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  • Can BlackBerry Survive 2014 And Beyond? [View article]
    I agree with you. It is too early for meaningful numbers, unless they are shockingly bad. I also agree with you that the issue will be how the call is handled and how the analysts respond. If the numbers are bad and the call is handled poorly, this play could close after opening night.

    I remain unconvinced regarding the BBM strategy. The beauty of BBM is its simplicity and feedback, and it was one of the strong reasons people chose a BBRY. It was losing its appeal and usefulness because there were fewer people using BBRYs and therefore fewer people using BBM, and offering it as a free ap on other platforms will certainly help with that problem. But attempts at montization will change the user interface, and I wonder if many users will tolerate much of that before going back to simple texting.
    Dec 6 09:12 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Can BlackBerry Survive 2014 And Beyond? [View article]
    Well , we will see about John Chen.

    The thing I hate about BBRY is that they have very little tech talent on the board or in the principal ownership group. Prem Watsa seems to regard himself as a master of the universe but he has no technical background and I suspect he is really not in a position to provide meaningful input on the major issues facing the company. I wonder would he know a good business plan from a bad one? This forces them to put all their faith in outsiders like Chen, who because of their desperate straits they must lure into the CEO position with obscenely generous employment terms, and Chen will build his own team with more outsiders, also hired on obscenely generous employment terms. And all this comes right after they have shown the door to Thorsten Heins and his highly paid team at huge cost.

    How is this going to work? Who knows, but we will see when the next earnings are announced and the conference call is held.
    Dec 5 01:08 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry Can Revive Its Handset By Building A Business Ecosystem [View article]
    This may be a sound idea, but if there is to be such an ecosystem, Blackberry will have to do most of the heavy lifting to get it off the ground. Potential partners in the system will see little value in investing in a special relationship with Blackberry given its dwindling user base and the far greater potential returns on the Android and/or Apple platforms. To make it work, Blackberry will have to make it very easy and inexpensive for participants to come into the system until Blackberry demonstrates that it will survive and shows some tangible success with the ecosystem concept.
    Nov 12 05:06 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • One Overlooked Factor In The BlackBerry Saga [View article]
    Well Nelson, I am afraid you are wrong again.

    Don't count on the Canadian government blocking any takeover of BBRY except for security reasons to prevent inappropriate foreign ownership (i.e. Chinese) of the BBRY network .

    If the BBRY handset business is doomed, I wonder what value the BBRY patents have. Many of the patents will relate to the handsets. Patents relating to the BBRY network will go to the party who acquires the network, likely without further consideration above the price for the network. So what patents of any substantial value does that leave I wonder?

    And if there is a breakup of the company, there will be very high employee and other costs that will severely cut in to the available cash.

    I think the highest potential value for BBRY is as a going concern under the direction of someone who can steer the company out of its current mess, which will far from easy. .
    Nov 6 01:31 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Future Of Research In Motion [View article]
    The additional $750,000,000 may well turn out to be like Watsa's takeover deal - unfinanceable.

    The new CEO is remaining in California, not even moving to Waterloo, which indicates to me that this is will be a short term effort ultimately leading to a liquidation of the parts.

    I am not impressed with Prem Watsa.
    Nov 5 09:27 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BBM: BlackBerry's Big Mistake? [View article]
    "Overall the company has alienated their own device buyers through the free offering of one of the main selling points of BlackBerry devices - BBM as a proprietary technology."

    BBRY has too few device buyers to sustain itself, so action had to be taken. A few years ago my kids and all their friends loved BBM, everybody had BBRYs, and BBM was the primary means of communication. But everyone went to other devices, and BBM dropped off the map entirely. Now that it is back, they are all downloading it and plan to use it.

    The question is, if the free download to all platforms brings back the users, can BBRY lever that renewed connection to bring those returning users back into the fold for devices and other services.

    I dunno the answer to that, but one thing is for sure: the company is better off for having made the BBM service widely available.
    Oct 24 10:43 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry reveals even more doom [View news story]
    "BlackBerry said that Fairfax's offer to take it private may have hurt demand for its products...."

    First came the decision of the board of directors of BBRY to throw up its hands and put the company on the market, then came the Fairfax offer because there were no other bidders.

    It does not take a genius to predict that putting out a "for sale" sign will likely be very detrimental to the sales of a company in the middle of a major new product launch selling products with a long term life that require continuing support from the manufacturer.

    The board and management of BBRY, and no-one else, bear full responsibility for this fiasco.
    Oct 2 09:21 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Memorandum To The BlackBerry Board Of Directors: Stop The Charade And Manage The Company [View article]
    Well that is not going to happen. The earnings call may well have been cancelled to avoid answering questions that would reveal all the facts. But they can't cancel the depositions in a class action suit.
    Sep 26 11:09 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Memorandum To The BlackBerry Board Of Directors: Stop The Charade And Manage The Company [View article]
    I too am pissed.

    BBRY was a great company, one of Canada's few truly international companies, a world player, important to KW and to the UoW, important to Canada, important to thousands of its employees and important to millions of loyal customers.

    And look at the damage this bungling management has done! It is almost incomprehensible.

