Fairfax Not Shedding Light on BlackBerry Deal

Fairfax

 

There is no update from Fairfax today on its buyout of BlackBerry. Since the initial offer much has changed:

Google and Everything Android are part of lawsuit with BlackBerry’s consortium partners, Rockstar:

https://pfcsystems.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/google-samsung-sued-by-consortium-owned-by-apple-microsoft-blackberry-sony/

and BlackBerry may be looking for a better partner:

https://pfcsystems.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/blackberry-looking-for-a-mutually-beneficial-partnership/

 

By Will Connors

Investors hoping to get an update on the deal to take BlackBerry Ltd.BB.T -1.34% private during Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd.’sFFH.T -2.86% earnings call Friday morning were likely disappointed.

Fairfax, the Canadian insurer led by Prem Watsa, in late September struck a preliminary $4.7 billion deal to buy the shares of BlackBerry it didn’t already own and take the troubled smartphone company private. Since the announcement of the deal, which Fairfax can walk away from at no penalty, investors have reacted skeptically, sending BlackBerry shares down more than 11%.

On Friday, Fairfax held a conference call to discuss its own third-quarter financial results. As soon as the call was opened to analysts’ questions, a request for an update on the BlackBerry bid was put forth.

Mr. Watsa, Fairfax’s founder and chief executive, declined to comment and quickly moved on. Investors will have to wait til Monday, when the due diligence period for the BlackBerry deal expires, to get an update.

Source: http://blogs.wsj.com/canadarealtime/2013/11/01/fairfax-declines-to-shed-light-on-blackberry-deal-for-now/

Google, Samsung sued by consortium owned by Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Sony and Ericsson

Google, Samsung sued by consortium owned by Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Sony

Reuters, November 01, 2013

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The group that owns thousands of former Nortel patents filed a barrage of patent lawsuits on Thursday against cell phone manufacturers including Google, the company it outbid in the Nortel bankruptcy auction.Rockstar, the consortium that bought the Nortel patents for $4.5 billion, sued Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, HTC Corp, Huawei and four other companies for patent infringement in U.S. District Court in Texas. Rockstar is jointly owned by Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Ericsson and Sony.Google is accused of infringing seven patents. The patents cover technology that helps match Internet search terms with relevant advertising, the lawsuit said, which is the core of Google’s search business.A Google spokesman declined to comment. Representatives for Samsung, Huawei, HTC and Rockstar could not immediately be reached.Samsung, Huawei and HTC all manufacture phones that operate on Google’s Android operating system, which competes fiercely with Apple and Microsoft mobile products.

In 2011 Google placed an initial $900 million bid for Nortel’s patents. Google increased its bid several times, ultimately offering as much as $4.4 billion.

After losing out to Rockstar on the Nortel patents, Google went on to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, a deal driven partly by Motorola’s library of patents.

“Despite losing in its attempt to acquire the patents-in-suit at auction, Google has infringed and continues to infringe,” the lawsuit said.

Rockstar is seeking increased damages against Google, as it claims Google’s patent infringement is willful, according to the complaint.

The Google case in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas is Rockstar Consortium US LP and Netstar Technologies LLC vs. Google, 13-893.

Source and © Thomson Reuters 2013

The lines are drawn and the sides for battle have been determined!  The Rockstar consortium including the partners, Apple, BlackBerry,Microsoft, SONY and Ericsson, are engaged in a lawsuit against Google and everything Android (Samsung, HTC, Huawei);

BlackBerry has new BFFs in its consortium partners, and one of these companies, or Lenovo, or Facebook, is on the right side to help BlackBerry, as discussed:

BlackBerry Looking For A Mutually Beneficial Partnership

https://pfcsystems.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/blackberry-looking-for-a-mutually-beneficial-partnership/

BlackBerry: Looking For a Mutually Beneficial Partnership

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by Darryl McKinnon and Fernando Commodari

Recently we’ve posted about why BlackBerry should remain publicly traded & in Canada:

https://pfcsystems.wordpress.com/2013/10/19/a-letter-to-members-of-the-canadian-parliament/

https://pfcsystems.wordpress.com/2013/10/27/blackberry-an-alternative-reality-an-alternative-future/

