With BlackBerry’s recent withdrawal from the consumer market, and subsequent revelation that they lost $1 billion last quarter, we were all left to reminisce on just what led to their downfall. Some pointed to the iPhone, which led the charge into a new frontier of smart devices. Some said the proliferation of Android was too much, and Google’s free-to-use services were just too much for
It turns out, everyone was right! In the global economy, emerging markets like India or China are increasingly important to an OEM’s bottom line. In those markets, Android and iOS have a strong foothold, and no sign of letting up. BlackBerry now admits it couldn’t keep up with demand:
“The intense competition impacting the Company's financial and operational results that previously affected demand in the United States market is now being experienced globally, including in international markets where the Company has historically experienced rapid growth. The increase in competition encountered by the Company in international markets is due to the recent entry into those markets of global competitors offering high end devices that compete with the Company's BlackBerry 10 devices, as well as other competitors targeting those markets with lower end Android-based devices that compete with the Company's lower cost devices."
That was included in a regulatory filing by Blackberry, released shortly after news leaked of their withering sales numbers. It was said to be part of an earnings call BlackBerry scheduled, then promptly cancelled due to a buyout offer from their leading shareholder.
Further details about BlackBerry’s slide point to a diminished North American presence, where BlackBerry noted $414 million in sales. While that accounted for 26% of sales, their presence in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa brought in $686 million, or 42% of their sales revenue. This was all in contribution to a 55% decline in overall device sales, where Blackberry saw a $942 million loss.
In regard to their enterprise sector, where Blackberry will focus their efforts moving forward, losses abound. Their services sector saw a decline of 27% to $724 million. This all contributes to BlackBerry laying of 40% of their workforce, and funneling their focus to four devices, all meant for the enterprise market. It won’t be easy, though: Apple, Google, and Microsoft have all made serious inroads to mobile enterprise and service solutions in BlackBerry’s absence.