Wednesday, June 29, 2016

BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY): No, Seriously. Get Out of Phones NOW!

The announcement is expected to come by September

Last week, BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY) released earnings results for its first quarter of fiscal year 2017, and while the figures were essentially flat they were still better than analyst expectations.

Since January, BlackBerry stock is down more than 30%, and revenue during the first quarter of fiscal year 2017 fell 39% to $400 million primarily due to plunging handset sales.

Total handset sales for BBRY’s first fiscal quarter barely reached 500,000, down 16.7% from Q4 2016’s total of 600,000 which itself was down 14.3% from Q3 2016’s total of 700,000.

To put it another way, BlackBerry’s phone sales have tanked 28.6% over the past three quarters. Even the company’s most recent device, the Priv — which has been called “the best BlackBerry in a decade” and sports Android and a touchscreen that slides up to reveal the iconic BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard — couldn’t boost sales figures.

CEO John Chen has apparently indicated that the final decision regarding BlackBerry’s possible exit from the hardware arena will be made later this year. At the company’s annual shareholder meeting, Chen stated, “The device business must be profitable, because we don’t want to run a business that drags onto the bottom line.”

This statement mirrors his comment to Reuters two years ago when he said, “If I cannot make money on handsets, I will not be in the handset business.”

Monday, June 13, 2016

Alphabet Inc’s Google Play vs. Apple Inc.’s App Store: The Battle Heats Up

Subscriptions are apparently the main focus now

Next week is Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) annual Worldwide Developer’s Conference, and it’s being reported that AAPL plans to implement some major changes to both the platform itself and arrangements with developers. Tech geeks, app developers and investors alike are bursting with anticipation, especially considering it has been years since the last notable update to the App Store.

Of course, not to be outdone by AAPL, it’s no surprise that Alphabet Inc (GOOGL, GOOG) is also coming out with a fresh update to its Google Play Store developers arrangement.

Clearly, AAPL and GOOG are vying for the attention of app developers, both hoping to attract and retain top creators with revised arrangements that ultimately lead to more money for everybody involved. The problem, so eloquently stated by DZone, is that “arguing which mobile platform is the most popular among developers can be like debating religion — much heat, little light, and even less information.”

A few things are certain, though: more developers create apps for Android devices than for iOS. According to a Forrester survey last November, 70% of app developers create for Android, compared to only 51% for iOS. Throughout the world, Android remained the most-supported platform, until last year when survey responses indicated a slight shift in the U.S. in favor of iOS.