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Stock Continues To Tumble As BlackBerry Loses Control Of Their Message


BlackBerry really underperformed compared to expectations this past Friday and there is no way to really avoid that fact. On the other hand BlackBerry was doing a wonderful job in the last 6-12 months in terms of taking control of their messaging and perception in the media. For some reason that finesse was totally lost this past Friday. BlackBerry executives knew that they were delivering disappointing news including a net income loss (even though revenue was up), lower than expected BlackBerry 10 shipments, drops in gross margins and service revenue, and other tidbits. The only real bright point they focused on was their increase in cash and positive cash flow for now. As of now BlackBerrys stock is trading below $10 after trading around $14-15 for a few months now.

The thing is BlackBerry does have a story and vision to tell but for some reason BlackBerry’s executives were totally unprepared to relay that during the conference call on Friday. Instead of projecting confidence we had BlackBerry CEO and CFO sounding like they didn’t have answers even to the most basic of questions. They could have assumed practically all of the questions analysts threw there way and prepared confident responses. Instead we received what came across as nonsensical half answers and dismal guidance for next quarter. What investors, customers, developers, and enterprise clients wanted to hear was BlackBerry’s plans for exponentially growing their BlackBerry 10 sales and marketshare.

I was really hoping that BlackBerry PR and executives would kick in and retake control and instill confidence in their vision for BlackBerry now that Canada Day is over but sadly that has not happened. Hopefully they have something planned because right now they are just letting the media spiral their messaging back to the “BlackBerry is dead” days we had 6 months back.

What do you think?

33 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Time to buy… I agree with the article in that they are unprepared with message, however the roll out continues with a great new product.

  2. It’s hard to understand how BlackBerry can have a motto of “Keep Moving Foward” when there are plans to launch a new device on OS 7. I don’t think taking 1 step back to go two steps forward is going to work.

  3. Ronen,

    I think you are correct, it was way out of control. I have listened to a great many earnings calls, and I can’t remember one handled so poorly, you would almost have to work at it to deliver so many disconnected and piece-meal statements.

    I think something has to come out of the stock holders meeting, in fact something significant had better come out. They have done a lot of harm, pissed away a lot of good will, and just when people were beginning to take them seriously. Now they have to start over, and it will be harder the next time.

    I think an activist share holder, might show up. Prema has been awfully quite, unless he has liquidated and moved on, “the gang who can’t shoot straight” cost him a lot of money in the last few days.


  4. Yep. Lost control .


  5. I thought BlackBerry PR and marketing was better, but no… It really isn’t.

    • Better. Yes.
      Good enough?


      • I don’t even think it’s better. This recent PR crap is the same fiasco we had with the previous PB update failures and even the earlier BB OS upgrade-going-to-which-hardware fiasco…

        Marketing doesn’t seem much better than BB7 advertisements so far…

  6. BlackBerry needs to revamp its marketing strategies. They also have to somehow convince and maybe even beg for developers to develop for BlackBerry 10. I talk to co-workers, family, and friends who want to come to BlackBerry but when they find out that the apps they love on other platforms is not available they end up backing out. Once BlackBerry can convince developers to develop the same popular apps as they do for the others I guarantee BlackBerry will see an increase in subscribers!

    • My question is this. How can they possibly convince developers to delve into native development when they can’t get android ported apps (that already work in a lot of cases) into their own store…

  7. The release was a disaster from the start. The press release hid simple facts that an idiot would have noticed were missing. There is no positive way to interpret this omission. Now, how can anyone have positive expectations relating to product sell through?
    Management really shot themselves in the foot with a few missing details. Another bad quarter and goodbye thorsten.

  8. It won’t happen but it should. Given the crisis in confidence that has occurred since last Friday, there is no choice but to terminate Heins as CEO. They had every opportunity to come hat in hand to the financial press and their shareholders today to rebuild confidence and did not. Only the naive believe there is hope given the trajectory this management team is on.

  9. I purchased another 650 shares.

    BlackBerry has a message and it’s not hard to hear it if you listen. The Bears are negative “just because” but there are a few Bulls that “get it”.

