BlackBerry CEO John Chen strikes us as a very smart guy who has made some good moves to give BlackBerry fresh life. The smartest move he’s made might be to emphasize that BlackBerry will not live or die based on smartphone sales and will instead work to offer a wide range of enterprise-centric services that put security front and center. This move is particularly smart because, as ZDNet’s Chris Duckett points out, Kantar Worldpanel has just tossed BlackBerry into its “other” category in its smartphone market share reports alongside such non-powerhouses as Symbian and Firefox OS.
Earlier this year, Kantar found that BlackBerry’s market share had fallen to 0.4% in the United States, to 1.5% in the five biggest European markets and down to 2.8% in the three biggest Latin American markets of Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. In its latest press release, Kantar doesn’t list BlackBerry in the tables alongside iOS, Android and Windows Phone. Instead, it’s part of the dreaded “other” category that is shrinking rapidly while the three major platforms either hold steady or surge ahead.
The question for BlackBerry is whether it can make enough money on the handsets it does sell to make them worth keeping around. The hope is that by focussing on potentially lucrative customers such as government employees and people who work in highly regulated industries that require top-of-the-line security, it can carve out a profitable niche for itself. It had better hope that this plan works, because there doesn’t seem to be any hope for BlackBerry recovering in the consumer market.