BlackBerry goes niche; exits consumer mobile market

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BlackBerry Z30

BlackBerry has announced that they will are moving away from mainstream consumers and switching back to catering for the enterprise user base. This means that BlackBerry is becoming a niche manufacturer, which is one of the options that I mentioned when I wrote about the smartphone ecosystem war. Here is an excerpt from my article:

Many times, when people talk about the top three ecosystems, it is made to sound like there is no life outside of that group. Listening to enthusiasts, one gets the impression that any platform outside of the top three is dying. This is not necessarily true. I believe that there will always be thriving platforms outside of the top three. In my opinion, BlackBerry OS not making the top three does not mean the death of that OS. Then there’s Tizen, and there’s Firefox OS, as well MeeGo. There will always be others around, and this will make for choices. Not everyone wants Android, iOS, or Windows Phone.

So, BlackBerry is moving back to enterprise where they have always had leverage and will exist as a small player in the smartphone field in addition to other operations. Here are the areas of focus:

– offer a portfolio of 4 enterprise and prosumer-centric targeted devices – two high-end and two entry-level ones.
– offer hardware and software services to other companies. This includes BBM for Android and iOS, among others.

BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins said in a statement:

“Going forward, we plan to refocus our offering on our end-to-end solution of hardware, software and services for enterprises and the productive, professional end user. This puts us squarely on target with the customers that helped build BlackBerry into the leading brand today for enterprise security, manageability and reliability.”

With the introduction of the new 5-inch display BlackBerry Z30, the company says it will re-position the Z10 to make it available to a broader, entry-level audience. That means we should expect a lower sales price. The Z30 now becomes the company’s flagship device.

BlackBerry is making this transition back to its enterprise roots as it faces huge losses from lacklustre device sales. Its OS10 devices have not sold very well in the market, a performance that is more a result of the pricing of those devices than anything else.

  1. If only BlackBerry had kept their core strength in the enterprise market, they probably wouldn’t have been so out of their depth.

    Overpriced and under-spec’d devices (compared to the competition) didn’t help. I just hope BlackBerry remains on the landscape for a long time, even after absenting the consumer market.

  2. It hurts that they tested the waters and it wasn’t a good deal after all.
    The niche mkt is a good option for them.

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