerry's future with it's hardware. Repercussions reaching out to the rest of the world with a more positive note. Let's wait and see. I don't believe as does the OP that BlackBerry needs to expend, and be less focused on the hand held devises at this time (if I understand the OP correctly). Strong small steps can also be most productive in the long run. Remaining focused on the here and now by aiming for the most productive results, for the least amount of money spent is important. We don't have to all agree. I'm glad Chen is making the decisions here.
    04-07-14 10:13 PM
  25. collinc93's Avatar
    who says BlackBerry is only focusing on phones? I thought they had a;ready made that pivot....hmmm it seems I missed the memo
    04-07-14 10:21 PM
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