BlackBerry death watch begins ticking after touch screen fiasco

By , Jul 1, 2013

blackberry

I’m not sure which is worse, BlackBerry described as the smartphone equivalent of MySpace or the Canadian company being verbally parted-out like a 1991 Yugo. Both followed Friday’s 28 percent slide in BlackBerry stock prices after the company missed Wall Street expectations for sales of the Z10 handset.

Introduced in January, the touch-screen device was supposed to get BlackBerry into a game so far dominated by the iPhone and Android. Instead, the BlackBerry deathwatch began ticking as Wall Street investors slash expectations, the company itself stops talking about declining subscribers, and former Apple CEO John Scully suggests the smartphone maker stop making phones…

While some analysts toyed with the intricacies of Venezuelan monetary policy for why the Waterloo, Ontario firm announced $3.07 billion in revenue for the last quarter and 25 percent few sales than expected, other analysts were more blunt.

“We got a really good look at the Z10 demand and it’s a dud by any metric,” analyst Brian Blair of Wedge Partners told Bloomberg.

“The Z10 is central to BlackBerry’s attempt to branch out beyond phones boasting a physical qwerty keyboard,” the news service explains. While Blair believes the Z10 will still find favor with consumers wanting a smartphone keyboard, it may be a case of ‘who cares?’

The problem is without a successful touch screen model, developers won’t write for the platform, instead opting to focus on the iPhone or Android. Without the latest apps, consumers won’t buy the smartphone – and the vicious cycle repeats.

BlackBerry Z10 (siide, angled 001)

In other words, the BlackBerry is at risk of falling off the radar, much as MySpace did when Facebook exploded on the scene.

What to do in such a downward spiral?

First decision: no news is good news.

After announcing its subscriber numbers fell to 72 million during the last quarter, from 76 million and 79 million during the two preceding periods, BlackBerry told journalists Friday not to expect any future updates.

Secondly, get fans like Scully – who admits to typing “pages and pages” on his new BlackBerry – to talk up the company.

But maybe not.

This is what the 1983-1993 Apple CEO said about salvaging BlackBerry:

The clock is running out on them. They can come back if they drop hardware and focus on secure messaging.

Indeed, it was recently reported BlackBerry’s messaging system was coming to iOS.

BlackBerry Messenger coming to iOS (teaser 002)

Speaking of a salvage operation, BlackBerry’s time for takeovers may have already come and gone.

While BlackBerry stock briefly rose in January on speculation Lenovo Group might purchase the ailing handset maker, that vanished. Even at $8 per share, BlackBerry had no interested buyers.

Even in a race with also-ran Microsoft, BlackBerry lost, forced into fourth position in smartphone market share, IDC recently announced.

All that’s left is the ticking of the BlackBerry deathwatch and looking back at memories.

Remember 2008: the iPhone had just been released and Apple’s new device had only 8 percent of the market with some upstart named Android registering a tepid 1.28 percent of smartphone sales.

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  • Boss

    A lot of kids sold their Blackberry cause it don’t have Instagram

    • Akshay Waitforit Doiphode

      kids? , maybe hipsters

      • Razin Yuzer

        most kids want to be hipsters.. Thats still a demographic.. Lots of kids turn to smartphone that has Instagram. thats profit.

  • ConduciveMammal

    I’ve said it for years. It’s only a matter of time until BlackBerry’s no longer remembered

    • Jack Wong

      I remember they keep trying and trying every year….

      Palm is smart.

    • Blackberry

      *sniff* aw come on you hurt my feelings

  • Maxim∑

    I applaud them for continuing to try but I think its over for blackberry

  • Gorgonphone

    black berry has been dead for about 3 years already ..

    • http://www.blackberry.com/ Blackberry

      Blackberry… that’s a delicious fruit nothing else

      • http://www.blackberry.com/ Blackberry

        Apple too

      • Gorgonphone

        lol funny guy

      • Blackberry

        Yeahh, apple is only a fruit but blackberry is a great company.

      • Gorgonphone

        “Yeahh, apple is only a fruit but blackberry WAS a great company.” FIXED

      • Raul Henriquez

        sure in the year 2003

    • GuyBey0ndC00L

      They should just sell the company

    • Raul Henriquez

      6 years

  • Gorgonphone

    if 0apple keeps goofing up and making crappie decisions soon they will be the next blackberry

    • Danuel Carr

      Are you crazy? Apple has so much more going for it than Blackberry, there’s no comparison. It has a much larger and more loyal fan base, a host of other products that are at the top of their market and easily beat the competition in terms of quality, user experience, and reputation, and let’s not forget that the ability to jailbreak means that the possibilities for IOS are literally endless. There is no way in hell Apple is going to end up like Blackberry.

