BlackBerry phones don’t have to be a niche business says BlackBerry Mobile exec

0 37,617

Speaking to journalists at a briefing ahead of Mobile World Congress 2018, Francois Mahieu, the chief commercial officer of BlackBerry Mobile, said he hopes to capture 3 percent to 5 percent of the market for premium phones in the next few years.

Mahieu said,

“It doesn’t have to be a niche business,” he said.  “I would not be satisfied with market share in premium (phones) that is sub-1 percent forever.”

However, that’s exactly where it is. Neil Shah, an analyst at Counterpoint Research, estimates that BlackBerry sold just 170,000 phones in the fourth quarter.

With the total market for premium phones (defined as above $400) estimated at 320 million units last year, Shah said BlackBerry Mobile would have to sell at least 10 million units a year, or 2 to 3 million per quarter.

“That looks difficult for now,” he said.

“We are not in a race for volume. We understand it takes time to rebuild an operation, and we understand BlackBerry is not for everyone.

“We will be firmly staying in a premium category, innovating around keyboards, materials and areas to show people we’re here to stay. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

It’s easy to see why Shah thinks it looks difficult. IDC’s Francisco Jeronimo also has a number for shipped BlackBerry devices during 2017.

According to Jeronimo, BlackBerry devices — all of them, not just the KeyOne — achieved a small 850,000 shipments in all of last year.

By comparison HMD Global managed to sell 4.4 million Nokia-branded phones in just the fourth quarter of the year.

Mahieu noted that the business faced skepticism during last year’s launch and that the doubters remain and that BlackBerry Mobile executives acknowledge that they were slow with the roll-out the first time around.

BlackBerry’s executives made the point that they’ve enjoyed a strong response in China because their phone stands out. In a land of iPhone copycats, a chunkier phone with a physical keyboard and a different user interface is differentiated by default.

BlackBerry phones may get a boost now that Google has endorsed it as part of its Android Enterprise Recommended and Mahieu said this what a lot of corporate customers are looking for.

However, raising public perception may be difficult.  As an example, at last years MWC 2017 BlackBerry Mobile launched the KEYone.  At this years event, where other manufacturers are launching and unveiling new devices, I was stunned to see BlackBerry Mobile are running a promotion for the KEYone Silver.

The “promotional” price is £459 with a free flipcase and free shipping thrown in and anybody wanting this, here in Europe, can go to here and insert the code MWC2018-EU. The “promotion” lasts until 16th March.

 

This site uses cookies, tokens, and other third party scripts to recognize visitors of our sites and services, remember your settings and privacy choices, and - depending on your settings and privacy choices - enable us and some key partners to collect information about you so that we can improve our services and deliver relevant ads.

 

By continuing to use our site or clicking Agree, you agree that Rapid Mobile and our key partners may collect data and use cookies for personalized ads and other purposes, as described more fully in our privacy policy.

 

You can change your settings at any time by clicking Privacy Settings or by visiting our Privacy Centre for more detailed information.

Cookie Services

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and enable essential services and functonality, including identify verification, service continuity and site security. Opt out is not availabe.

In order to use this website we use the following technically required cookies
  • wordpress_test_cookie
  • wordpress_logged_in_
  • wordpress_sec

For perfomance reasons we use Cloudflare as a CDN network. This saves a cookie "__cfduid" to apply security settings on a per-client basis. This cookie is strictly necessary for Cloudflare's security features and cannot be turned off.
  • __cfduid

We use WooCommerce as a shopping system. For cart and order processing 2 cookies will be stored. This cookies are strictly necessary and can not be turned off.
  • woocommerce_cart_hash
  • woocommerce_items_in_cart

Decline all Services
Accept all Services