New reports highlight BlackBerry's struggles
A pair of new reports say BlackBerry's struggles are expected to continue, with the company cutting smartphone production as its market share around the world continues to decline.
A note by Peter Misek, analyst at U.S.-based investment banking firm Jefferies, says the company has cut production of its Q10 and Z10 smartphones by half to one million a month.
Meanwhile, U.K.-based Juniper Research says the Canadian smartphone maker will remain a global player and is expected to sell more smartphones this year than last.
However, it says BlackBerry is losing market share in most parts of the world, even in traditional strongholds such as South Africa and Indonesia, as competition heats up.
Declining market share
Canada's BlackBerry has been losing market share in recent years to both Apple and the Android operating system, used in Samsung, HTC devices among others. And the first-round of Blackberry 10 phones, the Z10 and Q10, have struggled against the latest iPhone and Android devices.
In a research note sent investors, Misek has cut his estimates for shipments of BB10 smartphones from 2.5 million to 2 million units a quarter.
"Even in traditional strongholds such as South Africa and Indonesia, competition is increasing as other smartphone vendors attempt to seek out new growth areas," said Michael Wiggins, author of the Juniper report released on Monday.
"So although BlackBerry will continue to be a global player, being represented in most markets, they will experience a diminishing market share," Wiggins said in an email.
However, Juniper is predicting that BlackBerry will sell more smartphones this year than last year.
BlackBerry recently announced that it had launched a review of "strategic alternatives," a move that could potentially result in the sale of the company to a strategic buyer that could see it taken private.
Misek sees the majority of the company's value as not in its smartphone business, but the services side of its business, including BBM and its BlackBerry Enterprise Services
BlackBerry Q5 launches in Canada
The Waterloo, Ont., company just launched the BlackBerry Q5 in Canada. The Q5 runs the company's new operating system, a follow-up to the original Q10 keyboard model and the Z10 touch-screen model that were introduced earlier this year.
The Q5 phone was originally targeted at Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America, but the company recently decided to add Canada to the list.
However, according to Misek, sales have been disappointing. "The Q5 launch is off to a slow start and Q10 prices have started to get cut."
BlackBerry has also announced it plans to launch another new device that will run the company's old operating system – for Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.
The Juniper report said that Apple and Samsung shipments will reach just under 800 million in 2018, which is 17 per cent more than the global shipments from all smartphone sellers in 2012, which stood at 671 million. The report said Apple and Samsung will dominate the market in the period leading up to 2018.
With files from the Canadian Press