Yet 1 More Piece of Bad News for BlackBerry

BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY  ) is the middle of revamping its band, launching a new OS and introducing two new phones. But the company is losing steam with its core customer base -- businesses -- and the blows just keep coming.

Poison berries
The past few years haven't been kind to BlackBerry. Three years ago the company was sitting on top of 50% of the U.S. smartphone market share ­­-- now it has just 1.6%. For the past few years businesses have moved away from BlackBerry phones and opted for iPhone or Google Android-based devices.

Earlier this week, Home Depot became the latest defector to announce it's dropping BlackBerry in favor of iPhones. The company will transition 10,000 executives and managers to Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) iOS in the coming months. The day the announcement was made, BlackBerry's stock dropped about 4% during trading.

Home Depot is now part the growing number of businesses that have given up on BlackBerry and switched to Apple or Google. A 2011 iPass report showed that in the same year, a majority of businesses traded in their BlackBerry phones for iPhones .

Two years later, the iPhone continues to snag more businesses, and even federal agencies. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency have both recently switched from BlackBerry to the iPhone. The U.K. government has also approved the iPhone for government employees. A report by IDC says the iPhone will far outpace both Android and BlackBerry phones in the enterprise sector by 2016.

Too soon, or maybe too late
Last year, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins made it clear that the company was committed to developing products specifically for businesses. He said in an interview back in March 2012:

We plan to refocus on the enterprise business and capitalize on our leading position in this segment. We believe that BlackBerry cannot succeed if we tried to be everybody's darling and all things to all people. Therefore, we plan to build on our strength.

BlackBerry just released two new phones, the Z10 and Q10, along with its completely revamped OS. With all the changes at BlackBerry, including its name, maybe businesses have jumped the gun and haven't given Blackberry a chance to show what it can still offer the business world. The problem is that when businesses drop BlackBerry, it could take years before they're willing to spend the time and money to even consider switching back. BlackBerry may not be able to wait that long.

On right path, but in the wrong direction
BlackBerry's new operating system and new phones are aimed at winning back businesses, but that may not be enough for consumers (or investors). The company's new OS has received positive reviews, but the current version isn't likely to bring back BlackBerry's market share. The IDC expects Microsoft Windows Phone OS to overtake BlackBerry's No. 3 spot in operating systems beginning this year and to hold that position despite BlackBerry's overhauled system.

If that storyline plays out, and BlackBerry can't regain significant market share, new phones and a brand-new OS won't matter that much. BlackBerry's facing an uphill battle and the only way it can win is by quickly earning back business customers. Investors need to see the tidewaters shift from enterprise purchases of iPhone and Android back to BlackBerry -- which is a very unlikely scenario.

Right now, it looks as though Apple will come out on top in the enterprise mobile market. But with the company's stock on the decline since late September, many investors are wondering whether Apple remains a buy. The Motley Fool's senior technology analyst and managing bureau chief, Eric Bleeker, is prepared to fill you in on both reasons to buy and reasons to sell Apple, and what opportunities are left for the company (and your portfolio) going forward. To get instant access to his latest thinking on Apple, simply click here now.


Read/Post Comments (27) | Recommend This Article (6)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2013, at 7:03 PM, smartinfo wrote:

    Why don't we see articles like the link I am providing ?

    http://bgr.com/2013/02/13/blackberry-owner-loyalty-analysis-...

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2013, at 7:08 PM, sammycooool wrote:

    I cannot believe how stupid these articles are. Apple sold some 2-year old junk to Home Stupot and you make a big deal of it. Should BlackBerry dig up some old garbage and try to pawn them off on this useless company. Home Stupot should be ashamed of themselves for giving their employees old phones. How stupid is that? You should know, you wrote this article.

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2013, at 7:09 PM, sammycooool wrote:

    InfoThatSucks - another day and another wasted comment from you!!! You don't have a life do you??

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2013, at 7:09 PM, nonbiasfool wrote:

    I guess the Fools overwhelming negative sentiment on BBRY can only imply that they are scared to death about losing their shirts on their short positions.

    Man, initial Z10 sales are showing great results, lots of places selling out quickly. Quit living tick to tick with BBRY stock quote and step back and watch this awesome smart phone sell and impress..

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2013, at 7:25 PM, myeerah wrote:

    Infoneedshelp......He trolls the net for stories about blackberry and bashes them....it's his job.Anger issues for sure.Let your anger at blackberry go.Try an go one day without reading something about blackberry and I guarantee you will have the best sleep in months.Really.....info whatever, I'm trying to help!

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2013, at 8:06 PM, rishitha wrote:

    How pathetic are your articles.

