didn’t see this coming. Following John Chen for the past year and his somewhat quirky public interviews, I knew that Waterloo was struggling, but they were struggling before Chen got there as well. I saw today’s result begin in December of last year. After that, there was no real good news for BB.
Last year, they showed signs of rebound when they took the Ford Sync 3 business from Microsoft. Their QNX embedded division seemed to have some solid footing in the on-board dash systems for cars.
BlackBerry picks up another win: FordBut then there was the big news about the cloud based human genome sequencer, that Blackberry got a design-in win as the display and controller. They even had an application to drive the back-end. The CBS Special on the BB component did seem a little dog-and-pony, and it was apparent that Chen was on stage as the lead-in on the story to prop up the Handset contribution even though the application had nothing to do with BlackBerry other than it was the platform chosen to run the app. After a little bit of research, I found out that it was really NantHealth technology in the cloud, the local network connection gateway that the blackberry had to connect with, the encryption, and the application engineering was all NantHealth. Almost nothing was running on the handset that was involved with the actual computation of the sequencing. It was simply a platform for a remote session to an array of powerful computers that, again…belonged to NantHealth. BB Passport: Is it the Mobile Genome Sequencer?
Even though funding builds relationships, they are still difficult. But what I saw was despairation from a guy who needed a whole lot more than riding the coat-tails of a successful entrepreneur to Caprain this Blackberry ship through the storm.
Here’s what the first Blackberry to run on Android will look like (…A couple-three weeks ago, they announced that Android would be running on a BlackBerry handset. Not just apps, I’m talking about a full OS. And then their adoption of the Amazon AppStore. Considering that Chen has always touted the security of blackberry (which would fall apart after some scrutiny), anyone who would need to replace their super-secure mobile operating system with Android has either capitulated, or lost a huge customer. Unfortunately for BB, it was both. You might have missed it but the above embed has a link at the bottom that references the Australian Parliament ditching their Blackberry’s. It was meant to be funny, but now I regret it. A little. That brings us to today. I hate to see anyone lose their job. But if you look at the past 9-10 months of John Chen legacy, it is pockmarked with snide remarks about the competition, name-calling, odd interviews and denial. While he did compete and win against some big players, like Microsoft, the remainder of his time has been spent trying to convince someone that BlackBerry is something that it isn’t. He may have pulled it off on tech journalists, but he obviously didn’t get enough reach to those that mattered. The Consumer. BlackBerry cuts jobs after 1st quarter drop in phone sales