Blackberry is in deep trouble. They’re laying off employees and hemorrhaging money. The chances of a white knight riding in to save the day is well.. Not going to happen. It’ll be more like a Vulture acquisition of its patents.
There is a solution that would give it a boost on Wall Street and a quick infusion of cash, although, the window for this is rapidly closing.
Blackberry does one thing well; similar to Apple, they design some pretty kick-ass hardware. The problem is control and adoption. The advent of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) pretty much killed their business model. Why? It wasn’t a sexy consumer device; they had no idea how to make something that people wanted. They designed something corporations wanted.. it was about control. Consumers want options and flexibility. There’s nothing “sexy” about a Samsung device. It’s all about the software and capability. The UI / OS that runs on it is what makes people “want” it. Then again, Apple managed to make their devices good-looking and sexy on the software UI as well.
The integrated email and keyboard they had on their early devices was amazing, but the advent of technologies like Swype pretty much killed their market. The way I look at it, Blackberry has one small chance to recover and it involves something completely foreign to everything they stand for; Open Computing. They need to release an Android Distribution / Update for Blackberry devices and give it unfettered root access.
There is absolutely no reason why it couldn’t be accomplished in a room with 8-10 developers in a couple of weeks. (I could easily put together a Dream Team of developers that could accomplish this with a few phone calls).
Why would this be a big deal? It would solve two problems for Blackberry; the dismal sales of their hardware as well as App Store access. Personally, I would absolutely love to have Blackberry Hardware with all the flexibility of the Android OS. It would give me an amazing user experience and I’m sure there are many out there that wished the same.
Technically, there are literally *NO* barriers to entry. Why? The processor and chipsets on the Blackberry devices today are all used in Android devices (in some shape or form). Compiling the kernel and drivers wouldn’t exactly be rocket science. Throwing together a stock compiled Android Update that leaves your devices rooted and without any restrictions would immediately gain acceptance.
The stock would immediately get a bump due to public relations (press releases) and there would be a renewed interest in the company. Becoming the “Quality” alternative hardware provider for Android users wouldn’t exactly be a bad thing. They could still create a marketplace for Blackberry-centric products, services, and apps and focus on a strategy based on Open Standards computing.
IBM embraced Linux, Apple embraced BSD (sort of), Blackberry embracing Open Computing wouldn’t exactly be a detrimental thing.
They could theoretically create a marketplace focusing on Open Standards computing in the Enterprise. The next logical evolution for a company that has lived and put food on the table by catering to Enterprise customers.
I wouldn’t even flinch at spending $1000.00 on a Blackberry Tablet or Phone if I knew it could run Android Natively and without restriction.
The other option for Blackberry? Shut the doors.