It seems unfathomable after all of its disastrous attempts at a comeback, but BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) may have finally thrown something on the innovation wall that could actually stick…
You’ve got to hand it to them, there’s no throwing in the towel for this runaway train wreck.
Down but still not completely out, BlackBerry may have one final trick up its sleeve to try and convince the investment world that they’re in fact positioned to rise from the ashes.
But first, let’s take a look at what BlackBerry:BBRY is up against.
In a recent report by marketing firm IDC, Google’s Android system currently has 80.2% of the consumer smartphone market cornered, while Apple holds 14.8%.
Over the next 4 years, both firms are expected to slowly lose their market share to Microsoft’s Windows Phone, which is forecast to grow from 3.5% to 6.4% by 2018. But by and large, Android and iOS will remain the leaders of the consumer segment for quite some time.
BlackBerry on the other hand, has whittled down to less than 1%, and is expected to drop to just 0.3% come 2018.
Costly attempts to break back into the market have been futile at best, and after notable flops on their product offerings, it seems that BlackBerry has finally come to the realization that any further endeavors will all but assure its death sentence.
So the Company has decided to take a different tact.
A few weeks back, a rather quiet BlackBerry company finally made a newsworthy announcement that yielded some positive response.
Codenamed Project Ion, it’s a series of initiatives that BlackBerry hopes to help connect people to devices — the offering of end-to-end solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT).
In defining IoT, Forrester Research, Inc. explains that “New smart products and the systems that connect them will eventually provide users with more personalized experiences. By collecting and combining both personal data and contextual information from the surrounding environment in real time, these products will give individuals experiences that serve them in their immediate moment of need.”
BlackBerry sees IoT as an emerging new market where billions of connections and trillions of data transactions will be happening on a daily basis around the globe.
As such, these transactions will require platforms which will operate seamlessly and securely.
While it may raise a few questionable eyebrows, the Company firmly believes they are the best in the business to serve that market.
BlackBerry Executive Chairman and CEO John Chen says that his company is able to deliver “…the technological building blocks, applications and services needed to enhance productivity, improve real-time decision making and deliver on the vision of the Internet of Things.”
The ability to pull, process, and disseminate the data is expected to be an increasingly vital component for many businesses and industries.
Examples include: doctors and caregivers who require real-time diagnosis information to improve patient care; consumer products companies seeking new ways to better understand and engage with their customers; insurers pursuing more accurate risk profile information; and manufacturers in need of better logistics and control data.
Project Ion may finally be BlackBerry’s key to shaking out its cobwebs.
By conceding its fight against the current consumer market titans and going back to its roots as an enterprise specialist, it could very well be a legitimate contender in the IoT realm while it’s still in its infancy.
Currently, neither Google nor Apple, nor Microsoft for that matter, has a firm handle on the Internet of Things and where the trend is headed.
Project Ion shows a great deal of promise, however, IoT is not simply a new technical application – it could completely revolutionize how we communicate.
As such, unlike the unveiling of the next cool gadget or device… an initiative like Project Ion aims to overhaul an entire communication infrastructure from how businesses are currently using it.
And that type of mass adoption could take years to fully realize.
Does BlackBerry have enough in its tank to ride out the learning curve?
2014 likely won’t be the year for BlackBerry’s comeback… but it may well be when it rounds the corner.
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