BlackBerry SWOT Analysis: BlackBerry SWOT Analysis for 2016

omriOmri Elani is a Junior Business Developer & Research Analyst for I Know First. Also a frequent contributor for Seeking Alpha

BlackBerry SWOT Analysis

  •  BlackBerry SWOT AnalysisBlackBerry expands into in the security space sector
  • SWOT Analysis 
  • I Know First forecast a bullish signal for BBRY in the next three month and one year period.

The year is 2007 and Apple have announced to the world the soon-to-be iconic iPhone device, at the time, BlackBerry is in euphoria with its stock price hovering above $140 per share and are a powerhouse in the smartphone market. However, Apple’s iPhone focused on catering the consumer and not just the professional outlook, in turn giving them a competitive edge over BlackBerry. Fast forward to 2015, the name BlackBerry has hardly any connotation with the smartphone industry while Apple has 35.6% market share.  However, the information technology giants have acknowledged this shift in consumer preference. They have consequently diversified themselves into other realms within the mobile technology field, most significantly the mobile security space.

CEO, John Chen, believes that the firm is doing what it knows how to do by keeping mobile networks secure and private. He went on to describe how BlackBerry has become a leader in the mobile security space, highlighting how the company has invested more than $100M in building its security segment over the last year. With major deals with the likes of WatchDox, Movirtu and Secusmart and AtHoc.

 BlackBerry SWOT Analysis

(CEO John Chen)

The company increasing establishment in security space is logical due to the company’s increasing number of high profile clients. Chen demonstrated this by saying that “all of the G7 and 16 of the G20 governments trust us with their mobile communications. Our security platform is proven, but we are continuing to innovate to keep data secure and information private.”

Moreover, keen on reinforcing their quantitative security edge, BlackBerry acquired rival mobile security provider Good Technology Corp last week. Good Technology specializes in managing and securing mobile devices and apps both for businesses and individual customers. The $425 million deal cements BlackBerry’s position of being the prime firm in secure mobile communications.

SWOT Analysis


  • Secure Phones. In a time where data hacking is prominent and the exposure to such hacks can be devastating, many are turning to BlackBerry’s secure The company released its phones with a secure encrypted network that allowed sending emails between phones with limited possibility of stealing the information. As mentioned earlier, this is Chen’s main focus in the forthcoming years. The evidence of this strength is seen by BlackBerry being the number one choice for many governments worldwide.
  • QWERTY KeyboardThe Company’s main way in which it locks its customers is through its keyboard and messenger services. The firm has expertise in the field of keyboard phone, of which supply is limited. Thus giving the mobile giants a competitive edge.
  • The EMM Edge– As mentioned above, the acquisition of Good Technology in November will prove crucial in the upcoming year. The Investment in the well-rounded and tenured enterprise mobility management (EMM) vendor, gives BlackBerry the ability to shift its business strategy to the software field. The acquisition has resulted in BlackBerry now owing 19% market share in the EMM market, thus showing its dominance in the field.
  • QNX – The Canadian company is planning to relaunch its much anticipated QXN real-time operating system into the Internet of Things at CES, in Las Vegas, this month. CEO, John Chen, acquired QNX over 5 years ago and was not so successful when it was interweaved in the PlayBook venture. However, he hopes that the new technology and product related roll out in 2016 will be fruitful.
  • Asset Tracking Box- Dr. Chennakeshu, president of BlackBerry Technology solutions, is working on the development of the asset tracking box. This box will have “GPS, sensors and a cellular modem it can measure temperature, humidity pressure and movement. It can also figure out the location, if someone has opened the door and cargo levels in the container and send the data securely to the cloud,” Dr. Chennakeshu said. The box help will be extremely beneficial to logistics managers as they will be able to track the cargo at any given point of time and, in turn, help be more efficient and save costs. Blackberry vision is to sell everything related to the box from the hardware, the cloud service and a smartphone application in a subscription model.


