Can Canada Jump-Start BlackBerry?

Unlike Nokia (NYSE: NOK  ) , another mobile-phone maker that has new phones and a new OS and is in the early stages of fighting its way back to relevance, BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY  ) has shared some good news of late. Its new Q5 smartphone, similar to the premium Q10 and complete with BlackBerry fans' favorite feature -- a physical keyboard -- could provide a significant sales boost. Now there's news from a Raymond James analyst that BlackBerry is making some serious inroads at home, and it's taken only a quarter to do it.

The good news continues
Q1 of this calendar year saw a doubling of BlackBerry's market share in Canada, in large part because of BlackBerry's Z10, the non-keyboard version of the BB10 OS smartphone. As per a Raymond James analyst, BlackBerry held a 6% share of the Canadian market in Q4, a ridiculously low figure given its once dominating position up North. By Q1 of this year, however, BlackBerry jumped to a whopping 13.5% share of the Canadian smartphone market -- in a quarter.

BlackBerry naysayers are quick to point out that its 13.5% market share in Q1 2013 remains woefully behind Canada's leading smartphone provider, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) , with its 40.1% piece of the pie. But they're missing the point. More than doubling market share in a quarter is impressive, period. With BlackBerry clawing its way back from obscurity, that level of growth is doubly impressive and can lead to momentum going forward.

The aforementioned lower-priced Q5 will be available in Europe, as well as in emerging markets in the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America, and it fills a much-needed void in BlackBerry's product lineup. There were critics of the decision to open up BlackBerry's Messenger service, but making it available to Apple and Android smartphone users was the right decision for CEO Thorsten Heins to make. Simply pretending the smartphone world isn't dominated by iOS and Android doesn't make it true, so kudos to Heins for seeing the light.

Granted, press releases are often heavy on sales and light on specifics, but the list of clients either buying or continuing to test BB10-related smartphones continues to grow. ING, the City of New York's Department of IT, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, and Ingram Micro are a few of the notable names BlackBerry is working with -- an impressive list.

Not all good news
Depending on which research you adhere to, BlackBerry either just barely held on to third position in the global smartphone OS market in Q1 (so says Gartner), or it fell to fourth place (so says IDC), behind Nokia's smartphone partner, Microsoft, by 0.03%. Either way, BlackBerry needs BB10 to hit its stride.

Delays in rolling out Q10 in the world's biggest smartphone market, the U.S., have hurt BlackBerry and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. As manufacturers continue to introduce upgraded phones, such as the Nokia Lumia and Samsung's Galaxy S4 smartphone, BlackBerry fans stateside are still awaiting the keyboarded Q10. Like Apple and its lack of new devices, in the fast-moving world of smartphones, each passing week without its new phone in the U.S. puts more pressure on BlackBerry.

When it's said and done
Challenges remain. Even the most diehard of BlackBerry bulls acknowledge that. But make no mistake: Growing market share at home -- without the benefit of its keyboard-featured Q10 mind you -- is impressive. Add the new mid-market Q5, and the BlackBerry Messenger for Apple's iOS and Android, and BlackBerry suddenly becomes a very intriguing growth investment alternative.

Like BlackBerry, Nokia's been struggling in a world of Apple and Android smartphone dominance. Also like BlackBerry, the company has banked its future on a new OS, Windows Phones. 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 whether the company is a buy or sell. To get started, simply click here now.


Read/Post Comments (9) | Recommend This Article (3)

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 May 18, 2013, at 3:28 PM, HelpIsHere wrote:

    Everyone was saying that Windows would surpass BlackBerry back in the Fall, what happened there? It took all the phones running Windows to take a quarter away from BlackBerry. Android kills Apple, isn't that the same thing? BlackBerry is going to destroy Windows when the Q10 numbers come out, you missed that entirely. If you had stated that Windows slipped into 3rd strictly by chance and timing, you would have it right. BlackBerry is going to challenge Apple and Android, Windows isn't even on the radar.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2013, at 4:14 PM, lee654 wrote:

    ??