It’s not clear what the next few days will bring, but there are several options:

http://crackberry.com/here-s-what-happens-blackberry-november-4th

Fairfax

FAIRFAX

Looking at the Fairfax deal we can try to understand the synergies to it.  We can try to figure out why it may or may not make sense. With the facts being that if the BlackBerry management team, and the army of employees under them, were not able to complete the transition to date, why would Fairfax be able to do so? What mobile technology background does Prem Watsa have that BlackBerry currently doesn’t? There is none!  What social media/network experience with on site ads for BBM Channels does this deal bring to BlackBerry?  Again, none!

The Fairfax deal makes no sense except for Fairfax to get their original investment back out of BlackBerry. Firstly, the Board (with Prem Watsa, as a member) put the incentive in place for Thorsten Heins to sell BlackBerry and receive a massive payday by doing so. Then, in return, the BlackBerry CEO agrees to an ultra low sales price, a day after the stock price was trading higher.  Within the agreement to sell BlackBerry to Fairfax is a financial clause that if BlackBerry was to take another offer for the company, Fairfax is to receive $150 million. We’ve seen deals where if the buyer backs out there is a financial penalty to be paid to the company that was to be bought.  We’ve never seen a deal where if the seller finds a better offer they have to pay the original buyer! This clause is simply ridiculous! It’s set to ensure Fairfax gets paid handsomely for their efforts. Yet there’s no benefit for your average shareholder that has been vested in BlackBerry during the difficult times and still truly believes in the company and their technology!

http://empowerednews.net/nasdaqbbry-investor-alert-investigation-of-potential-takeover-of-blackberry-at-9/1845143/

Understanding the above, one asks the question, “Why would Fairfax set up a deal that begs for a superior offer?”- Fairfax has no interest in BlackBerry. They are a financial insurance company. They want their money back; and they’ll get it. It helps greatly if you’re at the table on both sides of the deal.

So what’s the end game then? Is it a sale of BlackBerry by any means possible? The assets are clear, the value is obvious, to those select companies that make it their business to know, BlackBerry’s current competition: Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Lenovo among others. All these companies have been or are currently rumored to be looking at BlackBerry to buy the company for its assets that the Fairfax deal has priced at half of book value. A steal by any assessment!

Knowing we are fast approaching November 4th, barring direct government support:

https://pfcsystems.wordpress.com/2013/10/19/a-letter-to-members-of-the-canadian-parliament/

there is more than one form of support that could work.

This support could come from one of the aforementioned prospective BlackBerry suitors. One can make a clear business case for anyone of these potential suitors to take a substantial stake in BlackBerry, instead of buying the company. Supporting the company with an infusion of cash and the perceived stability created from the newly formed partnership, would substantially lead to gains for both partners in the resurgence of BlackBerry.  A partnership has to be a match or fit that works for the two parties, and allows beneficial gains for each, from the union. With “partnership” being the key word, let’s, for the sake of a number, select a 49% stake from all of the current potential bidders and look at what the mutual benefits might be.

Facebook-Logo

Facebook

The synergies between BlackBerry & Facebook make sense, so let’s start there as many of the benefits can be repeated with some of the other prospective partners.

“A strong partner like FB would ensure the cash they need to complete transition while maintaining R&D, it would bring a fresh new appeal to the BBRY brand and surely increase device sales. It would bring Instagram, followed by other top apps and stop the BBRY’s dead news but hopefully it will force a radical change of management. I think the German guy failed and he was still too close to Mike Lazaridis. BBRY needs new and outsider blood in the management team and surely a brand new marketing team made of under 35’s super talented people.”

http://crackberry.com/node/182125

[We take issue with the under 35 part of the quote—LOL!]

Let’s say Facebook bought a 49% stake in BlackBerry and that the two companies started to work together. Facebook doesn’t make hardware. It’s not in their DNA. The deal instantly gives FB a huge stake in a massive hardware market with fantastic potential. Let’s admit it, hard work has been done with BB10. The foundation has been laid. The future is bright, yet again what BlackBerry needs is a bit more time and more intelligent and sustained marketing across the globe.

