Following some rather painful, well let’s be honest, dreadful earnings by Blackberry now in the last year or so, it’s becoming rather apparent that the future of the company remains in worry. Blackberry was hoping its Blackberry 10 operating system and devices was going to save it from collapse, but the numbers still aren’t looking that good for the Canadian company. In fact, Bloomberg now reports that businesses are turning away from Blackberry to even Windows Phone, whilst Blackberry falls out of marketshare and relevance from the third position.
“Most of our customers have been planning to support three mobile operating systems — iOS, Android and either Windows Phone or BlackBerry. The recent results indicate that BlackBerry is not going to be the third” said Bob Tinker, chief executive officer of MobileIron Inc, a maker of smartphone-management software used by 5,000 companies.
In fact due to dwindling numbers and an increasingly diverse user base businesses may even be deactivating Blackberry support, which requires expensive on site Blackberry Enterprise Servers and subscription fees, in favour for more cross-platform management solutions which can manage a variety of operating systems. And seen as Blackberry is the only platform that requires such level of system specifics to work in the Enterprise environment compared with solutions from iOS, Android and Windows Phone, this could end up been a logical choice, bad for Blackberry of course.
“A lot of companies want to get to one console, but to do that you basically have to turn BlackBerry off” said Alan Dabbiere, Chairman of AirWatch, which has 8,000 customers.
“Unlike Blackberry, Microsoft allows 3rd party device management software to also manage Windows Phones, leaving businesses free to choose their own best solution. BlackBerry refuses to share these tools”, said Dabbiere.
The Australian Sports Commission recently decided to stop using BES, as fewer employees wanted to own BlackBerry devices, Chief Information Officer Steve Solk had this to say via e-mail;
“Consumer devices based on iOS, Android and even Microsoft have taken considerable market share while BlackBerry seemed to react very slowly to the shift toward consumerization,” Solk said. “It’s a bit late to re-evaluate the BES.”
Microsoft also has the advantage when it comes to developer support, despite Blackberry World rushing to 130,000 apps, mostly have been poorly ported from Android. Tim Bajarin, founder of Creative Strategies Inc had this to say about Blackberry application development compared to Microsoft;
“I see almost zero interest from the serious money in backing BlackBerry apps, People are more interested in Microsoft”
Wade Beavers, an app developer and CEO of DoApp Inc, went further by stating his company stopped designing for BlackBerry about a year ago because it was making so little money because of the small number of people using the platform.
BlackBerry’s worldwide subscriber base slipped to 72 million last quarter, from 76 million, and then from 79 million in the preceding quarters, which is quite a bleak pattern emerging, plus the company has now stated they will stop announcing user tally information in the future, sounds like a scared company to us.
Of course such news has made Microsoft very happy, Tony Mestres, vice President in the Windows Phone unit had this to say;
“We agree with the industry experts who say Windows Phone has claimed the third spot in the mobile space and is gaining traction”
Microsoft has previously said 3rd place is not the end of their ambition, and rightfully so. The platform was given a very prolific boost by industry analysts IDC when it claimed it would overtake Apple by 2015, which sounded incredibly unrealistic in 2011-2, but now in 2013 with Apple starting to appear more vulnerable, it may not have been too much of an unrealistic estimate.