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Are BlackBerry providing full, plain and true disclosure to shareholders?

The BlackBerry Q3 financial report made the August disaster look good. Sales of devices to end users of 4.3 million did not all make it into revenue despite the August change in accounting policy to recognize sales only when the devices were sold to end users. The August report was at its highest misleading. In its September 27, 2013 release of the August 31, 2013 quarterly results, the company reported that: "During the second quarter the company recognized hardware revenue on approximately 3.7 million BlackBerry…

BlackBerry should stick to low-end phones says Analyst in open letter

It appears to be the season of Open Letters, so Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair decided to write an open letter to BlackBerry CEO John Chen. Blair believes that BlackBerry would be best served by forgetting about the high-end smartphone market and sticking to the low-end. He adds that the Canadian OEM can use its highly regarded physical QWERTY as a differentiator. Blair points out that the low end is where the growth is at, and looking at how well the entry-level Nokia Lumia 520 and Nokia Lumia 521…

John Chen stands by hardware as sales continue to drop

BlackBerry's interim chief executive officer, rejecting calls to exit the hardware business, gets a chance this week to convince investors he has the time and vision to revive a unit that's dragging sales back down to 2007 levels. Analysts are estimating a 45 per cent revenue drop in the third quarter results it reports on Friday, putting pressure on Chen to win over skeptics. Chen's reluctance to part with hardware echoes the sentiment of his predecessor Thorsten Heins, who vowed when he was appointed CEO in January…

BBM Channels is like having Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Skype all in one application

BlackBerry officially launched BBM Channels for BlackBerry devices recently, and is expected to do the same for Android and iOS devices in the near future. BBM Channels allow users (individuals and companies, or "brands") to create a channel linked to their profile that other users can follow. In essence, channels are no different than a Facebook page. Similar to pages, users create channels and post specific items related to the subject of the page (channel). But BBM channels also transforms BBM into a social…

BlackBerry Hiring gives glimpse of Enterprise strategy

BlackBerry have stated several times recently that they aim to focus on the Enterprise. Considering that consumer sales of BlackBerry 10 have been miserable, this makes total sense. However, even though they keep reiterating the enterprise focus, the actual strategy remains unclear. Last week BlackBerry announced that hosted BlackBerry Enterprise 10 now had G-Cloud approval and this is a huge, positive step for BlackBerry in the UK that really can't be underestimated. One of the failings of BlackBerry has been the…

BlackBerry rejected Justin Bieber endorsement

Bloomberg Businessweek's cover story this week features an oral history of BlackBerry. In it, BlackBerry's senior business development manager from 2001 to 2011, Vincent Washington, describes an incredible incident with pop star Justin Bieber. One thing we missed out on was that Justin Bieber wanted to rep BlackBerry. He said, “Give me $200,000 and 20 devices, and I’m your brand ambassador,” basically. And we pitched that to marketing: Here’s a Canadian kid, he grew up here, all the teeny-boppers…

BlackBerry need to sort BBM for iOS issues and fast

2013 has been quite a year for BlackBerry. A year of highs with the initial launch of BlackBerry 10 followed by what seems to be a complete string of lows and failures. One high has been BBM finally being released for Android and iOS. Make no mistake, cross-platform BBM Is going to be a major player for BlackBerry in 2014 and beyond and it is crucial that they get it right. Unfortunately, iOS users are reporting mass problems and deleting the application due to issues with messaging and contacts. This is something that…

Nokia targets BlackBerry’s spot as number one b2b manufacturer in UK

Nokia has once again made it clear they intend to displace Blackberry as the number one business to business manufacturer in the UK. Nokia has already seen its share of the business market rise from nothing two years ago to 11.5% recently but the company has larger ambitions, and a plan to get there. Their latest initiative is to offer specialist training for channel partners and to emphasize the security advantage of Windows Phone over iOS and especially Android. To advance the first strategy Nokia has equipped all…

BBM Channels to be the new Social Engagement Tool

Jeff Deline, vice president of global partnerships at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd., says he is banking on BBM becoming the latest social engagement tool for the company, as it seeks to connect fans with its various properties, namely the Toronto I'm Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors and Toronto FC. “People love to know the personalities of the players more closely, and if they can share some of their insights, as I’m sure they will, and their visits and what they’ve done during the week, I think…

BlackBerry proposals lacked any turnaround plan

The head of one of Canada's top pension funds confirmed on Thursday his firm was involved in talks over a potential buyout of BlackBerry but said he never saw a business plan he was confident would turn around the company. Leo de Bever, chief executive of the C$70 billion ($66.6 billion) Alberta Investment Management Corp (AIMCo), said all of Canada's biggest pension funds were involved in discussions over BlackBerry. However, de Bever said AIMCo was never presented with a business plan that would have…