“They’ve [FaceBook} been pushing for their own platform for a while, and are obviously not thrilled with how Google is dealing with them. They pushed an update that allowed Facebook to bypass the Play Store as far as updates are concerned, and Google changed the terms of service on them, forcing apps to go through the Play Store for updates. Seems like they’re trying to get away from Android, they just don’t have any other option. Not sure BlackBerry would be a good fit, but maybe they just want to keep their options open?”

http://crackberry.com/node/182125

Time and marketing are what Facebook can provide for BlackBerry. By doing so they can drive the value of the deal and return huge value in their new hardware alliance/division. Facebook speaks to over 850 million users. They are in a premium position to get the much needed word out about BB10, with direct marketing and ads on their pages.

Facebook could also bring the mobile advertising expertise to assist the emerging BlackBerry Social Network, BlackBerry Channels. Facebook could even have its own exclusive channel!

applelogo

Apple

Let’s say Apple takes a 49% stake in BlackBerry. Even though Apple is ultra popular, the fact remains that they are losing the battle to Google and Android (think Samsung!). By supporting BlackBerry, Apple could again provide the time and money needed to complete the transition, that BlackBerry needs. Apple, by doing so, acquires a second front to battle Android. BlackBerry and Apple could work together improving Apple’s security. As BlackBerry grows, Apple retains the 49% of revenues.  This would be similar to the rescue that Microsoft and Bill Gates offered Apple, years ago.

googlelogo

Google

Let’s say Google buys a 49% stake in BlackBerry. This, as with the other prospective partnerships, would provide the time and funding for BlackBerry to market its new OS. Google could retain extra revenue, and share patents (so could any other partner!).  Google could advertise on BlackBerry Channels exclusively, using it’s expertise in on-line ad placements.  Additionally, Google is still first and foremost a service provider. They could develop their apps for BlackBerry and Google could be rewarded (like any other partner) with BlackBerry’s security/BES10 & enterprise offerings. If Google were to do this, it would lessen the view they might be approaching monopoly status with Android.  This is similar to the incentive Microsoft had with Apple back in the late 1980s.

new-microsoft-logo-600

Microsoft

Let’s say Microsoft invests in a 49% stake in the company.  A non-compete agreement and cross IP sharing deal could be made, as with Google and Apple, or even Lenovo. This would give MS a serious new suite of security and MDM offerings to give it an edge over its competitors, Apple’s, iOS and Google’s, Android. Microsoft could seed BlackBerry OS10, diluting Android’s and iOs’ reach. Honestly, though, with its own strategy of seeding Windows 8, cross platform, we don’t see Microsoft buying a stake in BlackBerry for anything but the patents and BES10/NOC.

Samsung logo

Samsung

It is not clear that Samsung would want to partner with BlackBerry, as it has no more to gain than say Microsoft, Apple or Google.  Samsung is developing its own OS and already has its own version of Android that is very successful. It is neck and neck in the running with Apple for shear volume of hardware out in the global market.

Sony-logo

Sony

This company is like Lenovo, but with a bigger hardware presence outside its own borders. Sony could benefit from the new BlackBerry 10 OS on its handsets, helping to differentiate it from Android and iOS or even Windows 8. Also, Sony, like Lenovo, would have security advantages using the BlackBerry OS10 on cell phones, which might lead to easier access to the BlackBerry NOC/BES10 than for even Lenovo. Sony had a partnership with Ericsson which never amounted to larger market shares.  It might be willing to take a chance with a new BlackBerry partnership.  We note that BlackBerry OS 10 phones were left out of the Japanese market by BBRY.  Could this be a way to entice Sony with exclusivity in Japan, in exchange for its financial backing?

