BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) is trying every trick up its sleeves to revive from its lows, such as awarding a $550 reward for customers exchanging their iPhones for a BlackBerry Passport. However, analysts have mixed responses about the company’s latest moves.
BlackBerry needs to be best, not biggest
Ari Zoldan from Quantum Networks and Chris Ciaccia, technology editor at The Street.com, went on CNBC to discuss competition in the smartphone market. Ciaccia said that the Waterloo, Ontario-based company is not going to make a comeback, “where it actually really materially matters to either Apple or the Android ecosystem.” The expert noted that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is expected to ship more than 70 million iPhones in the December quarter, and “Blackberry would be ecstatic if it sold 7 million, it’s a no contest.”
Zoldan, however, did not agree with Ciaccia, saying that in the smartphone market, the company does not need to be the biggest, but rather, the best, and also focus on a vertical like enterprise or security.
On being asked if the turnaround makes BlackBerry worth investing in, Ciaccia said all the negative factors in 2014 have already been discounted in BlackBerry’s stock price. The expert added that they are not expecting any sort of meaningful gain in the stock. According to Ciaccia, 2 million units of the Passport “is a nice little niche number” but is not significant enough to drive the stock upward in the rest of 2014 and 2015.
Success of iPhone trade-in program doubtful
A few days ago, BlackBerry announced a trade-in program starting next month and running until Feb. 13 in Canada and the United States. Customers trading in their iPhone could get up to $400 cash back, along with a $150 gift card. It’s the first instance in which the Canadian firm has openly come out to fight against Apple. On the recent iPhone trade-up program, Ciaccia said that customers will not abandon Apple or the Android ecosystem just because BlackBerry is rewarding them $550.
The Canadian smartphone maker reported a narrower loss in the latest quarter and is confident that restructuring and new business friendly devices will drive growth ahead. BlackBerry is the forerunner of the smartphone market but has lagged behind competitors over the past few years.