BlackBerry Next on Samsung's and Nokia's Hit List

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In the world of mobile computing, the bring-your-own-device to work trend, or BYOD, is all the rage. Smartphone manufacturers realize the line between business and personal phone usage is getting awfully thin, and that's gotten the attention of industry-leading Samsung and the revitalized Nokia (NYSE: NOK  ) . BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY  ) was once the undisputed king of the enterprise market. But as BYOD gains momentum for cost-conscious businesses, the big boys in mobile computing are getting in the game.

Some background
The article from a couple of weeks ago describing the defection of Home Depot (NYSE: HD  ) from BlackBerry's corporate client base wasn't a condemnation of BlackBerry. Nor did the article suggest that the 10,000 Home Depot employees now using Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) iPhone had irreparably damaged BlackBerry's comeback attempt; 10,000 phones is significant, but hardly catastrophic for BlackBerry.

Home Depot's decision to ditch BlackBerry is concerning because of the trend it highlights: Companies of all sizes are exploring BYOD to save costs, give users flexibility, and make it easier for employees to use mobile computing in the workplace. If you have an iPhone, making the transition to business use is a snap compared to learning the idiosyncrasies of an entirely new device.

BlackBerry's claim to fame, whether as Research In Motion or under its new moniker, has always been the commercial market. Its security features were viewed as a must-have in the workplace, and BlackBerry was more than happy to oblige. When it came time for the testing of its new BB10 OS, it's no surprise that a lot of the beta work was done by either corporate or government agency clients.

Thanks, BlackBerry, we'll take it from here
Apple and its iPhone, as we know from Home Depot's recent decision, is certainly making inroads into the enterprise smartphone space. No news there, really, considering Apple's domestic smartphone market share. As if bumping up against Apple weren't enough, BlackBerry now needs to fend off global smartphone market leaders Samsung and Nokia, another personal smartphone manufacturer with designs on the enterprise space.

The Mobile World Congress, or MWC, going on in Barcelona, is the biggest collection of mobile computing representatives anywhere. MWC is the ideal place for the mobile industry to wow users with their latest and greatest goodies. On Monday, Samsung introduced the world to its KNOX package -- a system specifically designed to make Android OS-driven smartphones ready for the workplace.

For upcoming Samsung Galaxy phones, KNOX will essentially split Android OS in half : One side for the office, the other for personal use. With the push of an icon, users can access either side of their OS, safely and securely. Not quite as slick as BlackBerry's ready-to-order BB10 Balance feature, which also allows users to bounce back and forth between work and play, but it's right up the BYOD alley.

Another BlackBerry competitor, though not quite in the same league as Samsung, has emerged in BlackBerry's enterprise space: Nokia. With its new Lumia line and Asha smartphone alternatives, Nokia is already making inroads in both the high-end and low-end personal mobile phone markets. Now, Nokia's a legitimate competitor to BlackBerry in the enterprise market, primarily because of the shift to BYOD, and its affiliation with Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) and Windows 8.

The Lumia recently ousted BlackBerry as Mall of America's choice for its executives, in large part because of Nokia's partnership with Microsoft. As BYOD picks up steam, BlackBerry will see more Mall of America-type decisions. Coordinating personal smartphones with a company's existing business systems, many of which are running Windows, makes a lot of sense. That's great news for Nokia, at BlackBerry's expense.

From here
BlackBerry's sweet spot, enterprise users, is quickly becoming a crowded place to try and make a living. To its credit, BlackBerry is doing its part to move beyond the commercial market. There are rumors that BlackBerry will make its secure email available to iOS and Android users, and it has unveiled a new payment solution in conjunction with Visa (NYSE: V  ) . Suddenly, there's a lot riding on the non-enterprise solutions that BB10 offers.

The road to relevance for BlackBerry is getting bumpier, and it was hardly smooth to begin with. When the likes of Samsung, Apple, and yes, even Nokia, slap a bullseye on your back, even the most die-hard BB10 fans need to take notice. Is it time to run for the BB10 hills? Not for raging BlackBerry bulls. But keep your eyes peeled on the horizon, and your running shoes at hand.

Nokia's been struggling in a world of Apple and Android smartphone dominance. Nokia's future hinges on its next generation of Windows smartphones. While early indications have been good, Nokia is hardly out of the woods. Motley Fool analyst Charly Travers has created a new premium report that digs into both the opportunities and risks facing Nokia to help investors decide if the company is a buy or sell. To get started, simply click here now.

Read/Post Comments (13) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2013, at 11:15 PM, marv08 wrote:

    "Nokia's Hit List"?

    Nokia is more like Joe Pesci in "Good Fellas". Too cheap and happy to be made...

    Pretty much 90% of new MDM licenses created in 2012 were for Apple and (far behind) Android devices (the Galaxy SIII as the only relevant contender).

    BB has not lost to Nokia yet. And neither Nokia nor BB is in safe territory. Actually, looking at recent telco commitments (and telco subsidies and charges ARE relevant for businesses), even Firefox and Tizen may get further than both. Companies do not need Windows on smartphones (they haven't for a decade), they need Exchange and Sharepoint access and the ability to deal with Office documents. Both, iOS and Android, have that (native ActiveSync support, affordable - third party - SharePoint support and ample of Office-compatible apps).

