According to Kantar’s numbers, UK is Blackberry’s best Western market, with a 3.3% market share in the 3 months ending October.
I suspect however even that number is now optimistic, as one of the biggest phone retailers in UK, Phones4U, has completely dropped their product line from their online store, with their handsets not even available on Pay as You Go or SIM-free.
Contrast this with the healthy selection of Windows Phones Phones4U is carrying, and it is pretty clear why Windows Phone’s market share will grow further while Blackberry will go gently into that good night
Blackberry’s death spiral has seen many executives being laid off, and they are now more than ready to talk about the poor decision making in the chaotic company.
One of the most interesting stories, reported by Crackberry, was the company passing up a major endorsement by teenybopper star Justin Bieber, who offered to be a brand ambassador for Blackberry.
Vincent Washington, who was senior business development manager at BlackBerry from 2001-2011, reported that Justin Bieber had approached BlackBerry and wanted to be their brand ambassador, but the response was "he’s not going to last."
One thing we missed out on was that Justin Bieber wanted to rep BlackBerry. He said, “Give me $200,000 and 20 devices, and I’m your brand ambassador,” basically. And we pitched that to marketing: Here’s a Canadian kid, he grew up here, all the teeny-boppers will love that. They basically threw us out of the room. They said, “This kid is a fad. He’s not going to last.” I said at the meeting: “This kid might outlive RIM.” Everyone laughed.
With Blackberry sales hitting 0% in many regions, Washington’s prediction may end up being pretty prescient.
Nokia however has no issue with sloppy seconds, and on hearing about Blackberry’s rejection tweeted the above message, offering the Biebs his own selection of 20 Lumia handsets.
MobileToday reports that Nokia has once again made it clear they intend to displace Blackberry as the number one business to business manufacturer in the UK.
Nokia has already seen its share of the business market rise from nothing two years ago to 11.5% recently but the company has larger ambitions, and a plan to get there.
Their latest initiative is to offer specialist training for channel partners and to emphasize the security advantage of Windows Phone over iOS and especially Android.
To advance the first strategy Nokia has equipped all channel partner’s customer facing staff with the new Lumia 620, ‘so when a customer asks what phone they’re using they pull out the device’, as well as offering extensive on-site training, said channel sales manager Andrew Constable.
Nokia has been working with Alternative Networks, a leading provider in UK of mobile, systems, networks, IT and billing solutions.
He said: ‘We have a close partnership with Alternative Networks although we’ve only had a commercial relationship with them for the last six to seven weeks. We’ve got some great market share with these guys really quickly.
‘If they’ve got a customer, they’ll tell us how many connections they have, where they are based, and whether they are migrating or joining Alternative; so we’ll run a tech day. It’s not a sales orientated session and I think that’s what works about it, talking about technology and how it helps the customer rather than discussing the commercial side.’
In terms of security, the second leg of their strategy, Constable noted: ‘There are a lot of good devices on the market, but in my opinion nothing comes as ready for business as a Windows Phone. A key question we get when people move away from BlackBerry is: ‘Is it secure?’ Absolutely. All our devices are hardware encrypted so it’s safe to put all company sensitive documents on it. You can remote wipe it and enforce passwords.’
Now as BlackBerry is moving away from the retail market, they published their popular messenger BBM for Android and iOS already. BBM was one of the main reasons to buy a BlackBerry but with a decreasing market share it is only obvious BlackBerry needs to expand its services to other platforms also (just like Nokia did with HERE).
Anyhow, so far BBM is not available on Windows Phone or Windows. Many say it is because Microsoft is (was) BlackBerry’s biggest opponent in the fight for the third spot in the race of ecosystems. Now BlackBerry Leaks reports the popular messenger is on its way to Windows Phone along with a web and tablet version. Of course this is just positive news as BBM is a very important service for businesses and with Windows Phone also being a business platform this is an app which very many users will appreciate to have.
Of course we cannot say how high the probability is but with Windows Phone actually already being the third big platform it is very likely BlackBerry is developing an app for Windows Phone also.
