BlackBerry Limited (BlackBerry) is a mobile communications provider which was incorporated in 2003. The core business of BlackBerry is the continued development and provision of the trademark BlackBerry wireless package. This package consists of the smartphone/tablet devices, the wireless service (including the BlackBerry Messenger), and the software on which the BB devices run.
BlackBerry has four core areas of business. These are:
- Devices business: This focuses on the smartphone products, powered by the BlackBerry 10 Operating System. BlackBerry has licensed its smartphones to various mobile companies and carriers which then provide these as part of voice packages to clients. The smartphones come in the QWERTY and full touch screen varieties of phones.
- Enterprise Services: These are the enterprise solutions provided by BlackBerry such as the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) platform known as BES12 platform. Others are the Enterprise Identity by BlackBerry (cloud-based services), virtual private network (VPN) Authentication, BBM Meetings mobile app for business collaboration BlackBerry Blend for Enterprise. There is also the WorkLife service which permits companies to create additional corporate phone number on personal devices owned by their employees. It also allows an employee to add personal numbers to devises operated by their corporation.
- BlackBerry Technology Solutions (BTS) offers the QNX Software Systems Limited (QNX), Certicom, Paratek, the BlackBerry Internet of Things (IoT) Platform, and Intellectual Property and Patent Licensing (IPPL) services.
- Messaging: The messaging component consists of the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM). The BBM is now available on BlackBerry, iOS, Android and Windows Phone platforms.
Interesting Facts About BlackBerry Ltd
BlackBerry Ltd is involved in markets which are populated by several formidable competitors. BlackBerry Ltd is seeing significant completion with companies such as Apple Inc., Google, Microsoft, LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company, SAP AG, Samsung, Lenovo Group Ltd., HTC Corporation, VMware, Inc., Xiaomi Inc.,Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., Nokia Corporation, ZTE Corporation, IBM, Citrix, Mobile Iron, Inc., Green Hills Software, Intel Corporation, Mentor Graphics Corporation, Sysgo AG, Facebook, Line, WeChat, Viber, Kik, Kakao Talk, Good Technology Corporation, Snapchat, Cumulocity, MontaVista Software, Exosite and IBM. These are all companies involved in one way or the other in the smartphone and tablet device markets. The competing companies are involved in either the hardware or software ends of the market.
With so many competitors, BlackBerry Ltd really has had its work cut out for it and this has been seen in its recent struggles to keep up with Apple and Google in the smartphones market.
What Does the Future Hold for BlackBerry’s Investors?
BlackBerry Ltd has had a very torrid time in the last few years as it has seen its market share in the smartphone market completely eroded by Apple and Google’s smartphones. This has led to a significant loss of revenue which has negatively impacted the company’s bottom lines. Developers have long complained of the difficulty in the use of the app-making platforms and that is why programmers, developers and app entrepreneurs have taken their products to the App Store and Google Play stores. There have been successive changes in management in an effort to stem the tide.
It is not all gloom and doom. BlackBerry Ltd still enjoys significant patronage in its smartphone range of products in Africa, and the company is keen to leverage strongly on this trend. To this end, the company has started to invest significantly in expanding its operations in the African market.
The company has also made moves to challenge the big players in the smartphone market by making some changes to its smartphone and tablet offerings. The BlackBerry Messenger is now on offer on Android and iOS devices, giving it access to a market it did not have access to previously. Furthermore, the company released its first Android smartphone known as the Priv, jettisoning its earlier positions on sticking exclusively to BlackBerry software. The Priv sold out on Walmart and Best Buy, prompting the company’s stock price to jump 7%. Given the poor sales of BlackBerry’s handsets in the past few years, the Priv may yet turn out to be the company’s silver lining in the sky. However, the company still has a lot to do if it is to return to its glory years in a market dominated by iPhones and Android devices.