    BB and Nokia (WP8) need carrier support to succeed. As Elop admitted (by complaining about it ad nauseam), Nokia does not have it. BB has a chance here. Let's see if they can benefit from it.

    Samsung is pumping billions into buying carrier and reseller support, neither Nokia nor BB can compete with that (their combined market cap is less than Samsung's marketing budget for 2012 alone).

  • Report this Comment On March 01, 2013, at 4:00 AM, farthingbank wrote:

    Does the disclosure that the author has no position in Blackberry stock also mean that no other individual or entity directly, or indirectly connected to Motley Fool, also has no financial position related to the future stock price of Blackberry? Just wondering.

  • Report this Comment On March 01, 2013, at 7:22 AM, Arthur1111 wrote:

    Contradictory article and it does not make any sense.

    On one hand you state that BlackBerry is struggling to become relevant. On the other hand you state that BlackBerry is on the hit list of 2 giant companies? Do you see the problem in your logic?

    samsung and nokia are reacting to the great success the BlackBerry Z10 had since launch. They feel the heat. Afterall, 50% of the new Z10 customers in Canada and 33% in the UK are non BlackBerry users.

  • Report this Comment On March 01, 2013, at 7:27 AM, USuptick wrote:

    well, the latest report by Kantar shows how Blackberry is losing its position in the enterprise market to Android, WP and IOS.

    OS% share of smartphone sales in USA between November and January:

    3 mo. ending jan 2012, RIM market share 3.3%

    3 mo. ending jan 2013, RIM market share 0.9%

    3 mo. ending jan 2012, WP market share 2.1%

    3 mo. ending jan 2013, WP market share 3.1%

    3 mo. ending jan 2012, IOS market share 50.6%

    3 mo. ending jan 2013, IOS market share 45.9%

    3 mo. ending jan 2012, Anroid market share 43%

    3 mo. ending jan 2013, Android market share 49.4%

    Typically Blackberry clients are mainly in the enterprise market.

  • Report this Comment On March 01, 2013, at 8:32 AM, hfatt wrote:

    For those smart analysts, it is very very sad if Blackberry can hire you all as it CEO, then Blackberry will definitely come back to their glorious day. Try not to put so many ideas but just action for the position.

  • Report this Comment On March 01, 2013, at 8:42 AM, magnaman1969 wrote:

    Hey US Uptick...

    Those numbers are all fine and dandy...but were all BEFORE the Z10 hit the market.

    If you FOOLS think Nokia/Windows phones will beat BlackBerry you really are FOOLS.

    BlackBerry is BACK...and you will see when they announce sales numbers...NOKIA should focus more on getting a GOOD OS to run their phones ....they are no position to be "targeting" anyone.


  • Report this Comment On March 01, 2013, at 8:44 AM, magnaman1969 wrote:

    Samsung is very WORRIED about BlackBerry and so is NOKIA.....otherwise they wouldn't be going "after them".....blackBerry 's Z10 is THE BEST phone on the market right now...PERIOD.

  • Report this Comment On March 01, 2013, at 8:49 AM, magnaman1969 wrote:

    The desperation coming from the Fools/Forbes (aka -short interest media outlets/Apple fanboi's) is palpable.

    I LOVE seeing them dig so DEEP and GRASP at whatever lame story they can muster up.

    You really think Samsung with an ADROID OS will make a dent in Enterprise?

    You really think Windows/Nokia...who have never managed to do a thing, have had a huge headstart and still failed to put up numbers in a meaningful way stand a chance against BlackBerry in enterprise??


    Major short squeeze coming...

    BBRY Quarter ends Saturday...

    Expect a preannounce of Feb Z10 sales figures BEFORE March 28 earnings and ahead of US launch....

  • Report this Comment On March 01, 2013, at 8:50 AM, magnaman1969 wrote:

    Android and Windows OS are the least secure platforms on the PLANET.

    WP8 was hacked by a 16 year old kid on launch day.

    Android is a malware NIGHTMARE...rated the least secure OS, by far...

    Yeah...BlackBerry should be worried.....NOT.

  • Report this Comment On March 01, 2013, at 8:52 AM, magnaman1969 wrote:

    Nokia is on BB's hit list....

    "Now go home and get your shine box"!

  • Report this Comment On March 01, 2013, at 9:05 AM, infektu wrote:


    "For upcoming Samsung Galaxy phones, KNOX will essentially split Android OS in half : One side for the office, the other for personal use. With the push of an icon, users can access either side of their OS, safely and securely. "

    This is funny.

    BB10 has Balance, which besides being slick, is as secure as it gets.

    It has been FIPS certified in November, before the Z10 was out.

    Now the Z10 is out, BES10 too.

    So why would anyone hold his breath for an unproven feature on phones which are not out yet?

    Oh, and think twice before using "safely and securely" in the next phrase with Android, it discredits all your other gems.

  • Report this Comment On March 01, 2013, at 11:19 AM, sammycooool wrote:

    Can we sue The Fools who write junk on this board? Really, I wasted 3 minutes reading an article that some clown is publishing while he cries about his losses in AAPL and NOK.

  • Report this Comment On March 01, 2013, at 11:34 AM, TimDoesKnow wrote:

    This article is full of holes, how do these guys get to post to the site with nonsense like this?

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