lenovo-logo-1

Lenovo

Let’s say Lenovo took a 49% or less  stake in the company. Currently Lenovo has no mobile OS to call its own. Gaining a toe hold into BB10 may actually benefit them the most. By only having a 49% or less holding in BlackBerry,  the security regulators would be hard pressed to frown upon the deal, if BlackBerry retains confidential the NOC and security side of the business.  Together, BlackBerry and Lenovo, could  dominate the Asian markets. Lenovo (like Facebook) would benefit in new ways that all the others wouldn’t, via the much needed mobile hardware/software and services expertise that BlackBerry would bring.  BlackBerry would gain the financial backing it needs to finish its transition to BlackBerry 10 and machine to machine ventures with the new BBM, NOC/BES10 services. This partnership offers both sides benefits, as in the case with Facebook, whereas any prospective Microsoft, Google, Apple partnership, would most benefit BlackBerry. Any control of BlackBerry by the latter three companies or even Samsung, would most likely lead to a sell off and break up of BlackBerry.

Maybe, in the end, the biggest motivator that each one of these prospective partners has to enter into a new partnership with BlackBerry is to simply stop one of the others from accomplishing it first. Also, any prospective partner could get an advantage, in addition to the patents, and NOC/BES10, in the new machine to machine world via BlackBerry’s QNX:

https://pfcsystems.wordpress.com/2013/10/27/blackberry-an-alternative-reality-an-alternative-future/

News is breaking everyday that supports BlackBerry’s market offerings of Security first, with its unique MDM able to control not only Blackberry devices, but also iOS and Android devices. A cloud capability is also coming soon. Security is a marketable feature and BlackBerry needs to do a better job of advertising it, not only to enterprise grade customers but also to their everyday consumers who would be leery to learn about the databases of SMS and e-mail messages Google collects.

In summary, BlackBerry needs capital to market its new BlackBerry 10 portfolio and to buy it time to do so while completing its transition to the new platform while bringing new NOC services to the public/enterprise, BES10, BBM and BBM Channels.  The two most obvious/often recognized suitors that would also gain most from a partnership with BlackBerry, are Lenovo and Facebook.  Sony would also gain as much, if not as prominent a suitor. It’s not likely that Facebook has the assets on hand to flat out buy BlackBerry.  Even if Lenovo could do so, it would face regulatory issues in Canada and the USA, leaving a partnership option the only path to move forward.  Apple, Microsoft and Google, would have less to gain from a partnership with BlackBerry, having their own hardware/software vertically integrated, already.  These three companies, as well as Samsung, would most likely use the patent portfolio and the NOC/BES10 secure servers/software to their advantages in gaining access to enterprise clients.

Stay tuned, as the cat will be let out of the bag, on or before November 4, 2013!  Ofcourse, BlackBerry may decide to stay the course, on its own, public and Canadian, having acquired a second wind.  Or, perhaps Mike Lazaridis might come into the picture, as part of the Fairfax deal or with other partners. What does your crystal ball say will happen?  Tell us below in the comments!

UPDATE November 1, 2013 11:00 am:

The lines are drawn and the sides for battle have been determined!  The Rockstar consortium including the partners, Apple, BlackBerry,Microsoft, SONY and Ericsson, are engaged in a lawsuit against Google and everything Android (Samsung, HTC, Huawei);

BlackBerry has new BFFs in its consortium partners, and one of these companies, or Lenovo, or Facebook, is on the right side to help BlackBerry as discussed above!  Check this out:

Google, Samsung Sued by “Rockstar” Consortium

https://pfcsystems.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/google-samsung-sued-by-consortium-owned-by-apple-microsoft-blackberry-sony/

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BBM Could Be Worth Billions

image

 

BBM Quick Facts:

 

More than 60 million monthly active users on BlackBerry devices with more than 20 million new iOS and Android users  in the last week

More than 51 million daily active users who are connecting with friends or colleagues an average of one and a half hours every day.

BBM users send and receive more than 10 billion messages each day, nearly twice as many messages per user per day as compared to other mobile messaging apps

Almost half of BBM messages are read within 20 seconds of being received; indicating how truly engaged BBM customers are.

More than 60 million monthly active users

A positive article (not even considering the Channels Playcard!)  on Forbes states:

“BBM Could Be Worth Billions if BlackBerry Can Copy The Line PlayBook” –Tero Kuittinen, October 25, 2013, Forbes.

