CEOs have come and gone–falling gracefully with massive golden parachutes–while BlackBerry itself has been in virtual freefall for years. The company stubbornly insists on manufacturing new smartphones despite years of history and mountains of evidence suggesting that ship has sailed. It’s like trying to bring back 8-track tapes, or the Macarena.
BlackBerry’s stubborn attempts to stay in the mobile device business have been a lost cause for years. There is still value in the BlackBerry brand, and there are areas where BlackBerry even has a strategic advantage to some extent. BlackBerry smartphones, however, are just zombies—a dead man walking and refusing to accept the inevitable.
BlackBerry is making headlines after reporting a nearly $200 million decline in revenue in its Q4 earnings. Analysts and pundits who actually believed that switching to the Android OS would save BlackBerry devices are now second-guessing those predictions and scrambling to call the proverbial time of death on BlackBerry hardware.
None of this is really news, though, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s about as much of a surprise as a rock falling to the ground when you drop it from your hand, the sun coming up in the morning, or the Detroit Lions imploding no matter how good the team looks on paper.
Here is what I said about BlackBerry three years ago, “The biggest problem for BlackBerry, though, is that there’s pretty much nowhere to go but down from here. Aside from customers locked in to the BlackBerry ecosystem, there’s little demand for BlackBerry mobile devices.”
That wasn’t the first time I predicted the inevitable demise of BlackBerry. I summed up that June 2013 article with, “Simple math suggests, though, that a company can only operate at a loss for so long before those reserves dry up, and it doesn’t seem like things are going to turn around for BlackBerry.”
So, here we are. Three years later and BlackBerry is still hemorrhaging cash in a futile effort to relive its glory days as the king of the smartphone hill. There are BlackBerry fans who love the Priv, but the Android device ecosystem is essentially a Samsung monopoly with every other company struggling for a distant and trivial second place. There’s no money in it.
See the full story on Forbes: It’s Time For BlackBerry To Realize Its Mobile Hardware Is Dead.