Earlier this week, there was a “report” published which basically suggested that BlackBerry phones sales had dried up in the UK and that the “expert” opinion was that BlackBerry were given a year to live, presumably as a smartphone maker.
Working in the b2b and corporate and enterprise sphere, this led to Rapid being inundated with questions from many of our enterprise clients regarding BlackBerry smartphones and the future of BlackBerry smartphones.
Now I’m not going to tell you that BlackBerry smartphones are selling in the trillions as the quarterly figures speak for themselves. However, reading articles like the above-mentioned is a bit like watching the intro to a movie and not bothering to watch the actual movie. You simply don’t get the full picture! Unfortunately, in this case, the articles above are the movie intro, totally skipping the movies contents, and not giving readers the full picture.
When it comes to BlackBerry smartphones, the full picture is more revealing and explains the situation in better detail. So grab your popcorn, put your phones on silent and lets take a look at the overall picture!
While there is currently a lot of negativity surrounding BlackBerry in the media, what is universally undisputed is BlackBerry’s pedigree in security. However, the company is more than just about security, or smartphones these days – and that includes their own branded smartphones. BlackBerry are slowly but surely transforming themselves into a first class software first company.
I’m not going to stray into all the other areas where BlackBerry are successfully enhancing their services. For the sake of clarity, let’s just stick to the mobile side of things. With BlackBerry’s Good Secure EMM suite users can easily manage users, apps, devices, business content, policies and data costs. Meanwhile, BES12, included in Good Secure EMM Suites, supports multiple ownership models on devices running iOS, Android, Samsung KNOX, Android for Work, Windows, Windows Phone, MacOS X and BlackBerry.
And there is the crux of the matter. BlackBerry is now a true cross-platform company. Android users are BlackBerry users! iOS users are BlackBerry users! Windows users are BlackBerry users!
If I go back about a year ago, enterprise companies like ourselves were walking into clients (and potential clients) and we only had BlackBerry smartphones to offer clients interested in BES, etc. That has all changed. Nowadays, we can walk into clients and we can put them on BlackBerry Enterprise services like BES and Good Technology with smartphones that they currently have, not necessarily BlackBerry’s. More importantly, when the client needs to purchase new smartphones we can sell them not only BlackBerry smartphones but iPhones and Android phones.
That is a huge deal and one that clients are loving nowadays. For example, if a client has 250 iPhones in their business because they like the OS and are entrenched in the Apple ecosystem, that’s great. We can still get those iPhones onto BlackBerry’s secure services, letting them use their iPhones with even more security. And if that client wants to purchase another 250 iPhones, then we can sell them to them and get them onto BlackBerry’s secure services.
The most important fact here is that BlackBerry are more than happy with that!
While many in the media still concentrate on BlackBerry smartphone sales declining, they are not taking into account the big picture – the fact that BlackBerry are cross-platform and users can use their iPhones and their Android smartphones, with the added security that BlackBerry provides.
In the above scenario, which is happening frequently, BlackBerry get a new enterprise customer with 500 new recurring licenses sold, all without selling a phone. You could argue that BlackBerry’s successful transition in other areas is contributing to the lack of BlackBerry smartphone sales, simply because they no longer require to sell as many, and that is not a negative thing.
The irony here is that BlackBerry are reaching a position where they don’t necessarily need to produce smartphones. Their successful transition to cross-platform means they can handle other operating systems and provide enhanced security for those other platforms.
At the top end of the range BlackBerry are still selling the Passport for those who want BB10 and the BlackBerry Priv for those who prefer a secure Android. They also have plans to release another two android smartphones. Currently, there are no plans for BlackBerry to stop producing smartphones but if their successful cross-platform transition continues with their mobility and software services, they may not need to.
What is vital to note is that BlackBerry’s smartphones sales are no longer the be-all and end-all of the companies financials. The company re-structuring is successfully working in a way that they no longer rely on huge quantities of smartphones sales in order to be successful. Just because they are not selling smartphones in the quantities they used to does not mean the company is dead or dying.
The real picture is a completely different picture! A picture of a company in the process of a successful transition that no longer requires to sell their own smartphones in huge quantities to be successful.