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Can BlackBerry really end Apple’s party with iPhone trade-in promotion?

BlackBerry

BlackBerryBlackBerry today announced a promotion in which iPhone users could trade in their device and get up to $400 plus as much as $150 from the company to put towards a new BlackBerry Passport.

The offer is good til February and only for an unlocked BlackBerry Passport purchased through BlackBerry’s website or through Amazon. Also, would-be BlackBerry enthusiasts outside of North America are out of luck: the deal is only good here.

So, does this brash move mean BlackBerry is back and ready to challenge Apple and Samsung for mobile device dominance? In a word, no. But the swap strategy is important as a symbol that BlackBerry is feeling its oats again. The increasing confidence the company shows with this move is clearly a reflection of its new leader, John Chen. Recall that Chen, it the early days of his tenure was a model of caution, famously estimating that BlackBerry’s chances of success were “50/50”.

Since then, to quote a certain Bob Dylan song from a certain car commercial, “things have changed”.

Turns out Chen’s autopsy of the BlackBerry corpse revealed that the patient was still breathing. Now the company is back to walking and talking, and the words it is speaking lately are decidedly not those one would associate with a timid client on the mend.

“I’m going to end their party”, said Chen of his critics at an event in San Francisco earlier this month in which BlackBerry announced new partnerships with Salesforce and Samsung. Chen said under his watch, the days of BlackBerry being a punchline are over.

“They’re going to have to work for their living rather than just having fun on us,” he said.

It’s important to separate the idea of BlackBerry surviving and rehiring and possibly turning a profit again, which the company says it soon expects to do, from becoming a brand that challenges the likes of Apple and Samsung in the consumer mobile device space. The former is looking increasingly likely. The latter is still improbable. BlackBerry’s market share is still less than 1% globally and launching a challenge in the broader consumer market would almost certainty be a mistake. But Chen has proven a more than worthy tactician in terms of leveraging BlackBerry’s strengths to appeal to the enterprise market, where its opportunity to win market share is very real.

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About The Author /

Nick Waddell
Cantech Letter founder and editor Nick Waddell has lived in five Canadian provinces and is proud of his country's often overlooked contributions to the world of science and technology. Waddell takes a regular shift on the Canadian media circuit, making appearances on CTV, CBC and BNN, and contributing to publications such as Canadian Business and Business Insider.
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Comment

  1. What a messed up article! What Chen said about his competitors was targeting other EMM software makers like Good, Airwatch and MobileIron etc.

  2. Are there 600,000,000 work/productivity users up for grabs? Is BlackBerry CEO doing for work productivity what Steve Jobs did for leisure/pleasure? Do enterprises need an average 12 man team to develop enterprise apps or adopt and adapt to mobile? Is BlackBerry taking it’s Rockstar winnings and allocating to BlackBerry Devices division? Are there 5 + BlackBerry Divisions: Devices, BBM, QNX, Enterprise, Rockstar (IP monetization) and ” hidden” divisions like revolutionary healthcare Nantworks which has raised hundreds of millions and going global? Is BlackBerry Passport technologically standard and essential (and disruptive) for medical imaging, physicians nurses etc? Has BlackBerry raised massive, overwhelming global salesforce by partnerships instead of employees? Isn’t it obvious where Samsung/ BlackBerry can collaborate? Is BBM disrupting Cisco WebX? Lots of questions only someone like Qualcomm CEO can answer. Unless you’re a mobile millionaire inventor, you might be blindsided by the company that’s done it before and doing it again.

  3. If you actually have an old iPhone throwing close to (or obviously any good newer one) and therefore are not necessarily pay for getting homework done sensation this, this can be a beneficial time to move into a new BlackBerry Passport and expertise something brand-new and great.

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