  • Poor branding – BlackBerry was a market leader prior to Samsung and Apple’s penetration into the market. However, the firm was unable to build on that due to poor marketing efforts. CNET reports that BlackBerry spends lower amounts ($41.3 million) on marketing, about 10 times lower than Apple ($400 million) and 8 times lower than Samsung ($334 million) in 2012. Moreover, inability to market the brand also resulted in declining brand reputation and low customer loyalty. The company’s declining brand value demonstrates a fall in brand awareness and low sales. Interbrand illustrated how BlackBerry was one of the top declining brands in 2012 out of the top 100 best global brands.
  • Limited Apps. BlackBerry customer base is too small to be profitable for major application developers. The company offers the limited application on its app stores, which in turns makes BlackBerry unattractive. This creates a vicious cycle as it results in many developers not willing to cooperate with BlackBerry and build an app, as the numbers of users will be small.
  • Government dependency. As mentioned many a time throughout this article, the government is a prominent user of BlackBerry services, due to its impressive security features.  However, it is risky for the company to put all its faith into this strategy as it is not guaranteed to receive long-term contracts from the government. A loss of a contract with at least one government agency may result in significant losses.
  • Poor Tablets Performance.BlackBerry launched its PlayBook tablet in 2013 which did not produce the desired impact into the market. Such poor presence in the tablet market decreases company’s chance to successfully compete with Apple or Samsung who gains a significant amount of their profit from such tablets.




  • Increasing Tablets market. According to Forbes, the expected tablet market is set to surpass 1 billion sales in 2017.  This is an excellent opportunity for BlackBerry to capitalize on and, in turn, capture larger market share.

 BlackBerry SWOT Analysis

(Source: Yankee Group)

  • Cloud based services. Many consumers opting to store date on Cloud-based storage services such as Apple’s i-Cloud and Google Drive. The market is expected to grow significantly until 2020 and reach a value of $240 billion. If BlackBerry wants to cement itself in this field it has to expand its cloud-based services and benefit from the growing demand.



  • Technological change. Although not a BlackBerry-only threat, the rapid technology change in this industry is frightening.  Tech companies such as BlackBerry are under pressure to constantly release new and innovative products. If a company is unable to keep up to date with such developments it is likely to suffer greatly.
  • Market SaturationA vast majority of the population in developed countries own a smart device. Such market saturation inhibits BlackBerry from further expanding its market shares in these countries.
  • Increased competition – The mobile smart industry is constantly changing and a greater number of companies are entering the market. Especially Chinese developers such as Huawei and OnePlus, who are delivering impeccable phones.
  • Government competition- As mentioned BlackBerry is in alliance with many governments by providing security network services. However, BlackBerry has to now compete with many other players who are entering this realm such as Samsung and Apples. In fact, BlackBerry has already lost out to Samsung who are now working with the US government.



I Know First supplies financial services, mainly through stock forecasts via their predictive algorithm. The algorithm incorporates a 15-year database and utilizes it to predict the flow of money across 2000 markets. The self-learning algorithm uses artificial intelligence, predictive models based on artificial neural networks, and genetic algorithms to predict money movements within various markets.

I Know First published a bullish forecast on BlackBerry. The three-month and one-year forecasts for BlackBerry are included.

 BlackBerry SWOT Analysis

Explanation about how to read the forecast is further elaborated here.


Previous algorithmic predictions on BBRY from November 16th, 2014 to November 16th, 2015. At the time, BlackBerry had a bearish signal of -1023.61 with a strong predictability of 0.61 which brought in effect a wonderful return of 32.86% during the 1 year period. The overall package performed well bringing average returns of 24.49% for the long position and 15.295 for the short position.

 BlackBerry SWOT Analysis



For the reasons illustrated in this article, we recommend to long BlackBerry for fruitful results. The I Know First’s algorithmic analysis mirrors the bullish stance that the company is showing.  The indicators throughout this article suggest that BlackBerry will be of long-term value in the future, and is a stock investors should consider purchasing