Enterprise customers of BlackBerry’s smartphones and enterprise management software should find alternatives to the financially troubled company’s products over the next three to six months, according to a recently released Gartner report.
BlackBerry responded with a statement, saying: “We recognize and respect external parties' opinions on BlackBerry's recent news. However, many of the conclusions by Gartner about the potential impact of a sale or other strategic alternatives, are purely speculative."
The Waterloo, Ontario company, however, has not fared well during recent months. A brief timeline of its recent troubles include the disclosure of plans to lay off 4,500 of its 12,500 employees; a loss of $965 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2014; and a decline in revenue by 49% in fiscal Q2 from the previous quarter. Meanwhile, the company’s sale to Fairfax Financial Holdings of Toronto for $4.7 billion is pending.
Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney’s report, which the firm released to select BlackBerry enterprise customers, suggests several approaches to gradually de support BlackBerry.
Despite its dire situation, BlackBerry remains a presence in the enterprise. In August, Gartner conducted a poll of 400 business and IT leaders and found that 24 percent are on the BlackBerry platform. However, the respondents expected that number will decline to 9 percent by 2016, according to Computerworld.
The decline of the once-mighty BlackBerry offers a key takeaway for IT leaders: The importance of monitoring and periodically reviewing your vendors and service providers—and watching for troubled companies that, like BlackBerry, might be unable to fulfill your IT needs now or in the near future.
In the Middle East the BlackBerry used to have an dominant market share not only among corporate users but also as a consumer device, however in recent years both Apple and Samsung have taken the lead.
But where did BlackBerry go wrong? Analysts believe that its poor development environment (at least in the past) made it difficult for app developers to support BlackBerry while they were churning thousands of apps for iPhone and Android. The lack of apps (about 100,00 apps are available for BlackBerry but more than 700,000 for iOS and Android) ultimately caused many consumers to switch and forced corporate to provide BYOD type support for iPhone, Android and even Windows phone.
It is unlikely that the newly release Z30 is going to make any significant difference to BlackBerry’s declining market share despite its new features and capabilities.