For his second column on Seeking Alpha, contributor Robert Lehar has decided to grab some attention by killing the BlackBerry smartphone. At least, analytically.
With subheads reading “Hardware Results Are Terrible,” “The Priv Is Not A Good Product” and “It Is Likely Game Over,” it’s no wonder that Lehar’s conclusion on Waterloo’s hardware efforts leaves them “Pretty Much Dead.”
Unit sales have fallen from above two million in the middle of 2014 to just 600,000 last quarter. Average sales price for the past couple of quarters has hovered around $315. And this is in spite of the $700 Priv making it through its first full quarter of sales. Lehar derides the product as an “overpriced hybrid” “sub-par device” that will never compete with or steal from the user bases of Samsung or Apple. Add to that high employee turnover and a lack of revenues to support research and development and the end of hardware unit for BlackBerry. Software now represents the majority of its earnings, after all.
The company is expected to play out a mid-range Android phone by September. CEO John Chen is committed to keeping the hardware unit going beyond that point and has revised break-even unit sales goals down to three million in a year at an ASP of at least $300.
While the company doesn’t need to serve a huge audience, it has been struggling to serve its enterprise niche for a long time now. The struggle needs to end before Waterloo meets its own Waterloo.
Source: Seeking Alpha