    The BES 10 rollout. It is way out of sync with the OS10 device offering. Many organizations have not installed BES10 yet. The rollout of a new BBRY OS is obviously a much different matter than a software upgrade on non-BBRY devices, which are fully functional out of the box. It is foolish to introduce a new OS with a marketing program tailored to generate a rush to the stores when those who buy early may end up waiting months to connect to their employers server, and with a product usually taken on a three year contract to replace a product that comes off the contract when the new one goes on.

    The playbook fiasco. first the playbook was going to be upgraded to OS10 then it was not, leaving customers with the choice of a going for the new device with no bridge to playbook or sticking with the old device and the playbook, or, worse yet, having bought the new device on the promise of playbook connectivity and then being told it would not happen.

    The Q1 results. Could not have been handled more poorly, and now, it appears, they were holding back crucial information.

    The phony aps. Thousands of aps that no one will ever use, touted as reason to buy the OS10 devices.

    The desperate and disorganized public scramble to find a buyer, so destructive to customer confidence, when enterprise customers are being asked to spend big bucks and make a long term commitment to BES10.

    And now, in the middle of all this chaos, the new Challenger arrives.

    Steve Jobs famously had very little respect for his board of directors, because he knew many of them (not all) were just suits, with no idea what had to be done to succeed in his business. This is the BBRY board. But Apple had Steve Jobs, who do know what to do, and BBRY, unfortunately, has TH, and Prem Watsa, who clearly do not.

    And there is also clearly a problem of character somewhere in the organization.

    The cause of death of BBRY may well be litigation.
    Sep 26 07:01 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Memorandum To The BlackBerry Board Of Directors: Stop The Charade And Manage The Company [View article]
    Exactly correct, Michael, and very well said.

    BBRY first shopped itself privately and found no buyers, then it shopped itself publicly and found no buyers, and now Watsa is shopping it and he will find no buyers. And this fumbling is destroying customer confidence in the company.

    The board should be given the hook, every last one of them, and Heins should be out the door.
    Sep 25 10:43 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry Deal Tests Limits On M&A Creativity [View article]
    Watsa does not have his lenders lined up, he does not have his partners in the bid lined up, he is not putting up any more money, and his due diligence is not yet completed. He doesn't have much.
    Sep 24 02:19 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Prem Watsa Bails Out BlackBerry [View article]
    If Watsa can get his deal together, he will take will take it if no-one else bids more. I don't think anyone else will bid more.

    The Globe and Mail reports that Watsa is not increasing his investment in Blackberry, he is just rolling his existing holdings into the new deal. This means he has to persuade his co-investors and this banks to pony up, without investing himself.

    The due diligence process will be very important.

    I would say this is far from a done deal.
    Sep 24 09:42 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry: The Hits Just Keep Coming [View article]
    This article adds nothing in the way of useful analysis.

    The company will be sold if there is a buyer. The question is, are there any bidders. If there are no bidders, it will continue to operate, probably with senior management changes, and the stock price will fall until more results are available. If there is one bidder, the stock price will be the higher of the bid and the perceived value of the company if it continues to operate independently, hopefully pricing in the new management. If there is more than one bidder, there will be an auction and the price will go much higher.

    Nothing else matters here. Sales are being hurt by the uncertainty surrounding the company, which is a problem that will pass once there is clarity.

    There is plenty of life left in Blackberry, and many good options to produce significant value for shareholders.
    Sep 11 09:11 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry director: company can survive as "niche" player [View news story]
    What is this guy doing, setting us up for an announcement that there are no buyers?

    Of course Blackberry can survive as a niche player.

    It can also settle down to serious business and take advantage of its opportunities wisely over time, not in a panic, with reliable execution and fewer unforced errors, rather than trying to operate like a clone of Apple.

    This is a manufactured crisis. Blackberry has lots of options.
    Aug 30 04:13 PM | 14 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Speculations On BlackBerry Make It Hard To Breathe: Time For A 6-K Reality Check [View article]
    The fact that a company is public can be a benefit or a detriment to its business, or can be a neutral factor, and in the case of Blackberry, it is definitely a detriment.

    The constant market speculation concerning the value of the company and the rate it is burning through cash, the second-guessing of management on every move, analysts snooping into its business between quarterly releases with channel checks and calls to customers, the complete lack of privacy: all this spills over into its customer relationships with negative effects. It is not surprising that Blackberry's strongest markets are on the other side of the world, as far away from the stock market rumor mill as is possible to get.

    Blackberry has $11.0 billion in revenues, over $3.0 billion in cash,no debt and a customer base that will continue to support the company if it can get its act together. No doubt a person with the right talents and the right vision could take what is there now and restore Blackberry to immense profitability.

    So given that the objective is to become private, what price will the public be paid for its interest by a private buyer?

    Well beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Anyone potential buyer, whether a hedge fund operator or the ceo of a tech company or Prem Watsa, will determine what they can create if they own it, how well they can integrate it into their own business if they have one, how much cost they can save, how they can use the various components, and from that they will derive a future value. Then they will decide how much they are willing to pay today for the right to try to create that future value for themselves.

    So the price will be the highest price that anyone is willing to pay, which might be $20 or $30 per share if multiple bidders emerge, and could be as low as the value the company is perceived to have if they break it up or just carry on as they have been, which could be $5 per share.
    Aug 30 10:26 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment