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Nick Abe, CFA

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  • An Open Letter To BlackBerry Management And Directors [View article]
    I did want to go into more detail on the points you mentioned but the article was long already.

    Removing the buttons was a mistake. They should have made a hybrid version of the swiping systems with the old buttons. This would have allowed people a chance to transition without the steep learning curve.

    The Z10 release before the Q10 was not really my primary issue. They built $1billion worth more than they needed (what's that like 5 million devices, 3?). But even that said, releasing the Z10 first has a few possible outcomes (bear in mind it's the same form factor as iPhone, etc):
    1. BlackBerry hardcores (the only people who were likely to buy BB10 at launch) try the Z10 and determine they:
    a) love all touch screen and don't need a keyboard
    b) love the swiping and new operating system
    c) tell their friends
    So if A+B are true, then C will happen and you'll get a nice grassroots marketing campaign. If just A is true then C won't happen and it removes the one roadblock for device switching from current BB users ("but I need a keyboard!"). If neither A or B is true then they're probably just a frustrated customer that got forced into buying something they didn't want because Q10 wasn't ready yet.

    The point being that the risk/reward of releasing a product that you had failed on 5 times previously (storm 1, 2, 3, 4, playbook) as your flagship product puts you at serious risk for both a media crapstorm and carrier nervousness. Perception is reality in both cases and can (and likely did) lead to lower sales for your other devices where you had a competitive edge (i.e. Q10/Q5).

    Just because two well recognized CONSUMER brands are having success in selling a particular product type (Apple/Samsung or Apple/Google if you want to look at it that way), doesn't mean that you HAVE to follow the herd. Following the herd cost shareholders at least $1 billion so far, and further billions in share price degradation.
    Oct 1, 2013. 01:05 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • An Open Letter To BlackBerry Management And Directors [View article]
    I think you're letting current management off the hook way too easily. Fact is that current management have had their positions since January 2012 and had 15 months to make any changes required to anything (operating system, order sizes, marketing, etc) and they failed in virtually every possible category (with respect to BB10 launch).

    As for participating, you could suggest to Mr. Watsa that he launch a sole purpose private equity fund to fund the purchase. Then individual investors could invest in the fund.
    Oct 1, 2013. 09:33 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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