BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) has struggled and suffered in the last couple of years. The firm is fast becoming a relic of an era long gone and recent efforts to infuse life into the firm have not had the desired result. BlackBerry sits in the inglorious fourth place in the global mobile OS market behind Android OS, iOS, and Windows Mobile. Now, the prospects of the firm seems to have taken a turn for the worse after popular social media apps revealed that they’ll be pulling the plug on the support of their apps on its BB10 OS.
On Tuesday, WhatsApp revealed that it was shutting down support for its app on BlackBerry and BB10 OS. The social media giant is also killing support on the ancient Nokia S40, Nokia Symbian S60, Android 2.1 and Android 2.2 and Windows Phone 7.1. Strangely though, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) owns WhatsApp and the firm has revealed that both Facebook and Facebook Messenger will no longer be available on BB10.
Is Blackberry dead?
WhatsApp reminded us of the tragic story of the Canadian smartphone maker. Part of the statement reads, “when we started WhatsApp in 2009, people’s use of mobile devices looked very different from today… About 70 percent of smartphones sold at the time had operating systems offered by BlackBerry and Nokia. Now, it doesn’t make business sense to keep supporting Blackberry because OS “offered by Google, Apple and Microsoft – account for 99.5 percent of sales today.”
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WhatsApp went ahead to nail BB 10’s coffin in saying, “while these mobile devices have been an important part of our story, they don’t offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app’s features in the future.”
BlackBerry(NASDAQ:BBRY) lost the last of its competitive edge when it licensed its BBM for use on Android because BBM was one of the key apps that kept buyers glued to their BlackBerrys. One of the reasons BB10 OS didn’t gain traction was the graveyard like feel of the BB World where most of the popular apps are missing. Now, popular social media apps are off the platform and potential buyers have one less reason to buy a BlackBerry. WhatsApp spoke plainly in saying, “we recommend upgrading to a newer Android, iPhone, or Windows Phone before the end of 2016 to continue using WhatsApp.”
BlackBerry should forget consumers and focus on Enterprise
The shares of BlackBerry are being hammered in today’s session because of the uninspiring news. As at 10:30 AM EDT the shares of the stock were down 2.02% to $7.79, the stock has already lost a massive 16.2% in the year-to-date period. I think that the fact that social media firms are killing support for their apps on BlackBerry should jar the firm up on the need to pivot if it doesn’t want to become a defunct or extinct firm.
BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) has been making serious inroads into the Enterprise market where security and stability are valued more than social media apps. If the firm focuses its energy on getting a foothold in the enterprise market, the firm might be able to ignite the flames of a turnaround in its fortunes. In the meantime, BB10 is as good as dead in the consumer market.