BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s handset and OS business has little value and will cost $2 billion to exit,  says a report by ACI Research Analyst Edward A. Zabitsky. The analyst noted that they earlier forecasted Windows Phone to become the number three ecosystem, “achieving modest share gains in the process.”BLackBerry

The analyst at ACI Research has started formal coverage on BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) shares and has assigned a Strong Buy rating to the stock.

BBM to benefit BlackBerry investors

The BBM launch for Android and iOS has witnessed rapid downloads clocking in over 30 million within the first week, believe analyst. To clear the backlog, BlackBerry brought new users “onto the network at a rate of approximately 500K per hour.”

Analysts feel that investors will get the advantage of high-end VCs investing into the BBM Inc, which will allow it to give away dividend shares in the BBM Inc. According to Zabitsky, “this would have the added benefit of forcing shorts to cover, as you cannot short shares in a private company.”

BBM Channels to help advertising

Last week, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) stated that BBM Channels will help the company to realize revenue from BBM service as it will offer tailored ads to individuals after scanning their preferences and usage habits.

Andrew Bocking, executive vice-president of BBM, said in an interview with The Morning Edition that the company will take forward its plan to upgrade the service and make it more engaging in a way to give users various reasons to use the service.

Shane Schick, editor-at-large for IT World Canada believes that BBM Channels, a service where the user can send messages to many or to those who are following him or her, is similar to Twitter and Tumblr, and the revenue stream will remain incremental.

Schick, in an interview with The Morning Edition host Craig Norris, said on Monday, “BBM Channels would be expanding that kind of service and making more like something people have used with things like Tumblr or Twitter, where you can send out messages to the world at large or people who want to follow you.”

BBM Channels is currently in the beta testing phase, and as of now it is still unclear when the service will be rolled out fully.

Update: changed the first line from “OS and handsets still carry some hope” to “Blackberry’s handset and OS business has little value and will cost $2 billion to exit.”

In third para: “around 300 million downloads within the first week” to “over 30 million within the first week, believe analyst.”