It is difficult to get a handle on what the early success of BlackBerry’s messaging service on Apple’s AAPL +0.47% iOS and Google’s GOOG +0.49% Android platforms might mean. By Friday 3 PM, BBM has become the #1 app in 80 countries. It hit the 10 M user mark on iOS and Android platforms in 24 hours, yet continues performing remarkably well on its fourth day. It seems that the early wave of super loyal BlackBerry users and curious rubberneckers is segueing into sustained interest in the app. But how to value a free download app that currently offers no paid add-on features or advertising that would create cash flow? The best comparison here is probably LINE, the wildly popular text-messaging service that is now closing on the 300 M download mark.

CEO Thorsten Heins introduces the BlackBerry Z10 (Image credit: AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

Here is the tricky part: LINE, one of the most successful monetization cases in the messaging business, only launched its game service in July 2012. At that point, it had hit 45 M users. It seems possible that BBM could build a similar pool of fresh  iOS/Android users in a matter of months. After launching the game service, it took just 9 months for LINE to hit 100 M game downloads. By spring of 2013, LINE’s game and sticker revenue was topping $100 M a quarter. LINE’s strategy of leveraging a free messaging app to build a wildly profitable game marketing platform took just 12 months to execute. The approach is still so novel that it’s hard to evaluate whether it can be copied by other vendors and how the revenue growth patterns might look after two or three years. But it is clear that at least in Asia, possessing a popular free messaging app is the most effective way to promote games. Right now, 19 out of Top 20 highest grossing apps in Korea belong to the KakaoTalk messaging app platform.

By Friday afternoon, BBM still clung to #2 position in the US iPhone download chart – and remained the #1 app in major markets like Turkey, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, UK, Switzerland, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia. It is particularly interesting that BBM is performing so well in markets where BlackBerry never broke through as a smartphone. It is a Top 10 app in countries like Hungary and Italy. It has hit Top 30 even in Sweden and Finland, the European markets that used to be the most hostile towards BlackBerry devices, never even yielding 2% market penetration for BB.

It took LINE 400 days to reach 100 M registered users. BBM currently has around 60 M users on BlackBerry devices and perhaps 15 M on iOS/Android. The BlackBerry user base is likely set to erode relatively rapidly – but the strong early iOS and Android momentum seems to indicate that hitting 100 M users across all platforms could well happen by next summer. Of course, it is far too early to make solid projections for BBM growth. But its success in several key markets in its first week has already eclipsed anything LINE has managed. For example, this past summer LINE could only crack the US iPhone download chart for a single day, peaking at #18. App download market is utterly dominated by games – messaging apps very rarely crack the Top 10 chart of any market and often tend to achieve this in a very narrow spectrum of countries.

In contrast to LINE, WeChat and Kakaotalk, the early traction of BBM is surprisingly even across Latin America, North America, Caribbean, Africa, Middle East and South East Asia. The only major markets where it is really striking out are Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China. This is to be expected – LINE dominates Japan absolutely, Kakao rules Korea and WeChat has a lock on China. But in markets like USA, UK, Brazil, South Africa and Indonesia, BBM has been able to rack up massive early download volumes even against rival services with very high established market penetration. It looks like BBM has a decent chance of vaulting clearly ahead of rivals such as Tango, Kik and Nimbuzz in coming months.

If BBM hits the middle tier between behemoths like LINE and WhatsApp who are closing in on 100-300 M active monthly users and smaller rivals like Tango and Nimbuzz, how would the service be valued? That depends entirely on whether BlackBerry can build an effective content distribution/marketing system on top of BBM. If it can copy the LINE playbook and start offering social games once it has 45 M iOS/Android users, BlackBerry could be hitting the game platform stage already next spring. BBM currently has strong traction in some of the most lucrative mobile game markets in the world, including USA , UK and Germany.