    I posted an article on LinkedIn – instead of cut/paste here please take a look there at

    This is the message that they’re trying to get out and which is getting ignored. It is not about the Z10 or the Q10. It is something much bigger.


    • Excellent write up and you’re so right. I bought my first BlackBerry when it was a RIM 950 and back then no one in any of my circles, of any generation, had ever conceived of being able to send and receive emails from anywhere on the grid while on the go. I was an early adopter, and still am as I still get the latest & greatest BlackBerry when it comes out.

      I’m not a financial wizard or anything like that, and I don’t play the stock market at all (yeah yeah I keep my money in the bank low risk low return), but I do remember things that happened during my lifetime… for about 2 decades there was this company that couldn’t compete for beans in the non-mobile personal computing arena, was always hundreds of thousands of apps short compared to their main competitor (for DECADES people, DECADES), and was even bailed out financially by that same competitor to the tune of several hundred million. That company was Apple, with help from Microsoft. The Apple faithful endured and Apple is doing better financially today.

      BlackBerry has 3 BILLION dollars in the bank. They had an underperforming quarter (3 months). Their new OS is not even a year old. They have spent most of their existence as the leader with no one even touching them in the market. How is this panic time? It just isn’t. If everyone who ever had a bad week after years of awesomeness ended up diagnosing their life as being over from that point forward… wow. I just think folks need to chill.

      • Some of us were already emailing on the go before the RIM 950 came out. BB made it more efficient and more secure for enterprises.

        As for the Apple analogy. There is one major difference. Microsoft needed Apple to survive to avoid being a monopoly.
        Government agencies need BES to survive, but that’s it.

    • Hi Bill,

      You have a great point but I was trying to highlight how they have lost control of their messaging. This has always been a falling point at BlackBerry and they were finally turning it around with some coordinated efforts. Then all of a sudden on Friday they drop and bomb and bumble any sort of explanation of how they plan on making lemonade out of the lemons.

      That is what is truly leading to the loss of confidence. The lack of confidence BlackBerrys executives are portraying. They need to get in front of their report an actually sound confident that it will get better.

      • I did not listen to the call. At the best of times Thorsten sounds a little stiff and uncomfortable in the public eye.

        There is only so much you’re allowed to do and say and project on an earnings call, as well. I worked for a couple of companies where I groaned loudly when our CFO and CEO got to the speakerphone but when I asked them about it later they pointed out that the “safe harbour” statements wouldn’t cover any perceived obfuscation of the truth.

        The analysts should all know that of course – it is left to the gloating shorts and other trolls to pile on the negativity.

        I was talking to someone else recently on this same topic. The reality is that there have always been critiques of BlackBerry’s marketing campaigns. But almost none of those folks complaining about BlackBerry marketing have any sense of perspective in that profession and topic. I certainly don’t. BlackBerry has many parallel campaigns (TV, online, social, etc.) in strategic markets based on target audience, location, and specific positioned messaging timed for carefully measured actions. As my friend says “Not every advertisement is targeted to people like you and me –perhaps a commercial someone digs up on YouTube seems hollow and a complete waste of time, when in reality it’s designed specifically for the youth segment in South Africa. Or more often, designed for those who have absolutely no idea what BlackBerry really does having not owned one for many years, if ever”. It’s a brand war before it’s a feature war.

        Like I wrote on LinkedIn : it’s much more complex, broad, global and forward thinking than most can even wrap their heads around.

        There is a lot of negative material on the web now about this because every self-professed expert has his or her own gold plated opinion about where to take a multi-billion dollar company when it comes to strategy, product, and marketing.

        As RP Singh and Playpen007 have pointed out here as well : We’re only a few months in to a brand new paradigm – I am sure that BlackBerry has the vision and stamina and that this will play out well in the not-too-distant-future.

        I wish us all the best of success. (as my Retirement plan depends upon it!)