An internal O2 memo has leaked out today and while the most of it deals with the new Mein O2 app, the last few lines of the memo is pretty interesting.
We wrote a while ago that O2 Germany would be replacing their Blackberry phones with Windows Phones.
In the latest leaked memo, posted by WPArea.de, they write:
Still with BlackBerry on the go?
If you do not want to use a BlackBerry as a phone service, it is now high time to replace them. You have the choice between the three smartphones Nokia Lumia 520, Nokia Lumia 925 and Nokia Lumia 625. You can find all the details of the Exchange in the intranet.
Replacing Blackberry’s enterprise installed base likely represents several million sales over the next few months, and Microsoft and Nokia are planning to aggressively pursue this market, according to a recent report. Moves such as the above by O2 Germany, which is expected to spread to Telefonica’s other markets, should help Windows Phone momentum in the third and 4th quarter significantly.
Thanks Susanna for the tip.
MobileToday reports that Nokia is claiming to own 11.5% of the UK enterprise market, rising from nothing 18 months ago.
Nokia director of business sales for UK and Europe Adrian Williams said ‘Our market share with Windows Phone has grown from 0% to 11.5% in the last 18 months. Our ambition is to reach 20% by the end of 2013 as our momentum increases, which would position Nokia as number two in market share.’
To aid the cause Nokia is launching a £1m online and digital business marketing campaign this week, aimed at persuading corporate and SME businesses to switch to Nokia Lumia devices.
The campaign, with the slogan ‘Nokia Lumia: designed for life, built for business’, will target b2b managers responsible for their companies’ mobile strategy and will focus on the integration between Windows Phone and Microsoft infrastructure like Lync, SharePoint, OneNote, Exchange, Company Hub and SkyDrive.
According to Philip Clarke, research analyst at Nemertes Research, Blackberry is rapidly on its way out in enterprise, and Windows Phone is like to replace it.
According to their data 29.4% of companies have already ended BlackBerry (BB) support, another 11.8% have plans to do so in 2013 and 29.4% are evaluating to end-of-life (EOL), making a total of 70.6% of enterprises that will end BlackBerry support at some point.
Meanwhile Windows Phone adoption grew from 0% in 2012 to 25% in 2013, with an additional 16.7% have plans to adopt it, 20.8% are evaluating the operating system.
The main attraction was integration with existing Microsoft infrastructure, followed by unified desktop and mobile architecture.
Overall volumes are still small, but with millions of Blackberries still in use in enterprise, the rapid implosion of the company is an opportunity Microsoft and Nokia can not pass up at all.
Microsoft needs to go on the PR offensive as Gartner recommends business switch from Blackberry within 6 months
Blackberry’s implosion has been become pretty public recently, but for many businesses the company is still synonymous with getting work done on the move.
Analyst firm Gartner is now recommending those businesses, who still use tens of millions of Blackberries, should make plans to move off that platform post-haste.
"Gartner recommends that our [BlackBerry enterprise] clients take no more than six months to consider and implement alternatives to BlackBerry," said Gartner analyst Bill Menezes in an email interview with Conputerworld. "We’re emphasizing that all clients should immediately ensure they have backup mobile data management plans and are at least testing alternative devices to BlackBerry."
- Move off BlackBerry devices completely
- Place BlackBerry on a "contain" status where users are told that BlackBerry will be discontinued except when approved by management, possibly leaving a "controlled” community of BlackBerry devices.
- Upgrade a limited set of users, such as executives who want a BlackBerry physical keyboard or users in high security jobs, to BB 10 devices, while supporting other platforms such as Android or iOS, but Gartner also suggest enterprises should not activate BES 10 for management of Android and Apple devices until there is more clarity on BlackBerry’s future.
The full Gartner report will soon be delivered to their clients, but what has been made public so far does not seem to include a recommendation to go Windows Phone, despite the back office of these companies likely running on Microsoft infrastructure.
It seems, given the opportunity, and especially with Microsoft’s impending ownership of Nokia’s mobile division, now would be a good time to hit the enterprise market hard with marketing suggesting a smooth transition from Blackberry to Windows Phone, which has a cost advantage over iOS and a security advantage over Android, is a very good idea.
