BlackBerry Defeated

| About: BlackBerry Ltd. (BBRY)

Summary

BlackBerry executives have implied that the company might ditch BB10.

This in my opinion constitutes a defeat on all fronts, and shareholders have paid the price.

Until further notice, I continue to view BlackBerry as a trading opportunity stock and nothing else.

To be honest, I never thought I would hear a BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) executive say it, but I did:

The PRIV device is essentially our transition to Android (Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL)) ecosystem. As we secure Android, over a period of time, we would not have two platforms, and may have only Android as a platform. But for now, we have BB10 and Android platforms for our smartphones.

Essentially this means the end of BB10 and everything associated with BlackBerry as we know it. Is this good or bad news?

If you ask me, it's bad news. This because, if BlackBerry makes the decision to ditch BB10, it will be out of necessity and desperation, and not as a tactical move for the better.

In other words, it will mean BlackBerry has been defeated on all fronts. It also will mean BlackBerry has lost the device war, the platform war and everything else in between.

It will mean that all the money spent on R&D will go down the drain. It will mean that its entire business model was wrong, and shareholders have paid the price.

Sure BlackBerry might still make devices, but instead of being a tier 1 technology company, BlackBerry will simply be just another Android OEM.

In fact, some people might just get their wish. Many analysts and market commentators have said that BlackBerry should get out of the hardware business altogether.

Be careful what you wish for folks, because that's exactly what I see coming if the Priv is not successful (and I do not think it will be. Please consider: If You Are Thinking About Buying BlackBerry Because Of The Priv, Think Again).

And if that happens, BlackBerry will simply be a software company catering to specific segments of the enterprise market with no chance of ever becoming a mainstream company ever again.

In addition, I'm not sure BlackBerry can persuade governments, agencies and corporations - who want the kind of security BlackBerry devices offer - to buy an Android device.

Simply put, by definition, the Android platform is known to have thousands of apps that contain known malware that can completely take over a device.

Personally, I think the security void that BlackBerry will leave behind - if it decides to abandon BB10 - will be taken over by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).

Apple iPhones offer end-to-end high level decryption by default. And when the government complains that they cannot decrypt iPhone communications, or when the government says Apple is helping terrorists, then I think the iPhone is pretty secure.

Besides, Apple already dominates the enterprise anyway. It's not as if BlackBerry has some serious market share in the space.

So even if BlackBerry goes all Android, I'm very skeptical if the void BB10 it will leave behind will be filled by BlackBerry selling an Android device.

Also, I think all MDM solutions today more or less do the same thing. I'm not sure that MDM software is enough of a reason for any company to stick to BlackBerry and buy its Android devices.

Either way, with BB10 out of the way, whatever little BlackBerry sells to enterprise customers will be taken over by Apple. I doubt very much if organizations who use BlackBerry today have any desire to switch to Android.

Damned if BlackBerry goes Android, damned if it doesn't.

I'm not sure BlackBerry actually has another choice. I hate to be the one to say it folks, but I do not see a bright future for BlackBerry if it abandons BB10, and I do not see a bright future if it goes all Android. Damned if BlackBerry goes Android, damned if it doesn't.

Yes, there is a small chance it might make it big with QNX (please consider: Yes, QNX Might Become A Big Revenue Stream For BlackBerry In The Future), but I would not bet on it just yet.

Also, I do not think the MDM space is big enough for BlackBerry's stock to really take off. BlackBerry already has about 50% of the space. Even if it gets 100% market share, it is not enough for its stock to double (my No. 1 criteria for buying any stock). That in my opinion can only happen if BlackBerry remains a devices company ... and succeeds.

While I might be proved wrong, I do not think the Priv will be much of a success either. I mean it might sell good (and by good meaning BlackBerry will not lose money), but that will not do much for the stock in my opinion.

In short, BlackBerry has lost on all fronts. Even if it doesn't ditch BB10, the very fact that management is contemplating to go all Android constitutes a defeat.

What's next for the stock?

To be honest, I'm not really interested that much in a company that is simply selling MDM solutions and offers security solutions to a selected group of companies. Not at BlackBerry's current valuation anyway.

While I think the fair value of BlackBerry is somewhere between $7 and $8 a share, I still see no reason to buy the stock as is, if the Priv does not prove to be a huge (and I mean huge) success.

Until further notice then, I continue to view BlackBerry as a trading opportunity stock and nothing else.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.