        • Bill I do not doubt that BlackBerry has a great product building in BlackBerry 10. I am just concerned that they did not have any better messaging strategy than what they did on Friday. All they did was announced what they knew for weeks would be disappointing shipments of their flagship device and they did nothing at all to soften the blow. Hell they could have even just released screenshots of BBM running cross platform just to divert some of the blow. It was like they didn’t think it was a big deal. That is totally at odds with the last few months where BlackBerry has been making every effort to turn around the boat of public opinion. They were finally making some good headway and then they just dropped these results without any explanation.

        • Why wouldn’t there be critiques of BB’s marketing campaigns? 2.7 million devices shipped indicates they have been ineffective. Facts are facts. Poor execution and excuses don’t bring home the bacon. This quarterly report underscored an important fact. The people who stepped up to the plate with the massive short position had better data, not the sugar coated B.S. Heins and Co were trying to sell. The recently completed BlackBerry Live and quarterly report were more than disappointing. The communication and marketing strategy of the management team and board of directors deserves a failing grade and contribute to where we are as shareholders. I’ve owned BB since 2006 so have been around a few quarters.

  10. You know BB10 has been in the market about 5 to 6 months and the Wall Street crooks want to see the Q10, Z10 sales skyrocket. I don’t think this is possible since it is a new platform and a lot of people I know don’t even know what is BlackBerry BB10 software. Give the platform at least a year or so to find out if it is going to succeed or not. I own Z10 and my son has Q10; I played with both. This is the best and easiest Operating System I have ever own. I used an Iphone before switched in BB10. Android is too confusing and IOS is not as easy as BB10. I can close app on BB10 with a blink of my eyes but closing app with IOS have to follow many steps. I just peek into my HUB capture the whole thing. I can reply to people from the HUB without launching any apps. In my opinion, the only things they need to work on are improving BB10 and marketing the proper way. Take the devices to the big cities show to the people what this thing capable of that the competitors lack. Have them play with them. Show them how easy it is to get the jobs done fast compare competitors devices.

  11. They could have continued to lie to customers by saying that they would not only putting BB10 on their playbooks, but would trade them in when the launch BP2.

    Do you think anybody will believe them? I do not think so

  12. There must be so many BB trolls. The comments on other websites are so different. Wake up guys! I understand that it hurts to see a home grown company go down. But BB has become a laughing stock in the market place.

  13. I have been a BlackBerry user for many years – the quality & functionality are the best there is. In the big picture one tough quarter for a company means nothing. They just have to keep their eye on the ball.

  14. I didn’t hear the call as I was on business in China. There are no BlackBerrys here but few iPhones as well. Full of Samsungs. It makes me wonder what is so wrong with just allowing people to run Android apps out of the box. Would that really be as hard as writing a whole OS. Wouldn’t the ability to run Android apps over come 99% of BlackBerry ‘s consumer image problem. Come on just do it.

    I think BlackBerry is just too arrogant. It’s ok for MSFT to throw billions trying to build a third OS without apps but BlackBerry is just too small to do it.

    I don’t say throw out the OS but just add something sandboxed swipe down with three fingers to bring up Android workplace where you can download android apps to your heart’s content.

    • I like the idea. They just need to add a 3rd compartment to Balance. It may be what they’re already using, except that they didn’t want to add Google Play next to BB World as it would confuse users and not generate any extra revenue.

      • Fine but it seems developers will not port to BlackBerry World so they need to start putting Android programs up instead of BAR files.

        Of a Z10 owner could say “Oh it runs all android Apps” it would shut a lot of people up.

  15. Everything has gone really quiet, just like before a sale and that may be why execs were so “lost”. They might need to action plan B and are not happy about it.

  16. Call a spade a spade. Their engagement with customers and shareholders is shameful.

  17. I see no new Blackberry’s “in the wild”. None at restaurants, shows, airplanes, airports etc. People are not buying them and they do not have a compelling reason to do so over choices available for ios/Android/windows mobile. This latest batch of news will not sway more developers to create BB apps, rather it will result in opposite effect. No silver lining here.

  18. That’s a bummer. But we can’t lose hope. Their competition is just too stiff…

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