BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) has failed miserably in 2013, despite launching the all-touch smartphones based on the BB 10 platform at the beginning of the year. Lack of popularity among the users forced the Canadian company to take a charge of up to $960 million for unsold Z10 inventory, and lower the head count by as much as 40%.
With unsettling balance sheet, rumors of the company being up for sale started gaining ground. There was news that BlackBerry was receiving interest from a number of suitors including its largest shareholder Fairfax Financial Holdings, Lenovo, Cerberus Capital Management and co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin.
Change in CEO, change in strategy
Come 2014, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) still remains a public company, but CEO Thornsten Heinz has been replaced by former Sybase CEO John Chen. There has also been a change of strategy for BlackBerry with the company now focusing on its core strength among enterprises and governments.
Chen told CNBC that his first priority “was to focus on our core business drivers, so we had to move to a new operating unit structure: Enterprise Services, Messaging, QNX Embedded business and the Devices business.” The CEO told that the company is still the leader in the enterprise segment backed by the BlackBerry’s reputation for security.
Elaborating on BlackBerry’s strategy, Jeff Holleran, Research In Motion’s senior director of enterprise product management, told FierceMobileIT that they are focusing on enterprise, which is their core business. Within this segment, BlackBerry is targeting large and regulated industries, such as financial and healthcare companies and government agencies. The executive claimed that BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) is able to meet all the needs of its enterprise users, which is not possible for any other mobile platform.
BlackBerry not neglecting non-regulated industries
According to Holleran, though the company is focusing on the enterprise, it is not neglecting non-regulated industries. BlackBerry still has a platform that looks after the needs of the end users, and a “focus area will be to continue to manage all of these different devices,” says Holleran.
To capture the non-BlackBerry devices, the company launched a product called Secure Work Space, which is a part of its BES 10 platform. The product, similar to BlackBerry Balance product for BlackBerry devices, provides a secure corporate work space along with a non-secure personal work space.
The present trend indicates that BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) would continue to focus on go-to mobility solutions for enterprises in the regulated industries. The shift, though impressive, may restrict the Canadian firm to a niche segment making it difficult for the company to make a comeback in the widespread consumer market.