The BlackBerry Passport is just about to be released, and yet some commentators are predicting that Blackberry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) will cease to exist as soon as next year. The company’s costs have been cut and its revenue slide is set to hit bottom sooner rather than later, so why are people still predicting that BlackBerry will disappear?
A piece from 24/7 Wall Street alleges that BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) will be out of business next year. The piece, which was authored by Douglas A. McIntyre, is a list of ten brands the author believes will disappear by 2015. The Canadian handset maker isn’t the only controversial entry on the list, but there’s little chance of the brand disappearing that soon.
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Second time lucky
According to the piece “BlackBerry is about to run out of its nine lives.” The company’s revenue slide is impressive in “confirming the belief that BlackBerry cannot survive on its own,” and despite having the “leading OS in the auto and health care industries,” the company is not viable.
BlackBerry is not really a hardware company anymore, that’s certainly true. And the company is going to have a much reduced position in the handset world going forward, but alleging the company will disappear ignores what the company is about. The company itself has made this mistake in the past. BlackBerry is not about handsets, it’s about services.
The BlackBerry Passport and BlackBerry Classic may well boost handset sales at the company, but their real value is in their branding potential. Every BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY), (TSE:BB) in the hands of a businessperson is an advertisement for the company’s enterprise solutions. The company is not burning cash like it was last year, and analysts have begun to take notice. Goldman Sachs expects the company to break even on cash flow this fiscal year.
Assuming that BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY), (TSE:BB) doesn’t choose to liquidate this year, there is very little threatening to kill the company right now. Revenue has stabilized and cash flow is getting back to a neutral position. There are some factors that may interfere, however.
What could make BlackBerry disappear?
While it’s not completely impossible for BlackBerry to disappear this year, it would take huge momentum to destroy what is still a great enterprise brand. Here’s a look at some of the factors that could actually kill BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY), (TSE:BB).
BlackBerry Passport costs $1000: The Passport is a great looking phone, but large research or parts costs could burn BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY), (TSE:BB) cash very quickly and ruin the company.
BlackBerry makes Edward Snowden/Julian Assange CEO: It would take a lot to ruin the BlackBerry reputation for security, but a massive leak of user information might be enough. Don’t expect this to happen, however.
Microsoft/IBM create alternative enterprise system: Nobody is as serious about mobile security as BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY), (TSE:BB), but the company has been leaking out of the picture for years. 2015 could see Microsoft or IBM, or another firm, take its position at the head of the secure market.
BlackBerry is acquired and subsumed: There are few companies that would buy BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) and destroy the brand, but the possibility is there, despite the fact that the company tried and failed to sell itself last year.