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2013, at 8:28 PM, infektu wrote:

    Home Depot was on a diet of cheap Motorolas, mainly. There were probably some BB7 phones too, but there can NOT be 10,000 executive and managerial positions in HD.

    Plus, this is really, really old news, and it must be the 100th time someone copies this same garbage without doing the simplest check.

    I'd say 13 is as good as it will get, run for cover. My 2c, really, since I'm not a paid analyst.

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2013, at 8:39 PM, javierrr wrote:

    I have iphone 4s, after I upgraded iOS6, the battery drains very fast. Apple technician refused to acknowledge the issue and kept telling me that is normal. I would never buy an apple product based on how they treat customers. I switched to Z10.

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2013, at 8:51 PM, eidsonb wrote:

    What is this the 50th version of the same story...you bought apple and google we understand...but dont try and influence others... Hi Info....

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2013, at 9:14 PM, BR14 wrote:

    I recommend you all get a decent book on hedge funds.

    Most of the price fluctuations are engineered (and it would appear many of these articles are part of that process).

    Smaller investors getting played both up and down by the big boys.

    As long as smaller investors panic and sell or fall in love with a dream and buy the merry go round will continue up and down with the small investor losing whatever happens.

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2013, at 9:33 PM, motleyjunk wrote:

    Boring! Yah! 10,000 phones means something!

    Most consumers don't buy phones from homedumpo.

    BB is a highly respected company who's only real fault was not dumping garbage on the market before any REAL innovations or improvements were ready for release unlike a Crapple who's idea of an upgrade is a new color hue or a google map ap that was a total loss. Apple pushes product out to churn gullible consumers to drain their pockets of money.

    BB10 kills Crapple in many, many ways - stop kidding yourself - US is punishing BB because the "greatest nation on earth didn't get the toy first' - any who's fault is this BB - no -US Carriers!!

    BB Long and strong $22 Plus in the near term - shorters you know what you can do

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2013, at 10:11 PM, YorkQC wrote:

    All the previous comments are reflecting what is really happening.

    The is some form of protectionism coming from the USA toward the Z10 launch and it is affecting negatively BBRY.

    If your read pretty much ANY tech web site or ANY reviews and anyone can easily realize the phone has the upper hand on many aspects.

    Obviously, nothing is perfect and this phone is not for everyone, but if someone just want to spend a few minutes getting to know BB10, QNX, HTML5, BB ANDROID EMULATOR, ACTIVE SYNC and technical specs, it's easy to see : This phone will have a LOT of success.

    The only thing that could prevent this would be traders and medias....let's see who's on whose side and who wins !

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2013, at 10:13 PM, YorkQC wrote:

    As an additional piece of information, please see :

    http://news.yahoo.com/blackberry-z10-experiences-exceptional...

    Those numbers are good...

    Also see :

    http://www.bi-me.com/main.php?id=60954&t=1&c=33&...

    An interesting survey....!

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2013, at 10:22 PM, Jcv565s wrote:

    I work in the wireless industry and BB has a slim to none chance of success in the U.S. It is going to be nothing short of disastrous. The phone is 3 years to late and being on the front lines of the industry I would never put a dollar into blackberry. This nonsense about iPhones battery draining is a weak argument. 9 out of 10 phones that go out of our area stores are iPhones and they the lowest return rate by far. People are already invested in the google and apple ecosystems and the new BB isn't going to convince them to buy all the new apps from the weak ecosystem of BB. I barely remember their last tablet and why they aren't launching a tablet with the new bb10 software is just another mistake in the long line of them. Save yourself the heartbreak, the only thing they have of value is some patents. Just an honest look from a professional in the industry.

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2013, at 10:23 PM, YorkQC wrote:

    @Rockthebest1 : True, I've just created an account here to try to explain the same thing in different words...

    Some people just don't want BBRY to succeed...we saw that one coming...let's see how long it last...

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2013, at 10:27 PM, YorkQC wrote:

    @Jcv565s : Sir, i think you should read more in the subject...

    "People are already invested in the google and apple ecosystems and the new BB isn't going to convince them to buy all the new apps from the weak ecosystem of BB"

    -The apps are basicaly ported android apps, you can even get the .bar file on the internet of any app (like Netflix) and it runs just perfectly on a Z10.

    "The phone is 3 years to late and being on the front lines of the industry"

    -I think you should see the specs...faster, more memory, better screen resolution....

    ...

