Blackberry has taken a beating - reputationally, operationally, and not the least of which in the public markets. For so many people, Blackberries have become simply obsolete. Even in the corporate world, their historic bread and butter, they are getting upended. (You might have seen this article making the rounds, "Watch Marissa Meyer Destroy Blackberry in 23 Words.")
Ask people with an iPhone or Android who uses Blackberries, and I suspect many of the answers will mention people who are old, not with it, stuck in the past, etc. You'll hear a group of people who use them out of habit, like those who stick with @aol.com email addresses or AIM. What you won't hear is what I have experienced. The Blackberry users I know include some of the richest people I've ever met. More interestingly, they aren't looking to switch.
Some of the Blackberry users I know aren't people who don't "get" smartphones or can't appreciate the app ecosystem. In fact it's the opposite. They understand the value almost scientifically. And, they have determined that their productivity remains far increased with Blackberry devices. Moving to another device will cost them money, and when your net effective earnings exceeds $10,000/hr, 30 min gains in efficiency are meaningful.
There is no doubt that Blackberry is in trouble and suffered an unimaginable disruption to a market in which they weren't and aren't prepared to compete. If I am reading the financials correctly, it is a company whose quarter over quarter and year over year revenue continues to decline. They are worth 0.5x of annual revenue and losing hundreds of millions of dollars per quarter.
But, it should be far from over. They have trillions of dollars of net worth that indirectly back their business. That is some powerful advocates. These are a collection of the smartest, most successful people. Is it too far fetched to think that a handful would get together, raise money, take the company private and focus on building the ultimate phone for those who can't afford to play games on their phones?
The cheap seats over here says Blackberry will succeed not by competing with Apple but by being the anti-Apple. They should copy Apple, though, by leveraging their "fan boys." Apple may be cool, but Blackberry could again become an aspirational brand. I know I wouldn't mind having a piece of whatever has made that group successful, and it's much easier to ascribe that success to something tangible, like a phone. At least that we can all have.
Moral of the story: Let's stop with so much of the hating. Some? Sure. But too much Blackberry hating could be penny-wise and pound foolish.