Are there signs that it’s over for BlackBerry or is there any hope for the company?
It was once the byword for the hyperactive Type A power player who needed to be connected to work at all times. Now BlackBerry is getting sand kicked in its face by the IT department of one of the largest investment houses in the world.
Morgan Stanley reportedly won’t be their upgrading BlackBerry devices any time soon to the new BlackBerry 10 (BB10) operating system. The reason? Fear. The investment bank is said to be worried that BlackBerry as a whole may not survive.
BB10 was supposed to save the Ontario-based smartphone maker. With the introduction of its touchscreen Z10 and keyboard-based Q10 phones, BlackBerry had hoped it would return to its role as a dominant player in smart devices, a title held until the advent of Apple’s iPhone and phones using Google’s Android operating system such those made by Samsung.
While revenues increased 15% to $3.1 billion in the most recent quarter versus the previous one, total BlackBerry subscribers were 72 million, down 4 million. It shipped 2.7 million BB10 phones in the last quarter (40% of their total shipped) but how many they sold still isn’t clear. The Wall Street Journal recently reported some stores are sending back many unsold Q10 phones.
The company also canceled plans to us the BB10 operating system on its PlayBook tablets. CEO Thorsten Heins saying, “Unfortunately, I am not satisfied with the level of performance and user experience”.
On August 12, BlackBerry told the world that it was considering “strategic options” for itself. In other words, it was putting itself up for sale.
This uncertainty with BlackBerry’s fate is one of the reasons Morgan Stanley is now believed to be reluctant to pursue upgrading its current stock of BlackBerry devices. Morgan Stanley has 56,000 employees. Meanwhile, an unnamed bank with 100,000 reportedly is in the midst of a three-month pilot review program to decide if it’s worth their while to upgrade their BlackBerrys.
Are these signs that it’s over for BlackBerry or is there any hope for the company?
Looking at BlackBerry’s fundamentals is CNBC contributor Gina Sanchez, founder of Chantico Global. On the charts is fellow CNBC contributor Todd Gordon, founder of TradingAnalysis.com.
Is it time to put down BlackBerry and walk away? Watch the video above to see Gordon and Sanchez analyze the fate of the company.