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What BlackBerry Should Do Now That It's Not Selling

BlackBerry is resurrecting itself through other means. According to Fast Company, BlackBerry today announced it’ll no longer sell its company. Instead, RIM will replace its current CEO, Thorsten Heins, with John S. Chen, the previous CEO of SAP company Sybase.
This decision will ultimately end BlackBerry’s deal with Fairfax Financial Holdings to sell its company for $4.7 billion. BlackBerry will instead start selling a new form of convertible stock of investors to raise additional capital to help the company survive its current turmoil and find the proper direction in the near future.
In addition to selling stocks to investors, here are other ways BlackBerry can resurrect its company:

  1. Create more incentives for developers to create mobile applications

    BlackBerry currently has 120,000 apps. This is unremarkable compared to Android’s 870,000 applications and iOS’ 1 million apps. Though a vast reason for this lack of mobile applications is due to BlackBerry’s small presence in the mobile space, it must somehow encourage more developers to create applications on its platform in order to gain competitiveness in the mobile market. Without an array of applications, consumers are less likely to purchase BlackBerry phones. After all, smartphones and tablets are far beyond a communication tool – they’re entertainment gadgets. To motive more developers to produce apps on BlackBerry in addition to Apple and Android, BlackBerry can give developers a larger cut for the app downloads. Currently, Android gives a developer roughly 2 cents per download while Apple gives a developer a dime. To up Android and Apple, BlackBerry can give developers a larger slice of the pie per download. This will hopefully create an incentive for developers to create apps on BlackBerry. Without a wide range of apps, BlackBerry will fall into a negative loop where a lack of BlackBerry apps will discourage users from buying BlackBerry devices, which in turn will further demotivate developers to create apps for its platform.

  2. Use proper celebrity endorsees

    Currently, BlackBerry has hired Alicia Keys as its Creative Director to hopefully use the international superstar’s influential power to sway the purchasing decision of millions of consumers worldwide. That said, BlackBerry has recently laid off 300 employees. While celebrity endorsement can help drive sales, companies have to select suitable celebrities to effective target their consumer market. For instance, although Michael Jordan was an effective celebrity endorsee for Nike, he may not have been useful for other brands such as Fairfax Financial Holdings. The reason is that he didn’t fit the image of Fairfax Financial Holdings which subsequently wouldn’t generate positive impacts for the financial company. In the case of BlackBerry and Alicia Keys, BlackBerry may want to consider other candidates for celebrity endorsement. If the Canadian technology company wants to market to young adults, using athletes such as Kevin Durant or Derek Rose could be more effective as these individuals are more respected and connected with the younger crowd.

  3. Expand its network in emerging economies

    Developing countries will become the largest consumer market in the foreseeable future. According to PwC, emerging economies such as Nigeria, Vietnam, India, and Indonesia will grow faster than the G7 (France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, the US, and Canada) in the next 40 years. This will ultimately create immense profits for businesses. Asia in particular, will generate astronomical returns for companies as 80% of the global middle class consumption will come from this region by 2030. This consumption equates to $44.8 trillion dollars. Hence, by further investing in developing countries (in addition to its current markets such as Indonesia), BlackBerry will give itself an enormous opportunity to explore new markets that could potentially produce billions of dollars in the next few decades. This will hopefully give BlackBerry the financial resources to re-establish itself as a global smartphone and tablet vendor in the future.

Though things may not seem optimistic for BlackBerry right now, there are still plenty of opportunities for the Canadian technology company to turn the tide. By creating more apps, using proper celebrity endorsees, and further investing in emerging economies, BlackBerry can augment its customer-base and increase its revenue stream. This in turn will help BlackBerry combat its archrivals Apple and Samsung in today’s highly saturated and competitive mobile market.