    Let's say i'll stop here :)

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2013, at 10:37 PM, Jcv565s wrote:

    @yorkQC: stop by a wireless store and tell me that I am wrong is all that I am saying. I have yet to have one customer even stop by to inquire about the new bb's and over 500 phones leave my store per month. I hear all the chatter and BB is just a bad bet. Just the real world facts about a phone that doesn't stand a chance.

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2013, at 10:43 PM, Jcv565s wrote:

    @yorkqc: and the specs are crap by the way. The dual core snapdragon that is 1.5ghz that has been around for more than a year and the huge storage of 16gb internal with expandable. Obviously clueless that the androids are coming stock with quadcore processors and 64gb on board memory. How about an Optimus G quadcore with 32gb on board and expandable up to 80gb for a 99. Hundred bucks less and twice as impressive. Haha....nice try sir

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2013, at 10:52 PM, YorkQC wrote:

    @Jcv565s : I've worked for a major carrier for many years, we both know LG phones are crap, they ear out too rapidly...

    The other 1,Ghz is a krait ( s3 ), that one is really old, snapdragon is brand new, The OS, QNX, does use this new chip way better than the other.

    QNX is used for car and nuclear system programming.

    I was talking about the RAM, no need to talk about storage since you can just buy a 64go MicroSD card...

    It's true, the hype is not the same everywhere, in my hometown (small) barely anybody is talking about it.

    But when you ask people in large cities, you see there is a hype, but people are on the wait and see approach.

    The trust toward the phone is not fully back, it will take a while.

    Please read articles talking about Phone4U in the UK and see how it went in the middle east (larger market)...then we'll be on the same page.

    I also invite you to read reviews from all the major tech websites.

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2013, at 10:53 PM, YorkQC wrote:

    @Jcv565s : I've worked for a major carrier for many years, we both know LG phones are crap, they wear out too rapidly...

    The other 1,5Ghz is a krait ( S3 ), that one is really old, snapdragon is brand new, The OS, QNX, does use this new chip way better than the other.

    QNX is used for car and nuclear system programming.

    I was talking about the RAM, no need to talk about storage since you can just buy a 64go MicroSD card...

    It's true, the hype is not the same everywhere, in my hometown (small) barely anybody is talking about it.

    But when you ask people in large cities, you see there is a hype, but people are on the wait and see approach.

    The trust toward the phone is not fully back, it will take a while.

    Please read articles talking about Phone4U in the UK and see how it went in the middle east (larger market)...then we'll be on the same page.

    I also invite you to read reviews from all the major tech websites.

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2013, at 11:05 PM, claudikorn wrote:

    @infoThatSucks

    Yes here another proof of BB's amateurism:

    http://www.thegadgetmasters.com/2013/02/12/why-bbm-video-cha...

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2013, at 11:48 PM, Fruitfan wrote:

    It amazes me how blind these BB lovers are. The bottom line is even if BB10 turns out to be great I doubt it will sell well. BB's imagine is very poor and outages over the last year has business running from them straight into Apple's ecosystem. I'm not saying Apple is perfect but they have the best customer service of all the companies. You simply walk into an apple store and a Genius Bar employee will work with you. If you have a problem with a BB or Andriod you need to go to Verizon or AT&T and have a clerk with little knowledge help you then if a real issue is there you have to ship the phone back for service.

  • Report this Comment On February 14, 2013, at 12:04 AM, Gerry96GT wrote:

    Stock Manipulation, that's all this is. Part of greedy America as always.

  • Report this Comment On February 14, 2013, at 12:32 AM, PurpleBlue wrote:

    Interesting title for this article - for an article on Apple you chose :Apple Is Down, but This Smartphone Play Is Alive and Kicking

    Try reversing the companies: "Blackberry is Down, but This Smartphone Play is Alive and Kicking"

    "Yet 1 More Piece of Bad News for Apple"

    Don't both companies have strengths and challenges? How about a more balanced approach if you want to have any credibility with readers.

  • Report this Comment On February 14, 2013, at 1:06 AM, vtech333 wrote:

    Dear Chris.

    I am reporting this article (and all you fools) to the hiighest athortities as abuse and as viaoloation of Business Conduct Guidelines. This is worst than insider trading. this is cheating. you cannot repeat the same story over and over again with a twist everytime.

    See you and your crew in Jail.

  • Report this Comment On February 14, 2013, at 8:50 AM, cbglobal wrote:

    The only embarrassing thing about living in Alexandria VA is it houses the offices of Motley Fool.

    Can you guys move, which would help raise property values by removing blight from the city?

  • Report this Comment On February 14, 2013, at 1:59 PM, magnaman1969 wrote:

    I guess they never saw this breaking news about Apple iPhone5 security flaw

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/14/tech/mobile/iphone-password-ha...

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