      • Gorgonphone

        ii know apple is far from black berry but they are loosing ground to android really fast now that steve is gone

      • Raul Henriquez

        Android is an OS lol

      • Eric 420

        Android can suck it.

    • http://klikkit.co.uk/ Jake – Klikkit

      I like you generally, but this is a really stupid comment

      • Gorgonphone

        i have no opinion of you personally at all… but the fact is that since Steve died apple has been making decisions that are not in lone with what made apples iPhones and ipads such a big success.. FACT

      • felixtaf

        Thats y they are selling more devices every year than the last!!! Apple is losing to android because Android as a whole is from multiple manufacturers with multiple products ranging from 100-700$! But Apple never lose to a single manufacturer in sales record. So your FACT has no point!

      • Gorgonphone

        we all know cook is no steve and has made several bad choices… steves legacy for the company is so strong that loyalists will buy anything with an apple logo but eventually that will wear off..

      • Frozen Bee .GFKS

        sad true

      • Eric 420

        How do you know what Steve has had a part in it or not? As far as we know, we know Apple works on future devices all the time, so whos to say that Steve did not have anything to do with the current devices?? You dont know personally, so please just stop speculating.

      • Gorgonphone

        I dont speculate …. Steve would have never fired forestal or promited ive FACT…

      • http://klikkit.co.uk/ Jake – Klikkit

        when are people going to stop blaming Steve’s death?

        Nothing was changing when he was alive, the phones were still inferior to Android devices in hardware regards, and still had incremental updates every generation..

        Nothing has changed whatsoever

      • Gorgonphone

        Dude once he got really sick the power grabstarted and he was no longer in total control… Steve is why we have iphones and ipads

      • Kurt

        I agree with most of what you have been saying, but just thought i mention, that Steve was against, an iphone and an ipad. Only after having people keep coming up to him about it, did he warm up to the idea. Other than that, I agree with you.

      • Gorgonphone

        Yes that is true but once he decided to do it he made sure it was done right and any updates or changes had to be done right …

        Steve knew that ive is one of the best hardware designers on earth BUT steve also knew that ive is not a UI designer at all which is while ive was never promoted under steve …

      • Kurt

        I’m not a fan of Ive as his products are the same year after year. I like change. Overall I like the direction of iOS 7, but it shows he sucks as being a leader. How can you get some many apps and app icons to look so different. Icon wise, it could have all been made in one day. But yes, he is a good designer and has been very influential.

      • Gorgonphone

        Ive botched ios7

      • Raul Henriquez

        opinion

    • http://www.blackberry.com/ Bobby McBobson

      It’s true that nothing is forever. Android is a very good company now, but I admit Apple is still on top. But every company will have to go through what blackberry is goin thru.

      • Eric 420

        Android is not a company. Its an OS. Google, is the the company who created and owns Android. Get ur terms straight.

      • Gorgonphone

        Exactly and no one ever sees it coming

    • Damian W

      some predictions indicate Apple might start falling after 2015 or so

      • Kurt

        They fell in some markets already and hard. Here they started selling the iphone for free in DECEMBER! and a few months later started calling up their customers with iPhones to see if they will upgrade for free. I got a call and then another call a few months after that. They are desperate to get rid of the iphone here. It was the hottest phone from 3gs to 4s…now, its all about the Note and GS

      • Gorgonphone

        As soon as they botch the iphone 6 … Ios 7 is already something the steve would never have released

  • http://www.eraser.org B. Braun

    Meanwhile… what happend to the playbook???

    • Jack Wong

      LOL I totally forgot that… PLAY-BOOK lol

      • http://www.eraser.org B. Braun

        “We were looking at solutions that could move the BlackBerry 10 experience to Playbook, but unfortunately, I’m not satisfied with the level of performance and user experience and I made the difficult decision to stop these efforts and focus on our core hardware portfolio,” said Mr. Heins. (WallStreetYournal)

  • Patrick

    good, that’s one company out of the monopoly, and apple is gonna own that game

  • http://www.blackberry.com/ Blackberry

    Aw, come on guys, it’s not over yet!

    • Blackberry

      Yeah! That’s the spirit!

  • Blackberry

    Aw come on guys it’s not over! We won’t give up!

    • Matthew

      It’s over Blackberry.

      • Blackberry

        Okay. I admit it. It’s kind of over. Apple wins. Good-bye.

  • Matthew

    Bye Blackberry!

    • http://www.blackberry.com/ Bobby McBobson

      They’re like 6 years behind everyone else

      • Boss

        6 years to late they might as well give up or create the next best phone like Apple did and now most phones are touch screen who knows whats next

  • Carlos Franklin

    I can remember when apple was dead in the water not long ago…then there was the iPod who saved the day.
    Nothing is dead until is dead!!
    By the way, I’m not a blackberry fan, never had one, but I will give credit to them for trying.
    I’m a Samsung/Apple fan, like both but currently went from a 4 to a note II and so far I don’t miss the iphone……not yet anyway. I may go back once they come up with a bigger screen…if apple ever does.

