Tse, who is currently in Orlando attending BlackBerry’s annual user conference, BlackBerry Live, says this year’s event is a full 180 degree turnaround from last year’s “tenuous” event.
He says BlackBerry is showcasing a wide range of new products and services, and the Cormark analyst is excited about the prospects of many of them, and more optimistic about BlackBerry Q10 and Z10 sales, which we still have no hard data on.
Tse got his hands on the new BlackBerry, the Q5, which is aimed at the mid to low end market. He says the device, which is designed to work in a broad range of markets where network infrastructures are not as advanced, should help the Waterloo-based company fortify its strength in emerging markets.
While much of the focus on BlackBerry lately has been on the consumer side of things, Tse notes that as much as 25% of BlackBerry’s subscriber base is in the enterprise market. He says the conference has featured a slew of announcements around BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) 10.1, which will become available this week. BES, notes Tse, will allow IT managers to manage devices regardless of operating system platform. He says the enterprise upgrade cycle is about to kick into high gear, and BlackBerry’s timing with this offering could be very good.
But Tse says the biggest news out of BlackBerry Live, which will wrap up tomorrow, is the news that the company will be opening BlackBerry Messenger across iOS and Android operating systems, starting this summer. The Cormark analyst says this will present the company with opportunities to monetize its BBM user base, which is already 60-million strong.
Tse notes that cross-platform messaging service WhatsApp is reported to be valued at as much as a billion dollars, more than half as much as Cormark’s $1.7-billion valuation of BlackBerry’s entire intellectual property. He says this gives him more confidence that his assessment of BlackBerry’s net asset value is reasonable.
In a research update to clients this morning, Tse reiterated his TOP PICK rating and $20 target price on BB.