Do our readers agree? Let us know below.
Blackberry has recently ported their proprietary messaging platform BBM to iOS and Android, though apps for neither platform is currently available after the company botched the launch last weekend.
They are however working on getting making the 60 million odd users BBM network accessible to users on other platforms, but the list unfortunately does not include Windows Phone.
This does not however mean Blackberry is opposed to expanding their net.
"BBM will not be limited to just Android or iOS. We are open to other platforms also," Gary Klassen, creator and principle of BBM said, adding, "We want more are more people to enjoy and experience BBM."
While BBM is a small network compared to the 300 million users of WhatsApp or even the 80 million users on KIK, in some regions of the world like Africa and South East Asia is is still pretty dominant, meaning having the app available to Windows Phone users will make it easier to sell the OS there.
Of course BBM for Windows Phone may be only a small priority for the beleaguered company, which is currently struggling to survive amid crashing market share and a massive failure of its new BB10 platform.
Are any of our readers hoping the app ends up on Windows Phone also? Let us know below.
Things are going from bad to worse for the beleaguered Canadian smartphone maker, as T-Mobile USA confirms to Reuters that they will no longer be offering Blackberry’s handsets in their retail stores.
David Carey, executive vice president for corporate services told Reuters that "keeping stock in the retail distribution system was inefficient" because BlackBerry phones have not been high demand devices for consumers.
Blackberry itself has said they will be retreating from the consumer market, and is thought to have less than 2% market share in USA.
Handsets will still be available online, but the absence of the devices in store should leave more shelf space and sales rep attention for Windows Phone.
In a preliminary ruling the ITC has found that HTC infringes two Nokia patents to do with sending and receiving signals. The move could block 7 older HTC handsets in the US, including the HTC Amaze 4G, Inspire 4G, Flyer, Jetstream, Radar 4G, Rezound and Sensation 4G, most of which are no longer on sale.
Despite Nokia choosing the ITC as a rapid venue for action, the full ITC is scheduled to make a final decision on the matter only January 23, 2014, by which time I doubt any of the handsets will have any market relevance.
Once divested of its handset division next year, Nokia may become more aggressive in pursuing patent litigation, as as a non-practicing entity they will no longer be vulnerable to countersuits from the companies it is suing.
In the mean time however there is a bigger threat looming for smartphone makers from the rapidly fading Blackberry, which may itself soon exit the handset market. The company owns around 5,135 patents, most related to now obsolete features like keyboards, but others still fundamental given the company was around at the start of the smartphone market.
Wikibon analyst Scott Lowe notes there is a risk some-one could buy Blackberry’s patent portfolio and “start suing everyone.” Even Fairfax holdings may be looking to leverage the asset for a return on their investment.
Ultimately Blackberry’s death throes may present a bigger risk to its competitors than when it was alive.
CNET reports that analysts expect Windows Phone to benefit most from the sale of Blackberry to Fairfax Holdings for $4.7 billion.
"Today’s news will speed up this move away from BlackBerry as no one will think they will get any support," said Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi. "Windows Phone is well positioned to take advantage of BlackBerry’s weakness."
Blackberry is expected to retreat from the consumer market, leaving Windows Phone’s place as the 3rd ecosystem largely uncontested, and more carrier shelf space for Lumia phones.
Windows Phone has also already won a number of enterprise contracts from Blackberry, and with increasing uncertainty about the viability of the company this trend is likely to further continue.
In addition Windows Phone has a security advantage over Android, and a major cost advantage over the iPhone, making handsets running the OS a natural replacement for Blackberry in the business environment.
Do our readers think Windows Phone is poised to pick up another few percentage points? Let us know below.
Blackberry’s share price dropped more than 20% today after the company pre-announced their Q2 earnings, which reads like a disaster of apocalyptic proportions.
The company reported a operating loss of $950 million to $995 million largely due to a write down of their unsold BB Z10 stock.
The company also managed to ship only 3.7 million new smartphones this month, mostly of their old BB7 handsets, while it was unable to recognize any significant BB10 sales until it actually sold the handsets to customers.
Blackberry also confirmed that it would lay off 4,500 of their employees, confirming earlier rumours, and would cut their smartphone offerings from 6 to only 4 – 2 high-end devices and 2 entry-level devices – presumably the BB Q5 and BB Z10 handset and the BB Q10 and Z30.
They confirmed they would be retreating to the enterprise and prosumer market, offering end-to-end solutions, including hardware, software and services.
The company managed to burn 400 million of its $3 billion cash trove, and now hand $2.6 billion in cash and cash equivalents.
The company is continuing to look for a buyer, but so far there seem to be little interest.
Blackberry fell behind Windows Phone for the first time in calendar Q1 this year, and the difference has steadily widened. With the company leaving the consumer field developers looking to support a 3rd platform now only have one clear choice – Windows Phone.
“People familiar with the matter” have told Bloomberg that, despite just scooping up Nokia’s handset division, Microsoft has not lost it taste for some Blackberry also.
According the the ‘people’ Blackberry’s strong enterprise presence “could still attract interest from Microsoft”
Blackberry is expected to miss massively in their upcoming earnings report at the end of this month, and is currently still seeking buyers, with poor uptake so far.
Given that it took more than 50 meetings of Nokia’s board to finalize the sale of the company, a Blackberry/Microsoft deal may still surprise up eventually.
Do our readers think adding rapid scale to Microsoft’s mobile business will be a good idea? Let us know below.
A T-Mobile USA employee has claimed that the carrier will no longer be stocking Blackberry’s latest Z10 and Q10 smartphones, and all buyers will have to purchase them via Direct Ship.
Posted on the Crackberry forums, Dierre said:
My manager told me the other day that all blackberry 10 devices will now be only available via direct ship. I work at a corporate store in Cleveland I have to go check the Email but I’m not sure if this has just affected NorthEast Ohio.
T-Mobile was one of the first supporters of Blackberry’s new operating system, but it appears sales have been extremely disappointing. Other T-Mobile employees confirmed the move to destock stores are not isolated, meaning Blackberry’s already low US sales may soon be close to non-existent.
Recent reports have claimed that Windows Phone is one of the main beneficiaries of defecting corporate Blackberry users, and one wonders if, by offering an alternative platform than iOS and Android, while itself having a bit more traction, Windows Phone is more than a bystander but actually complicit is Blackberry’s slow descent into the grave.
Do our readers anticipate the day, very soon, when there are only 3 mobile operating systems in USA? Let us know below.
ITWire has been looking at the dire situation of Blackberry in Australia, and found bad news for the fruit company, and good news for Windows Phone.
While both Blackberry Inc. and carriers were mum on sales, a Telstra franchisee was most helpful.
“We don’t get a lot of large corporate clients (100+ handsets) but we do have quite a lot of 20-100 handset clients because of our location. They have not been buying the Z10 or Q10. Or the iPhone either because of the rumoured new models. When a contract is up – as so many BlackBerry contracts are – Windows Phones are very popular as replacements. We cannot sell Android into corporates,” she said.
According to sales staff at Optus stores Blackberry consumer sales have been “almost nil” and genuine corporate buyers preferred the entry level Nokia Lumia 520 for staff and the 625 (4G, 4.5”) for executives.
A Harvey Norman franchisee is quoted as saying. “Mate, the white Q10 is exclusive to us. Supply has been delayed to 5 September but there is no interest, no one rushing in to buy one. The black one is gathering dust and we will probably ship these back soon.”
Mobicity who sell the Q10 confirms the lack of sales progress, noting “If money is not an issue the (Samsung Galaxy) S4 at about $100 more and for corporates with networks the Lumia 520 (around $200) and 4G 625 (around $380).”
“…it seems Windows Phone, not iPhone or Android is taking up the niche BlackBerry leaves.”
Blackberry Inc has of course already responded to their sales disaster by putting the company up for sale, but I suspect, like their handsets, there are very few takers even for the venerable company. Maybe a joint venture by Microsoft and Nokia would be the best way to pick this low-hanging fruit.
Thanks Nishy for the tip.