Blackberry is in deep trouble after a make-or-break quarter that saw poor sales of its much-hyped smartphone, Z10. It is pertinent to ask two questions: 1) What went wrong? 2). What can it do?
BlackBerry tried to look too cool too late. Long after iPhone set the market afire with its new touchscreen smartphone as a generic category, much after Samsung rode on the Android wave to position itself with an Asian surge, and quite after Nokia and Microsoft launched a partnership to launch their Lumia series, BlackBerry arrived on the scene as a thunder-stealer.
It appeared like a “me-too” even if it was not.
Now, I think BlackBerry’s exclusive image through a combination of devices and an encrypted service made it a corporate affair. That slot is under attack because of the BYOD (bring your own device) culture in which BlackBerry is losing its originality.
Now, Microsoft and Nokia ganged up for what I call MicroKia, which seems to be holding out well for a future. Now, is there something similar BlackBerry can do?
I would look at Dell, which is struggling as it contemplates a controversial buyout plan by founder Michael Dell.
Dell has a strong position among small businesses and is an emerging force in cloud computing. BlackBerry has historically been strong with large enterprises and is making them.
Can they create what I call a “DellBerry” to rescue each other with a new story to tell investors? I would think such audacious thoughts may be good for both.