The ‘enterprise’ factor holds the key
But there’s something else about the US that Blackberry needs to be really careful about. That’s because this is a market where its strongest ally, the enterprise segment, might not provide adequate support. The current BYOD (Bring Your Own device) trend has meant that an increasing number of corporate employees are bringing their personal iPhones or Android-powered smartphones to office.
The company’s famed 80 million-strong enterprise user base has already been targeted by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Samsung and Nokia. While Samsung has already made its intentions clear with the introduction of its Knox security software at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK)’s association with Windows should help it to grab a fair share of the enterprise segment as well. That’s because Windows is still the corporate customer’s favorite software.
Coming back to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), its rumored launch of a low-cost iPhone might be the final nail in the coffin for Blackberry, as enterprises that buy phones in bulk for their employees would certainly welcome a cheaper alternative and that too, coming from the country’s top smartphone maker.
At the same time, the Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) has already lost its appeal to mainstream customers in the US. And the lack of adequate apps on the BB10 operating system proves to be of no help either. By now it’s probably clear that the chips are heavily down for Blackberry. The $199 on contract Blackberry Z10 might find it difficult to even compete with the free on contract iPhone 4. And we’re talking about a product that’s already two generations old.
The results should be out soon
While the company’s quarterly results to be declared on March 28 should provide a peek into how it’s faring in emerging markets, the very next quarter would be the one for investors to take a final decision about the stock as the US market share becomes apparent. I’ll also keep an eye open for the qwerty keypad-enabled Q10 launch, given the fact that loyal Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) users have always favored the physical keyboard phone models over the touchscreen varieties. Hold onto this stock for just a wee bit more. At least your confusion is unlikely to last long.
The article Is This Stock Worth Holding Onto? originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Subhadeep Ghose.
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