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2013, at 4:46 PM, armanifitch4 wrote:

    SELL BBRY!!! BUY NOK!!!

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2013, at 8:12 PM, Chippy55 wrote:

    Samsung sells for $1,335 on the pink sheets and traded 21 shares the other day with an average volume of 56 shares per day. They don't want to be on the NYSE or NASDAQ so who really wants to invest in them?

    Apple by all accounts in no longer a growth stock but who wants to fork over $434 to earn a 2.8% dividend. And there's no chance of a short squeeze when only 4.4% of the stock is shorted, but still that's 41 million shares so somebody is hoping it continues downward.

    I give no weight to who's in first, second, or third place, who has ever invested using that criteria? Future earnings is a key metric and Book Value, and Yahoo shows Blackberry as selling below Book Value of $18, to me its a bargain. Mr. Heins has predicted they'll sell tens of millions of phones and I believe right now they are churning out 2 million per month.

    Over 165 million shares shorted that HAVE to be bought back and the eventual short squeeze can come at any time, on news, no news, for no reason, or because the short sellers finally woke up.

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2013, at 12:45 PM, mxh070 wrote:

    Hmmmm I think berry will pull another surprise I with market share in June, I was reading a report on Friday that Verizon is dumping all staff android devices all 10,000 and replacing them with BES 10 & BB10 devices, AT&T is mentioned to follow shortly afterwards. Also another tid bit of info blackberry entered into an agreement with a company that will enable all 700k android apps to work on BB10 devices with out porting just direct download. Below is the link to the report it's fun the fool or SA have no mention of these positives.

    http://www.valuewalk.com/2013/05/research-in-motion-ltd-bbry...

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2013, at 6:14 PM, k1moops wrote:

    mxh070, your words contradict with your linked article. You said "blackberry entered into an agreement with a company that will enable all 700k android apps to work on BB10 devices with out porting just direct download", but the article says "The Blackberry 10 has got the support from a private company, which will allow the whole Android catalog to be ported on BB10 devices, and the user will feel that the whole catalog is native and has not been ported." The entire premise is just totally untrue. For instance, Android does not use plastic physical keyboards, none of the Android apps would work on a Q10 or Q5. I believe you are the victim of yet another Blackberry hoax.

    You cannot avoid porting from and to Android. For instance, it took a Android developer company named Meridian 4 months to port an Android app. More complex apps could take much longer. I would pay $thousands to see any BB10 device download directly from the Google Play app store, now, or in the future long ahead.

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2013, at 6:19 PM, k1moops wrote:

    Do not mislead the public. Do not even it possible for BB10 to directly download and run Android apps from Google Play, that will not happen in a trillion millenium.

    The 'Android catalog' is just one single tiny Android app. It is like the Sears Catalog you get in the mail. You can look at the washing machines in the Sears Catalog or other Sears merchandise, but that's entirely different to actually owning all these Sears merchandises listed in the Sears Catalog.

    Nice try...

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2013, at 6:30 PM, k1moops wrote:

    The Galaxy S4 is on track to become Samsung first 10-million devices seller less than a month after its official debut. It took 5 months for Samsung to sell 30 million Galaxy S3 devices. Last year Samsung sold 50 million Galaxy S3 devices. By comparison, Blackberry sold 1 million BB10 devices since its debut late this January. Apple sold 37 million iPhones during its previous quarter. Apple and Samsung Galaxy S3 outsold BB10 by a factor of 37:1 and 50:1 respectively. Canada's entire population is less than 35 million people.

  • Report this Comment On May 20, 2013, at 3:52 AM, sazabi1980 wrote:

    My 80 year old grandpa just got an iPhone 5... yah I'm not getting one.

Add your comment.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2439601, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 8/22/2014 3:46:05 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement