A Strategic Report for BlackBerry


BlackBerry Limited is a multinational company that is known for the development of BlackBerry brand of wireless devices such as smartphones and tablets. The company was formerly known as Research In Motion. In the year 1999, the firm launched BlackBerry devices after a series of financing. In recent years, BlackBerry has lost the control of market to firms such as Apple and Samsung because of the mistake it made. The revolution of Android and Apple in mobile communications have changed the smartphone markets. Although was the pioneer in the mobile industry, the company, Research In Motion, lagged behind in the smartphone revolution. Another mistake that BlackBerry was that it failed to read the trend in the market; therefore, the company lost market shares to rivals like Samsung and Apple. Currently, the company does not have market for its products and services. Despite the fall due to the emergence of technology, BlackBerry has continued to build its subscribers. BlackBerry subscribers reached almost 85 million in 2013. The paper will entail analyzing the internal and external environment of BlackBerry and identifying the strategic challenges it faces.

Resources and Capabilities Table

Resources Capabilities
  1. Security and privacy standards
The commitment of BlackBerry to the security and privacy of customer is unwavering (Kleidermacher, 2016). BlackBerry offers business users with products that enables them to communicate and collaborate privately (Kleidermacher, 2016). The company protect users from malware, spyware viruses and hackers (Protalinski, 2015).
  1. Endorsements from organizations and celebrities
Kim Kardashian admitted that she was addicted to BlackBerry (Gibbs, 2014). Barrack Obama declared his affection for BlackBerry (Swaine, 2009). In 2012, author E.L. James used BlackBerry to write her novel (Reed, 2015). The US departments and agencies utilize BlackBerry to provide solutions (Merkel, 2016). Endorsements from organizations and prominent people improve the image of the company.
  1. Global market share. In 2009, the market share of BlackBerry was 50% (Garside, 2013). The research by Gartner, Inc. indicates that the global market share of BlackBerry has fallen to 0.0481% in 2016 (Price, 2017).
The extreme decrease in the global market share allows BlackBerry Limited to learn from the past mistakes and try to rebuild its niche in the telecommunication industry.
  1. software and applications
BlackBerry has an application called BlackBerry Messenger that allows its users to send instant messages and chat with one another easily (Sagan, 2017). The QNX software is used for car applications (Sagan, 2017).
  1. Patents
BlackBerry has approximately 44,000 patents globally (Decker, 2015). The patent rights relates to security technologies (Decker, 2015). The significance of security patents is that they aid the company to expand to corporate customers and government contracts.
  1. Acquisitions
The latest acquisition that BlackBerry made was a U.K. based cyber security consultancy Encryption. Other acquisitions include AtHoc, Good Technology and WatchDox (Kriel, 2016). Acquisitions are significant since the company can access a wide range of resources, technological knowhow and Research and development.
  1. financial resources
Results of the first quarter of the 2016 fiscal years indicated that the revenue of the company was $658 (BlackBerry Limited, 2015). BlackBerry biggest investors include Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., Canso Investment Counsel ltd. and Mackenzie Financial Corp (Miller, 2014). Top investors of the company added $250 million to debt holdings (Miller, 2014).
  1. Human resources knowhow
The Chief Executive Officer of BlackBerry is John Chen. The Chief Operating Officer is Mart Beard. Dr. Sandeep Chennakeshu is the President, BlackBerry Technology Solutions. The Executive Vice President is Billy Ho (U.S. BlackBerry, n.d.)
  1. Entering a niche market
The company entered emerging markets with a price-centric strategy enabling it to gain a short-lived competitive advantage (Poh, 2016). The company targets niche markets to survive (O’Dwyer, 2014.
  1. Business deals
BlackBerry signed a multimillion-dollar contract with the U.S. Senate to supply crisis communication software (Dummett, 2016). Deal with Ford to modify the QNX software (Dingman, 2016). Contract with Samsung Knox (BlackBerry, 2016)
  1. Changing its paths
Currently, the company focuses on developing software on applications and security. BlackBerry Limited is outsourcing BlackBerry phones (George-Cosh & Jacquie, 2016).
  1. Management console
Both small and medium-sized businesses can use BlackBerry phones to administer their employees. New features in the management console allows users to rate and review apps (Colinfullerton, 2016). If the phone get lost one can lock and backup.
  1. New management acquired by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited.
Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited acquired BlackBerry for $4.7 billon (Tsukayama, 2013).

Analysis of External Environment



BlackBerry Limited. 2015. BlackBerry report strong software revenue and positive cash flow for the fiscal 2016 first quarter. Market Wired, [online] 23 June. Available at: http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/blackberry-reports-strong-software-revenue-positive-cash-flow-fiscal-2016-first-quarter-nasdaq-bbry-2032069.htm [Accessed 3 March 2017].

Colinfullerton. 2016. BlackBerry UEM version 12.6 update: what you need to know about new features in the management console. Inside BlackBerry, [online] 22 Dec. Available at: http://blogs.blackberry.com/2016/12/blackberry-uem-version-12-6-update-what-you-need-to-know-about-new-features-in-the-management-console/ [Accessed 3 March 2017].

