BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s imminent demise has gone from idle speculation to practically fait accompli in the short time since the company announced it was looking into ‘strategic alternatives’. Matt Hamblen over at Computerworld is the latest to doubt whether a change of ownership could actually turn the company around.
"If BlackBerry goes private or [reorganizes into separate businesses], that's still not going to address how the company restores itself to primary consideration status [with buyers] and it's difficult to see how that happens at this point," says Gartner analyst Bill Menezes said.
BlackBerry market share
Hamblen points out that BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s market share has fallen to its lowest point, now just 2.9 percent, and that it can barely even maintain position in the enterprise market that it once dominated. Android leads the market with 80 percent of new sales, iOS is next with 13.2 percent (not bad for what is essentially a luxury brand), followed by the still struggling Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone at 3.7 percent, leaving BlackBerry in a dwindling fourth.
The problem is that companies now have to take the possibility of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) going belly up into consideration when buying phones for their employees. Even if they have a preference for BlackBerry’s strong security, the risk that their phones may not be supported in the near future, requiring another round of spending, will be enough to push many IT departments towards other options.
Bill Menezes on BlackBerry market shares
"Every [negative] piece of public information that comes out saps the BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) brand if you are a large company or already are on the fence deciding whether to continue with BlackBerry, especially if Windows Phone is a bigger share and employees are saying they really want a Galaxy or an iPhone," says Menezes.
The company has plenty of attractive assets including the QNX operating system that powers BB10, plenty of patents, and the messaging service that once inspired the nickname ‘crackberry’. Unfortunately none of these attractive assets are phones, and a series of disappointing releases has forced people to acknowledge that the company really might not be able to rebound.
It’s starting to look less likely that BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) will find someone willing to take a hit while turning the company around, and more likely that it will simply be sold for parts.