By James Carlini
With the announcement of the “partnership” of IBM (NYSE:IBM) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), some dumped BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) stock overnight. Evidently, some don’t know the industry as well as they thought. Investors need to realize:
- Announcements are cheap. Deliverables aren’t.
- IBM/Apple partnership does demonstrate BlackBerry has right strategy and has identified a real niche.
- Competition is good. It moves the markets. Product development accelerates and consumers are the real winners.
Some BlackBerry investors got the message, “Game Over” when they should be looking at this announcement as, “Game On – this is a real market niche“. Take it one step further in analysis and you see major players saying, “We have to get into this game because it is critical for us”.
WEDDINGS ARE EASY. MARRIAGES TAKE TIME
An article stating that Apple and IBM are going to partner to provide a better enterprise-wide solution and better mobile security for business customers is a big announcement, but that’s all it is, an announcement.
IBM will provide services via Apple’s iOS including device management, security, analytics and mobile integration. IBM will also create 100 exclusive business applications for the iPhone (and iPads) to be sold to its business customers.
Where are the deliverables of this marriage and did customers buy into the products?
It is too early to measure any success, just like it is too early to measure the success of BlackBerry’s initiatives.
Reading through so many investor comments, who are both short and long, I see criticisms that had questioned BlackBerry’s strategy. Now, it seems as though two major players, IBM and Apple, are blessing that strategy and saying, “Yes, there is validity to that strategy and we have to come up with some solutions.” “I understand the market and have a product that fits” is a statement which is much further along than “We agree that there is a market niche and we will be building some products in the future”.
Building products takes time. Making sure they work takes more time. What will the “marriage” of IBM and Apple produce? Only time will tell. Maybe everyone should take a deep breath and remember a good quote from Hal Geneen, the former CEO of ITT:
In business, words are words, Explanations are explanations, Promises are promises, but only Performance is reality.
John Chen (CEO of BlackBerry) did not die. His vision is still viable. He needs time to execute his strategy just as much as IBM and Apple now have to have time to deliver on their big announcement.
This reminds me of when Apple first introduced the iPhone and there was both skepticism that it would sell along with those who looked at all the other phones in the industry and said, “Game Over”.(see article – wtnnews.com/articles/3612
Real competitors did not sit around. Real competitors came out with products that matched and surpassed Apple. The ones who really benefited from that competition were the customers and the overall industry.
NO ONE HAS A CRYSTAL BALL
No one has a crystal ball, so no one can say, “Game Over”. If anything, this announcement lends credibility to BlackBerry having a real market niche and the “big players” need to get into that game.
The big question should be, will BlackBerry partner up with someone else or continue on its own path? No one knows that answer except John Chen.
CARLINI-ISM: Just remember, you’re not an expert in the Smartphone industry because you bought one and now know how to play “Angry Birds” on it.
Disclosure: Long BBRY. The author wrote this article himself, and it expresses his own opinion. The author is not receiving compensation for it. The author has no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
Carlini’s visionary book, “Location Location Connectivity” will be coming out later this year. He will be speaking at several upcoming conferences across the country later this year. Details are forthcoming.
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