    • Kurt

      Looking forward to making the switch to the Note 3 this sept.

      • Dan

        yes!

      • Kurt

        Looks like you might get your wish. Seems it might be 5.99 inches without enlarging the phone. If the leaked photos are real, the ones that came out a few days ago that is. I’d go for a larger screen. I really love the way a phone looks with no bezel. It’s really modern looking

    • Gorgonphone

      Right true but this time their day will not be saved unless they find and trust another steve type thinker to lead them and stop ive from making ugly UIs

      • Carlos Franklin

        Well lets hope they do, cause competition is good for everyone’s sake, it helps keep costs down and insures companies do a better job of producing high quality hardware/os with more goodies.

  • homer31

    “I don’t understand, I love my Z10, it is so cool,” said no one.

    • http://www.blackberry.com/ Bobby McBobson

      Haha true

    • Damian W

      tons of reviewers said it ….

      • Kurt

        Its a beautiful phone. The OS looks great. But like webOS, no apps=death :( I think Windows Phone will take over in a few years. They’re getting close to 300,000 apps. they still lack some great apps, as does Android, but if windows 8 catches on (first app prices need to fall) then it will be that much more of a help for the phone. Or I could be wrong :P

      • Gorgonphone

        Its too little. To late

      • Gorgonphone

        yeah they posted it from their iphones..lol

  • ProfessorX1®

    Dear Blackberry, can you Z10 these nuts?

  • Damian W

    If they made the price much much lower than iPhone everyone would start buying their phones.

  • Loopthree

    They should switch their OS to Android if they want to survive.

    • Raul Henriquez

      good idea

    • Gorgonphone

      um no we dont need even more BS android devices flooding the market..

  • mhchehade

    When dafuq bbm for ios and android is in business?

  • Eric 420

    The only thing I miss about my Blackberry that I had like 5 years ago is the battery life. It would last for like 3 days on a full charge. Other than that. iPhone ftw!

    • Gorgonphone

      yeah thats cause it didnt do much at all.. had a crappy screen and was slow as hell

  • D.

    My friend is currently using one. I’m actually upset that it’s losing ground. Well, lost ground. It’s a great phone. And to be honest, far better than Android. The UI is simple and effective.

    • Pitchy

      The great thing about Android is you can change the UI. There are lots of different launchers out there.

      • Gorgonphone

        still suuucks

      • Pitchy

        yes, having the ability to change and customize your device really sucks.

      • Gorgonphone

        Yeah if its an android phone

      • Pitchy

        oh, so you are one of those brainwashed Apple sheep who think only Apple can make a great product and everything else sucks. way to think different there sparky.

      • Gorgonphone

        Far from it ! I actually hate the ugly look of IOS7 and am very vocal when it comes to criticizing apple. I am a fan only of high quality electronics …. Android is bs

      • Pitchy

        Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man. ;)

        We have a Nexus 7 and a Galaxy Note 10.1 for tablets. I love them. Although I find myself using our daughter’s Nexus 7 far more than the 10.1… I don’t miss my iPad at all with the exception of Garage Band. The Nexus 7 is a quick little tablet. Games play great. It’s light and feels great in my hand and Android 4.2.2 runs great. I like the idea of widgets and being able to customize things more than just changing wallpaper.

        Besides, if Android was so shitty as you proclaim. It wouldn’t be as popular as it is and Apple wouldn’t be stealing ideas from it’s ecosystem.

      • Gorgonphone

        Android tablets are no match for the ipad but if you are happy with yours thats what matters

      • D.

        The whole “changing the UI” thing is such a poor excuse. I’ve owned a GS3 and used many launchers. It was buggy, lagged, the UI was shocking. I played with the Z10 for 5mins and was really impressed with its simplicity factor. It was fluid.

        In saying that, the Liquid Smooth ROM was actually really good on GS3.

      • Pitchy

        Paranoid Android is not a bad rom either. Getting a stock Google rom is even better… everything runs nice when you don’t have all of that carrier / manufacturer bloatware.

    • Gorgonphone

      yeah android is worse than web os..

  • Joshua Catimpo

    If only apple could team up with either apple or samsung

    • Jeff

      yes, i think apple should definitely team up with apple… wow.

      • Gorgonphone

        nah it would be much better if apple teamed up with apple then got some help from apple too..

      • D.

        And then competed with Apple.

  • Adham

    It isn’t that the Z10 isn’t great. It has some things that are superior over iPhone and Android. It just is not catching on, like what happened with WebOS. Unfortunately Blackberry’s death is just nearing.