Expecting BBM to match LINE’s $100M  a quarter game/sticker revenue by end of 2014 is a stretch, because BlackBerry has no prior experience in managing this type of business and Japanese consumers are more willing to pay for extras than their Western peers. But a successful BBM network across the globe is a potential marketing platform that could reach revenue of tens of millions a quarter in short order. What BlackBerry needs right now is a clear, effective strategy of rolling out LINE-like content offerings and tailoring them to each major market. If the company can manage this, BBM alone could have a substantial valuation by next summer. LINE is planning a Tokyo IPO right now and its market cap is being tentatively estimated to be in the $8-10 B bracket.

Creating a service that could reach just one quarter of LINE’s success should be in BBM’s grasp – and  could be a major reversal of fortune for BlackBerry. Much is now riding on how the company handles its BBM content delivery strategy.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/terokuittinen/2013/10/25/bbm-could-be-worth-billions-if-blackberry-can-copy-the-line-playbook/

BlackBerry an Alternative Reality, An Alternative Future

BlackBerryBentley10_300x225

(Check out below the video of the first car to cell call: BBM car to BlackBery Z10 phone call)

By Darryl McKinnon (edited by Fernando Commodari, Ph.D.)

image

Recently I penned an open letter to the Canadian Government and members of Parliament regarding the sale of BlackBerry:

https://pfcsystems.wordpress.com/2013/10/19/a-letter-to-members-of-the-canadian-parliament/

My intention was to express my concern over the sale, to explain why I believe it’s not a just reaction to the current circumstances at BlackBerry. I also wanted to provide clear solutions instead of simply addressing the obvious problems. Perhaps understandably the process of writing the letter and the reaction to it from readers, has lead me to believe more needs to be said.

My biggest concern has always been the muted reaction from Canadians to the potential loss of BlackBerry to a foreign bidder and the reputational loss to the Canadian Stock markets & Canada as a competitor on the 1st world stage. It’s a given, if BlackBerry was to be taken over by a foreign company or even taken private, it will not look good upon the Canadian Stock Market, and on their ability to support their listings. Canada will lose a foothold in high tech/high talent jobs and intellectual IP built by Canadians, as happened with Nortel and the Avrow Arrow:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWuZtk8uPP0

The question becomes why? Or a deeper look asks, what’s really going on?

image

Previously I gave examples of how Americans support their publicly traded tech companies. How they support their technology companies through their financial markets.

I provided data on how Facebook, Twitter, Netflix and Tesla among others, trade at hundreds of times their earnings. These massive multiples are amassed in part because of how the American financial system is set up to support their technology industry & other listed stocks.

Hedge funds backed up by massive media outlets provide a megaphone to the American population, extolling the virtues of said companies while simply ignoring the potentially dangerous multiples those companies trade at. The hedge funds provide the analysis and the media provide the megaphone.

American TV networks and news media protect and build value for their companies. It is often the same ownership at the helm of the media and companies being built up, with the same vested interests; the same power makers and lobbyists that offer the venture capital.

Once you take a closer look. You see the connected nature of the system. You see how everyone stands to benefit from the consistent positive spin. It’s true that the media players bring out market bears, that give the opposite view of the market and the companies we’ve been discussing. But by carefully controlling the content and ratio of positives vs negatives, the resulting perceptions are built casting a reality; all this gets to carry on as those companies with the massive valuations, far outside their ability to earn money proceed to use those funds to buy actual value.

 

Canada lacks the global reach of the American Media, and often the Canadian media just tows the line on what is fed via the American news outlets. With all levels of media being controlled by a select group of  lobbyists/venture capitalists/owners at the top, almost as a single entity, it can turn that perception machine into a force against a company. This negative analyst/media frenzy can destroy or devalue a company like BlackBerry to the point where it can be sold at “auction”  with the same nay sayers being able to buy up the pieces at half of book value.

 

All we have to do is look at the American system and how it creates value in very junior companies, even if not public yet.  As an example, PATH, a newly formed instant messaging service, started by an early Facebook employee,  someone who knows the system, knows the venture capitalists and how the media outlets can be manipulated.

