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BlackBerry downfall

August 15, 2013

There’s no surprise in the announcement of the company (BlackBerry), no matter what sugar-coated words they use such as “strategic alternatives”, it means just one thing: they don’t believe in the company itself and in the leadership of its execs.

This is what Tim Cook means when he said about Apple back then when he replaced Steve Jobs as CEO, that Apple has loyal users and keep supporting the company even at its bleakest hours. Do BlackBerry have such loyal users of its own? Yes of course, but that’s not enough because the board members also have to put their faith in the company, like Apple boards did.

And if it comes to lead a company, especially a troubled one like Apple in the past, there’s only one person everyone truly trust who can do it: the late Steve Jobs. The Apple boards had one set of mind when they put Steve back to the CEO seat, that is to just trust Steve. Do BlackBerry boards have faith in their CEO? Judging from the official announcement, they don’t. But even Tim Cook has to prove to everyone that he’s doing the right moves for Apple, hopefully soon.

BlackBerry tried to win the heart of its loyal supporter: business users, with the Z10 and Q10, it worked but not for other users who already chose iOS and Android phones. And worse, BlackBerry failed to lure new users who are looking to buy their first phone. Basically the BlackBerry is stuck with the same problem Apple is currently facing; they are viewed as boring because there’s no more wow factor in their new products. We can’t blame them, in the mobile market it’s a fierce competition to innovate year after year otherwise everyone is calling you boring.

It’s a different story for Apple, it always have new things under its sleeve. And I’m not entirely saying BlackBerry is boring since it sticks with its niche; the famous physical keyboard, BlackBerry Messenger, and secure email. But that’s not how the market works, again it’s a competition, and the stock market react to how you race against the others. With no wow factors in BlackBerry’s upcoming new products, the analysts at stock market are screaming it is doomed. That’s what happened with Apple, but Apple prevail and soon it has to come up with new product (along with wow factor) or it’s going to to be the same song again.

Can BlackBerry pull the same trick? It’s a slim chance, but I believe it can. As long as the BlackBerry execs can convince the investors and stock market that it’s okay to trade at $10 a share right now, because it’s a stable business they’re having and things will get better once they’re not being bothered worrying about market share value anymore.

BlackBerry need to make everyone to trust the company again, and it takes a strong leadership. Unfortunately, there’s none in the company right now. If its boards can’t figure this out, it will be the end for BlackBerry.

Oh, and more more thing. I think it’s a big mistake for BlackBerry to port their (once) famous Messenger to iOS and Android, it’s one of three important features to own a BlackBerry, and the company is throwing it out of the window for the sake of market share value.

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