Red alert: Blackberry is going blue collar to survive

January 16, 2018 2:53 pm


BlackBerry’s reign over the mobile market faltered over the past few years due to rising popularity of Apple and Samsung.

According to Business Insider, BlackBerry’s share of the global smartphone market at the beginning of 2017 was less than 1%.

Blackberry did not give up.

It released in 2017 two new phones, BlackBerry KEYone and BlackBerry Motion while it is preparing to launch color variant and dual SIM version of BlackBerry KEYone – Bronze Edition –in select markets across Asia, Europe and the Middle East later in Q1 2018.

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But it’s not how it is making its money, is it?

Making the right call

Most of the company’s revenue now comes from managing phone systems for other businesses in addition to business software sales, according to reports by the Guardian and Reuters.

CTV News, Canadian news broadcaster, reveals that Executive chairman John Chen has over the past 5 years gradually reduced the company’s dependence on smartphone sales and repositioned it as an innovator in cybersecurity and software.

It looks like Blackberry will be looking to future technologies from now on by shifting to markets where it can leave a digital footprint.

Need proof?

Jarvis: Blackberry’s auto show debut

Blackberry recently launched a new security tool, Jarvis, for automobile manufacturers that scans all software components in a vehicle within minutes to predict and fix vulnerabilities.

Global news, a Canadian news agency, reveals that BlackBerry expects its other new automotive products would start contributing revenue a year or more after hitting the market.

It quoted the company as saying that Jarvis also has potential for the health care, manufacturing, aerospace and defence industries.

BlackBerry said it was offering Jarvis on a pay-as-you-go basis.

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Automatic automotive

In September 2017, the company also announced a deal with the car parts supplier Delphi Automotive on a software operating system for self-driving cars, according to the Guardian.

John Chen, the BlackBerry chief executive, was quoted as saying that he expected the company to earn $5 to $25 a car as it expands into more advanced self-driving vehicles.

The statement added: “Blackberry is already a leading provider of in-car information and entertainment software, which Chen said generates between $1.50 and $5 per vehicle.”

Blackberry is not the only company trying to penetrate non-core markets for survival.

Nokia has been doing the same.

Nokia still in communication

In 2007, Nokia was a giant mobile phone company. Forward 5 years later, it sold its handset business to Microsoft for $7.2bn and basically signaled the end of a glorious journey that no one predicted it could happen.

Nokia’s name is barely mentioned in the smart phone business, especially with the likes of Apple, Samsung and other smartphone companies dominating the market, but the company has been planning a resurrection.

It has been working behind the scenes and collaborating with big players in the market to generate new 5G, Edge Cloud strategies, broadband and communication tools that we all use on our smart phones and connected devices.

According to Nokia’s website, Nokia Technologies has seen 37% year-on-year net sales increase and 73% year-on-year operating profit increase in Q3 2017, primarily due to higher patent and brand licensing income. Overall sales however saw a decrease of 7% year-on-year.

Meanwhile, Nokia Networks reported a 9% year-on-year net sales decrease.

First Nokia now Ericsson.

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Ericsson fighting tough competition

During the summer of 1997, Ericsson spent a few months as the No.1 mobile phone brand in the world.

But four years later, Ericsson failed to retain its position due to competition from rivals such as Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent, Siemens, Huawei and ZTE and it was forced into a merger with Sony’s handset unit. Then in 2012 the companies divorced giving Sony its very own phone-making unit and Ericsson some cash for the deal.

According to The Local, a Swedish news site, Ericsson said it planned to reorganize to have three main business areas: networks, digital services and managed services. It also planned to restructure or sell its media and cloud divisions.

“Ericsson is doing the worst in an already weak market. And it seems as though Nokia is gaining market share. And the Chinese are tough rivals,” Nordnet analyst Joakim Bornold was quoted as saying.

According to Business Insider, Ericsson-which carries 40% of the world’s mobile traffic on its networks- reported a disappointing quarter in July 2017.

As a response, the troubled company’s new CEO, Börje Ekholm, announced a costs cutting program of $1,25 billion per year.

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Dana Halawi
By Dana Halawi
Senior Journalist
Dana Halawi has over seven years of experience in Journalism with articles published in multiple magazines and a newspaper in Lebanon. She specialized in Banking and Finance at the Lebanese American University and has a Master’s degree in International Affairs.



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