BlackBerry has been looking a lot livelier lately, thanks in no small part to the 200,000 preorders the company reported for its BlackBerry Passport smartphone. While we offered a cautiously optimistic take on BlackBerry’s strategy, however The Monday Note’s Jean-Louis Gassée isn’t having any of it — in fact, he still thinks that BlackBerry CEO John Chen will have no choice but to sell the company off for parts somewhere down the line.
Why does Gassée think that BlackBerry has no chance to regain its footing and become a force in the mobile world again? Mostly because the company’s smartphone strategy is to cater almost exclusively to its core base of diehard fans — and there just aren’t enough of them anymore to really move the needle. Gassée also doesn’t think BlackBerry’s enterprise business is a sure bet either, especially when you consider IBM’s recent mobility partnership with Apple.
“Because BlackBerry’s future is seen as uncertain, corporate customers who once used BlackBerry’s communication, security, and fleet management services continue to abandon their old supplier and turn to the likes of IBM and Good Technology,” he writes. “The company isn’t in danger of a sudden financial death: Chen has more than $3B in cash at his disposal and the company burns about $35M of it every quarter. Blackberry’s current stock price says the company is worth about $5B, $2B more than its cash position. Therefore, Chen’s endgame is to sell the company, either whole or, more likely, in parts (IP portfolio, QNX OS…) for more than $2B net of cash.”
Of course, people have been predicting BlackBerry’s doom for a long time and the company has somehow found a way to keep itself afloat even as it’s lost huge amounts of money and market share. The low point for BlackBerry came when it tried and failed to find a buyer in the summer of 2013 and things have been looking better since then, although obviously the company is still in a tenuous situation.
Check out Gassée’s full analysis by clicking the source link below.