John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

BlackBerry to Gartner: Not Dead Yet!

RIM_Bring_Out_Your_DeadBlackBerry might be in trouble — ugly, worst-case-scenario trouble — but it’s not yet in terminal decline, and the company has taken exception with a report claiming it is.

In a recent note to clients, research outfit Gartner advised those who use BlackBerry’s smartphones and its enterprise server solution to develop contingency plans to replace them should the company perish. “All clients should immediately ensure that they have backup mobile data management plans and are at least testing alternative devices,” Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney wrote. “Clients have three to six months to build a strategy.”

Among Dulaney’s suggested courses of action: Discontinue BlackBerry support for any employees except in cases explicitly approved by management; “Move completely away from BlackBerry devices.”

Given BlackBerry’s sad collapse and its decidedly uncertain future, that’s not unreasonable advice. It’s hard to imagine anyone who uses the company’s products looking at its massive second-quarter loss and its now piddling share of the smartphone market and not concluding that some sort of action needs to be taken.

But BlackBerry feels it’s all a bit hysterical. In a statement to AllThingsD, the company dismissed Gartner’s recommendation as premature.

“We recognize and respect external parties’ opinions on BlackBerry’s recent news,” a BlackBerry spokesman said. “However, many of the conclusions by Gartner about the potential impact of a sale or other strategic alternatives are purely speculative. BlackBerry is restructuring and pursing strategic alternatives to increase its focus on its core enterprise business. We remain steadfast in our mission to deliver the most secure and powerful mobile management solutions and smartphones to our customers.”

That’s great to hear, but hardly reassuring. BlackBerry’s commitment to its mission and the resuscitation of its business isn’t really in question. It’s the viability of that business and the market’s interest in its products that are concerning.

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