PATH recently reached 10 million users of their service, some say with illegal means:

http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/14/path-is-on-the-path-to-new-funding-approaching-1b-valuation/

The financial system in the USA values PATH at $1Billion; they recently received additional venture capital funding.  Yet the book value of the company is nowhere near $1 billion dollars, most of the valuation is based on future earnings potential.
image

By contrast, BlackBerry has an instant messaging system, BlackBerry Messenger. Many would argue BBM is far more feature rich than PATH. Plus, they had 60 million users previous to BBM launching on Android and Apple over the last week, when BBM was downloaded 10 million times in the first 24 hours! It was downloaded over 20 million times before the first 3 days. As I write this, millions more people are about to get started using BBM, now that there is no “line”. Yet with the current Fairfax offer that’s on the table for BlackBerry, at one half of BlackBerry’s book value, BBM is receiving a value of $0. That’s to say that BBM has zero current value or future potential value given to it by the market and analysts.

BBM Quick Facts:

 

More than 60 million monthly active users.

More than 51 million daily active users who are connecting with friends or colleagues an average of one and a half hours every day.

BBM users send and receive more than 10 billion messages each day, nearly twice as many messages per user per day as compared to other mobile messaging apps.

Almost half of BBM messages are read within 20 seconds of being received; indicating how truly engaged BBM customers are with the platform.

 

Source: http://blogs.blackberry.com/2013/05/bbm-ios-android/

BBM has recently topped the charts on iOS and Google Play world-wide!

https://pfcsystems.wordpress.com/2013/10/26/top-ios-apps/

Let’s have a look at another social media company that has yet to go public, Pinterest. Again this company is strictly funded by venture capital. They call it “venture capital” at the early stages but all venture capital is hedge funds & large bank investment arms, often the same funders that have analysts on pay rolls to “review” the market. They’re able, through their market position and ability to promote start ups, to gain early access to the companies in the US. Pinterest is valued at $3.8 billion by the US venture capital system. They have recently reached somewhere between 25 to 50 million users, depending on who you listen to, but they have yet to ever earn a dollar. They admit to not having an actual plan to make money and aren’t even worried about that, at this time.

http://allthingsd.com/20131023/pinterest-does-another-massive-funding-225-million-at-3-8-billion-valuation/

If you take these two examples alone & compare, not BlackBerry as a whole, but only BlackBerry’s social arm, BBM, and the forthcoming Channels network, I ask how is it possible that the market gives BlackBerry’s efforts zero dollar value? BlackBerry’s BBM alone, as we speak has better than 85 million users. It’s currently growing by millions a day, with users being spread over 180 countries.

BBM Channels will be an independent arm of BlackBerry’s Social Networks, although every BBM user will have access to channels through its chat feature. Channels is still in late stage beta. As a beta tester and channel owner, I can tell you that BlackBerry is on to something big here. Channels will provide businesses, consumer brands, celebrities and everyday individuals a fantastically colorful and secure and private (if chosen to go private) way to interact. The future potential is clear & valuable. Yet, the market gives Channels + BBM zero worth in the current sale of the company at half of book value.  Prem Watsa and Fairfax will get a company at “auction” with much more future earning potential than the share holders will be paid.

 

A positive article (not even considering the Channels Playcard!)  on Forbes states:

“BBM Could Be Worth Billions if BlackBerry Can Copy The Line PlayBook” –Tero Kuittinen, October 25, 2013, Forbes.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/terokuittinen/2013/10/25/bbm-could-be-worth-billions-if-blackberry-can-copy-the-line-playbook/

  QNX 

The  real value of BlackBerry, includes a world with machine to machine connectivity, a world with its subsidiary, QNX, playing an intricate role:

https://pfcsystems.wordpress.com/2013/10/26/space-grade-m2m-tech-in-the-palm-of-your-hand/

A world where smart phones will become the entry point of the connected devices. It’s early but this new world is coming up around us, more and more so, every day. First on the agenda would be automotive infotainment and drive train diagnostics.  The hands down leader in this brave new world is QNX.  The software code, Real Time OS (RTOS), behind the new BackBerry 10 OS cell phones is present in over 300 million current automobiles and their future products. QNX Car2 is already gaining mainstream acknowledgment as the industry standard. QNX is not just in automotive either. Many fail safe industrial systems rely on the QNX RTOS as the only system reliable enough to stand up to their difficult tasks. Military, nuclear and aerospace are counted among them. The F35 Lightning the Abrahams tanks the International Space Station and many of the world’s nuclear power plants rely on QNX. These vastly important BlackBerry customers are not the point though. They are an example of the power and reliability of the BlackBerry, QNX RTOS.  Again, very little press or value is given to this ownership by BlackBerry.

