posted at 18:50
Author: Todd Wasserman
BlackBerrys Comeback Plan Is Bearing Fruit
Now, a humbled BlackBerry is focusing exclusively on business customers like Harry. By 2012, BlackBerry's market share was hovering around 4%. In early 2013, the brand threw a Hail Mary, and bought a Super Bowl ad to promote the Z10, the brand's first touchscreen phone. BlackBerry's strategy is to sidestep a battle with Apple and Google by acknowledging that business users might also own devices from the latter companies. Ramon Llamas, research manager for mobile phones and smartphones at IDC, says BlackBerry's new strategy is a "Smart move." Despite its sullied consumer image, Llamas says BlackBerry still has brand equity with business customers in highly regulated industries such as banking, healthcare and insurance. BlackBerry sold 200,000 Passports on its first day of sale on Sept. 26, and expects to sell 1.4 million BlackBerry 10 devices in the third quarter, most of which will be cheaper Z10 devices. The company migrated 1 million customers to BlackBerry 10 during its most-recent quarter, and boasted 91 million users of its BlackBerry Messenger, which is up 6 million since March. Once BlackBerry really stabilizes, it could focus on courting the estimated 30% of consumers who see their phones as a tool, rather than an entertainment device. Microsoft could begin to get more aggressive about wooing business customers for Windows Phone, or Apple's new partnership with IBM could successfully siphon BlackBerry's target business customers.

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