Last week BlackBerry revealed its Q1 fiscal results, and the results were a bit disappointing. The company reported a total shipment of 6.8 million smartphones with 2.7 million of those devices running BlackBerry 10. They also reported a revenue of $3.1 billion, a GAAP loss of $84 million, and a subscriber based of 72 million, all down from previous quarters. The results were not what Wall Street had expected and in turn BlackBerry saw its shares plunge 28 percent, its biggest decline in over 10 years.
Can BlackBerry get back on track?
Call it what you want, but the fact is BlackBerry isn't doing as well as it wanted to within the mobile device market. As of right now, the BlackBerry 10 platform just isn't catching on as fast as the company would have liked within the smartphone market. Some analysts go as far to say that BlackBerry's flagship device the BlackBerry Z10, has just about plateaued in regards to its sales. The good news is that there are plenty of consumers that have been hungry for BlackBerry's other powerhouse device the BlackBerry Q10. Sales from these devices are likely to boost those numbers next quarter.
Patience is a virtue, at least that's what BlackBerry's CEO Thorsten Heins thinks. “BlackBerry 10 is still in the early stages of its transition. In fact, we are only five months in to what is the launch of an entirely new mobile computing platform.” This is true, it has only been a few months in to the launch of something completely new, but patience isn't virtue that analysts and investors have.
The problem is how long can BlackBerry go down this declining road with their mobile devices? Will the company ever see the light at the end of the tunnel? Sadly, the answer could be no. While BlackBerry has always prided its self for making rock-solid reliable devices, over the past few years the company keeps coming up short appealing to the vast majority of consumers.
The future of BlackBerry
This may sound like a bold statement to some, but BlackBerry just may do away with its handset portion of the business. Yes, smartphones have been an iconic part of the company's business but at some point a decision has to be made on whether or not it is still worth it financially to keep it around. So what if that happens? What does the company have left to offer? The answer is plenty.
BlackBerry is global powerhouse within the enterprise market and has a wealth of technology services to offer. The future for BlackBerry is mobile computing starting with BlackBerry 10. BlackBerry could implement BlackBerry 10 into just about anything that has the need for an underlying OS. The company has already demonstrated its OTA computing service for automakers. So could we see vehicles powered by BlackBerry 10? Absolutely.
While the automobile industry is great fit for BlackBerry 10, it is not the only area in which the company can do well in. Enter Software as a Service (SaaS). BlackBerry has one of the most secure NOC's on the planet, so why not deliver software from it. BlackBerry could host a number of applications and cloud-based services.
BlackBerry 10 is a robust operating system so why not bring it to the desktop, laptop and even server architectures. Its QNX roots would make it more than desirable within enterprise computing environments. Even a desktop version could be customized to rival some of the current OSes.
Finally, BlackBerry could be more aggressive on the MDM front. MDM is already something that they do well, BES10 is a testament to that. This has been a hot market for the past few years and if BlackBerry can get a grip on it they could see a great amount of success from it.