Decker, S. 2015. BlackBerry’s patent portfolio is wireless trove for acquirer. Bloomberg Technology, [online] 15 Jan. Available at: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-01-14/blackberrys-patent-portfolio-is-wireless-trove-for-acquirer [Accessed 3 March 2017].

Dingman, S. 2016. BlackBerry seals software deal with Ford. The Globe and Mail, [online] 31 Oct. Available at: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/technology/blackberry-seals-software-deal-with-ford/article32602071/ [Accessed 3 March 2017].

Dummett, B. 2016. BlackBerry Ink software deal with U.S. Senate. The Wall Street Journal, [online] 19 July. Available at: https://www.wsj.com/articles/blackberry-inks-software-deal-with-u-s-senate-1468955751 [Accessed 3 March 2017].


Garside, J. 2013. BlackBerry: how business went sour. The Guardian, [online] 13 Aug. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/aug/13/blackberry-how-business-went-sour [Accessed 3 March 2017].

George-Cosh, D. and Jacquie, M. 2016. BlackBerry outsourcing handset business. The Wall Street Journal, [online] 28 Sept. Available at: https://www.wsj.com/articles/blackberry-outsourcing-handset-business-1475063579 [Accessed 3 March 2017].

Gibbs, S. 2014. Why Kim Kardashian has a stash of BlackBerry phones. The Guardian, [online] 28 October. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/oct/28/why-kim-kardashian-has-a-stash-of-blackberry-phones [Accessed 3 March 2017].

Kleidermacher, D. 2016. BlackBerry’s commitment to security and privacy: Stronger and broader than ever. Inside BlackBerry, [online] 21 Dec. Available at: http://blogs.blackberry.com/2016/12/blackberrys-commitment-to-security-privacy-stronger-and-broader-than-ever/ [Accessed 3 March 2017].

Kriel, C. 2016. BlackBerry combines acquisitions into enterprise mobile security platform. Silicon Angle, [online] 9 Dec. Available at: http://siliconangle.com/blog/2016/12/09/blackberry-combines-acquisitions-enterprise-mobile-security-platform/ [Accessed 3 March 2017].

Merkel, A. 2016. Why the U.S. government is one of many to choose BlackBerry software. Inside BlackBerry, [online] 9 June. Available at: http://blogs.blackberry.com/2016/09/why-the-u-s-government-is-one-of-many-to-choose-blackberry-software/ [Accessed 3 March 2017].

Miller, H. 2014. BlackBerry’s top investor adds $250 million to debt holdings. Bloomberg, [online] 9 Jan. Available at: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-01-08/blackberry-investor-fairfax-adds-250-million-to-debt-holdings  [Accessed 3 March 2017].

O’Dwyer, D. 2014. BlackBerry forced to target niche markets to survive. The Irish Times, [online] 6 October. Available at: http://www.irishtimes.com/business/blackberry-forced-to-target-niche-market-to-survive-1.1951289 [Accessed 3 March 2017].

Poh, M. 2016. Understanding BlackBerry’s business strategy. The Asian Entrepreneur, [online] 15 Jan. Available at: http://www.asianentrepreneur.org/blackberry-or-badberry/[Accessed 3 March 2017].

Price, R. 2017. BlackBerry’s share of the global smartphone market is officially 0%. Business Insider, [online] 15 Feb. Available at: http://www.businessinsider.com/blackberry-smartphone-marketshare-zero-percent-gartner-q4-2016-2017-2?IR=T [Accessed 3 March 2017].

Protalinski, E. 2015. BlackBerry talks priv security, privacy, and why Android now. Venture Beat, [online] 6 Nov. Available at: http://venturebeat.com/2015/11/06/blackberry-talks-priv-security-privacy-and-why-android-now/ [Accessed 3 March 2017].

Reed, B. 2015. This may be the best celebrity endorsement BlackBerry has ever received. BGR, [online] 17 Feb. Available at: http://bgr.com/2015/02/17/blackberry-50-shades-of-grey/ [Accessed 3 March 2017].

Sagan, A. 2017. BlackBerry’s software shift ‘100 per cent complete,’ but branding challenge remains. CBCnews, [online] 2 March. Available at: http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/blackberry-software-shift-1.4007263 [Accessed 3 March 2017].

Swaine, J. 2009. Barrack Obama’s BlackBerry endorsement ‘worth tens of millions.’ The Telegraph, [online] 9 Jan. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/4207267/Barack-Obamas-BlackBerry-endorsement-worth-tens-of-millions.html [Accessed 3 March 2017].

Tsukayama, H. 2013. BlackBerry agrees to be acquired by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited. The Washington Post, [online] 23 Sept. Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/blackberry-agrees-to-be-acquired-by-fairfax-financial-holdings-limited/2013/09/23/94eacb2a-2477-11e3-ad0d-b7c8d2a594b9_story.html?utm_term=.86bd8aab25bc [Accessed 3 March 2017].

U.S. BlackBerry. n.d. BlackBerry executive team. BlackBerry, [online]. Available at: http://us.blackberry.com/company/newsroom/executive-team [Accessed 3 March 2017].


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