Gartner: BlackBerry's dead. 'Not yet,' says phone maker

Gartner: BlackBerry's dead. 'Not yet,' says phone maker

Summary: Gartner said a not-so-nice thing about BlackBerry, and the phone maker disagrees. Although, being a Canadian firm, it was terribly polite about the whole thing.

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(Image: CNET)

Don't you just love a good Monday morning tiff?

Research firm Gartner recommended on Friday that BlackBerry enterprise clients "take no more than six months to consider and implement alternatives," according to analyst Bill Menezes in an email interview.

In lieu of a full report — expected soon — Menezes emphasized that all clients should have or implement backup mobile data management plans and test alternative devices to BlackBerry.

But BlackBerry was quick to refute claims that it was on its deathbed. The firm said in an emailed statement to ZDNet on Monday: "We recognize and respect external parties' opinions on BlackBerry's recent news. However, many of the conclusions by Gartner about the potential impact of a sale or other strategic alternatives, are purely speculative."

The company reiterated its ongoing restructuring effort, just days after it cut 40 percent of its workforce, as it continues to "pursu[e] strategic alternatives to increase its focus on its core enterprise business." 

Last week, BlackBerry said it will be sold to a consortium led by Fairfax financial, a deal worth $4.7 billion, or $9 a share. Days later, despite terrible guidance on deck for its fiscal second quarter, BlackBerry reported a loss of close to $1 billion for the quarter.   

"We remain steadfast in our mission to deliver the most secure and powerful mobile management solutions and smartphones to our customers," the BlackBerry statement concluded.

Many international organizations, including governments — notably the U.S. administration — run tens of thousands of BlackBerry devices. But over the course of the past year, enterprise customers in particular became wary of the company's future amid recent quarterly losses and poor BlackBerry 10 reception with consumers and enterprises, many of these crucial government agencies — and their contracts — came under threat by rival phone makers.

The Canadian smartphone maker is the only company to have secured U.S. Defense Department device management approval, a so-called "authority to operate" on the internal government network. The U.S. Defense Information System Agency (DISA), the government's IT and communications support group, said in August it was architecting its infrastructure to support 10,000 BlackBerry 10 smartphones by the third quarter, and by 30,000 by the end of this year.

In November, the U.S. government awarded BlackBerry 10 government certification to run the next-generation operating system and platform in a government setting.

But Apple came along and scored similar clearance. The Pentagon cleared iPhones and iPads running iOS 6 for use in the U.S. military, just over a week after the U.S. government cleared the software for federal use.

But many other agencies are leaving the BlackBerry behind and flocking to the iPhone.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency said in December it would pull the plug on its contract with the beleaguered phone maker in favor of Apple's iPhone, thanks to its back-end management features and IT policy restrictions. Meanwhile, weeks later, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) also said it would drop their contract with the company in order to seek alternatives. 

Topics: BlackBerry, Smartphones

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13 comments
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  • Already being done my most companies

    my guess is the makers of the Good app will see an increase in use. Any company that is not looking at alternatives (just in case) needs new management.
    2low_tech
  • My University dropped BB last year.

    50,000 potential users...gone...and never coming back.
    IT_Fella
    • 50K users?

      I highly doubt your university had staff totaling 50,000 and I highly doubt the university makes purchasing decisions for students.
      Nutellapr
  • "Gartner says"

    They may well be dead, but I'm more inclined to believe anyone who isn't Gartner these days.
    Michael Alan Goff
    • More ammo against Gartner:

      http://gheywood.wordpress.com/2012/01/13/gartner-predicts/

      Hat tip to SinfoCOMAR, who posted it below.
      Jacob VanWagoner
  • Might not be dead yet

    But it's fatally wounded.
    Alan Smithie
  • Foolish analysts

    My company, 18,000 employees, just approved BB10 last week. Taking delivery of my Z10 today! =D Lots of BB users excited here to upgrade.
    sagec
    • And...

      Android and Apple have those types of activations/upgrades in an hour on any given day.
      xSteven777x
  • No BlackBerrys, no security.

    The Canadian smartphone maker is the only company to have secured U.S. Defense Department device management approval. How do Companies and Governments protect them self's from hackers?
    abuibrahim909
  • Apple is dead.

    Remember these same buttheads saying this so many times before? If you don't you are suffering from a serious memory lapse.
    BB has chopped expenses to keep in line with their current customer base of over 74 million. Given time and going private the will recover. They won't be what they once were but they will still be a force in the cellphone market. Cellphones are not the only thing they do.
    Home Grown IT
  • Should start putting "research" in quotes.

    "Research firm Gartner"

    Gartner, eh?

    Should start putting "research" in quotes.
    CobraA1
  • Load of crap here:

    "n November, the U.S. government awarded BlackBerry 10 government certification to run the next-generation operating system and platform in a government setting.

    But Apple came along and scored similar clearance. The Pentagon cleared iPhones and iPads running iOS 6 for use in the U.S. military, just over a week after the U.S. government cleared the software for federal use."

    While that's *technically* true, what qualifies for iPhone use in the military is basically cutting out everything that makes it desirable for a consumer. On the other hand, BB10 phones are on without any modification to the OS or security features whatsoever. The Z10, Q10/5 and other BB10 devices are capable of having fully independent and secure hard drive partition. If the phone is compromised, the secure partition can be wiped without wiping the rest of the phone, making it secure for the defense contractor without having to brick the phone for the user.
    Jacob VanWagoner
  • A Supplier strategy that involves buying devices to strenthen your supplier

    You know how companies could strengthen BlackBerry? Buy actually deploying BES10 and deploying new devices. It's prudent to have a contingency plan which Gartner is making very clear. Yet companies need to be cognizant of a supply strategy that reduces the number of suppliers in the market. Android is a fragmented OS with security and enterprise management capabilities that lack compared to both Apple and BlackBerry. So that leaves Apple, a premium and an expensive product and with more power to extol pricing power.
    Nutellapr