1BlackBerry’s Comeback Attempt: How It Plans to Turn Itself Around
2BlackBerry Is Reminding People That It Still Matters
One of the core aspects of BlackBerry’s revival attempt is its plan to make people believe that it’s still relevant. BlackBerry has spent the last year promoting its business, showcasing its products and reminding people that it’s still around. The attempts didn’t seem to make a dent in the mobile space, but they effectively conveyed to corporate customers who still rely on its platforms that the company is alive and ready to do business.
3Don’t Underestimate Its Patent Portfolio
It’s often overlooked, but at any time BlackBerry can use its massive patent portfolio for a cash infusion. BlackBerry has patents dating back several years that are still relevant in today’s mobile market. As Nokia has shown through its own licensing initiatives, a strong patent portfolio is exceedingly helpful for companies aiming to improve royalties (and thus, revenue).
4The Enterprise Still Matters
BlackBerry has made the smart move to focus on the enterprise. The fact is, the consumer market doesn’t care about BlackBerry and likely never will again. The only way to be successful, therefore, is to find the niches within the corporate world that still seek the kinds of solutions BlackBerry offers. BlackBerry is trying to make that move. Will it be successful? In the coming years, BlackBerry must expand its presence in the enterprise if it is ever to post a profit again.
5Stubbornly Stick to Physical Keys
Following that, there is still a contingent of people around the globe who want physical keys rather than virtual keyboards. Granted, that number is rather small, but if BlackBerry can be their go-to provider, it allows the company to take hold of an important niche. Upon doing so, it can sell those customers on its software solutions, where it will ultimately make the biggest impact.
6An Interesting Take on Screen Design
There’s no doubt that BlackBerry wants to differentiate itself in every way possible. Chief among those ways is to deliver square screens instead of the traditional, rectangular designs found in other devices. Although it’s unlikely that square screens will ultimately change the face of mobile, it’s another way for BlackBerry to stand out and get people talking about the company and its solutions.
7BlackBerry Still Cares About Operating Systems
BlackBerry has committed to its operating system development. Granted, the company is getting into the Android ecosystem, but BlackBerry has consistently said that building its own operating system matters. BlackBerry 10 is an entrée of sorts to the company’s enterprise solutions, BBM and more. Ditching its mobile operating system to follow the lead of so many other vendors seems to fly in the face of its desire to be distinct in a crowded market.
8BBM: A Key Component in Success?
BBM is a surprisingly popular mobile-messaging platform that has nearly 200 million users. Granted, that number is far below the hundreds of millions more who use WhatsApp, WeChat, Kik or Facebook Messenger, but it’s a sign that users aren’t so willing to flee BlackBerry just yet. It’s also another way the company can infiltrate certain market segments and sell them on its other solutions.
9Acknowledging Android, iOS for Software Solutions
One of the smartest moves BlackBerry has made over the last few years has been to acknowledge that while it’s competing against Android and iOS, it still needs those platforms to succeed. So, Android and iOS users can now benefit from BES, for example. The company has also enlisted Amazon’s help to allow Android apps running in that marketplace onto BlackBerry’s mobile operating system. Acknowledging the importance of Android and iOS in its future is a move in the right direction for BlackBerry.
10A Move to the Internet of Things?
BlackBerry is one of the many companies in the technology industry hoping to make an impact in the Internet of things (IoT). The company has its own IoT platform and says that it can deliver services across the automotive and asset tracking verticals. IoT is expected to be the next big thing in tech. Why shouldn’t BlackBerry try to reinvent itself and be a player there?
11Bring On Android
In a move that may startle old-time BlackBerry users, the company has confirmed that it’ll be delivering an Android-based smartphone this fall. Dubbed the Priv, the smartphone will focus on the company’s “ultimate mission [of] protecting your privacy.” BlackBerry isn’t announcing details on Priv just yet—it called its early leak to the public “extraordinary”—but the decision to deliver an Android phone suggests it’s moving in a new direction that focuses on securing popular operating systems and making them far more private than they are now. We’ll have to see how that works out.