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BlackBerry may now be stuck in a no-win situation

Published Jul 16th, 2013 11:00AM EDT
BlackBerry Future Prospects Analysis

With BlackBerry’s comeback momentum seemingly stalled, many analysts have started coming up with ideas for how the company can survive if its current plan to take on iOS and Android with BlackBerry 10 falls apart. Barron’s points us to a new research note from Nomura Equity Research analyst Stuart Jeffrey, who says that the company may have painted itself into an unprofitable corner because its longtime business model simply doesn’t give it the flexibility to remake itself. In particular, he says that BlackBerry’s current market share will never be enough to attract enough app developers and, unlike Microsoft, the company doesn’t have the resources to simply pay off developers en masse to bring over their apps.

He also doesn’t think that the company would have much success transitioning from being a hardware company into an enterprise security software and services company because “we don’t know if they can make their services work properly on the iPhone” and because “they face competition for mobile device management from the likes of Good Technology and Mobile Iron,” which already got a head start on BlackBerry when it comes to employing mobile device management across multiple platforms.

And finally, Jeffrey also sees the rise of ultra-cheap Android phones as bad news for BlackBerry in emerging markets in the Middle East and Africa that have helped keep the company afloat even as its market share has crashed in the United States and other mature markets.

In other words, BlackBerry now needs to hope that sales of BlackBerry 10 devices start to pick up in a big way because its other alternatives simply aren’t very attractive.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.