 

“We Aim To Be The Leading Provider of Machine to Machine Embedded Systems” -Frank Boulben- March 16, 2013

https://pfcsystems.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/we-aim-to-be-the-leading-provider-of-machine-to-machine-embedded-systems-frank-boulben/

Take QNX and couple it with BlackBerry’s Network Operations Centre (NOC) and we understand that this is one of the world’s largest networks which is connected  to over 650 mobile carriers worldwide. The bigger picture starts to emerge. BlackBerry holds the key to the largest private “secure” network there is and which is relied on by the likes of NATO the DOD the DND and many national governments around the world for its unmatched level of security. BlackBerry10 operating system & BES10, BlackBerry’s latest MDM or “Mobile Device Management” solution has recently been employed by all of them. Recently, BlackBerry launched their cloud based #MDM solution. That adds unmatched cloud integration. BlackBerry has also secured Android & IOS with BES10.

Everything ties together, BlackBerry is a vertically integrated secure mobile platform & business solution. From the hardware to the software, through the services, that include transfer of data via the NOC & BlackBerry’s network. They have spent the last 2 + years rebuilding the suite of offerings, rewriting the entire architecture of how everything communicates through the network. The foundation is now in place, and it is built for security first.  The future is at hand. The QNX RTOS has the ability to communicate with its own kind or other systems that run QNX RTOS through their “transparently distributed processing”:

http://berryflow.com/portfolio/tdp/

The connected world is coming and BlackBerry’s technology, whether Canadian or not will be at the forefront of this massive new market including military, industrial, medical and other segments.

Now is not the time for Canadians to be selling BlackBerry for half the value of their hard assets. Now is the time that Canadians should be investing in BlackBerry and investing in Canada’s future, to be at the forefront of a super-connected world.

bbq10initial01

The American system is the land of what they call “Activist Investors”.  These men and women can be worth billions; they are the venture capitalists that offer money, the key industry leaders that sit on several boards, from bank to media. They make it their business to invest in struggling companies and inact change long before the management of a company can fall so far behind in the perception game. They fully understand how a company’s perception becomes its reality.

Activist investors step in and fight to change those perceptions. At times, just the information that an activist investor has got involved in a company is enough to enact change. Sadly, Canada appears not to have any activist investors of the magnitude, technical knowledge and/ or will needed to complete the change started at BlackBerry.

In my letter to the Government of Canada, I recommended that the government request Jim Balsillie to return to BlackBerry as the CEO  to fight for the company he once owned. The company he built into a worldwide $20 billion behemoth!  Here’s hoping that Jim Balsillie or some other Canadian steps up and fights for BlackBerry to remain Canadian and public. The current CEO does not appear up to the  task of completing the BlackBerry transition.  Thorsten Heins, top management, and the Board of Directors appear to have lost their resolve to keep BlackBerry moving. That doesn’t mean that someone else can’t!

 blackberryz10stock

We live in a gloabal society and there can be alternative views fostered and developed by alternative thinkers/companies. BlackBerry has invented the global communicating hardware, championed and used by so many of industries’ titans in Canada, the USA, all over the world! There can be a real alternative to Apple, Android (Google) and Microsoft. There can be intellectual creativity from different nations shared globally! The market space is large enough to foster healthy competition! Innovation cannot happen by assimilation! To all my friends, all over the world, on #TeamBlackBerry, who fight the perception campaign daily, as best they can, I encourage you to support many of us in our bid to keep BlackBerry alive as a public, and preferably Canadian,  company. Anything can happen in a sale. You can do your part to help BlackBerry #KeepMoving, by supporting this movement. Repost this and re-tweet it by clicking on the “Twitter” or “Facebook” “button” below!  Or, copy and paste this 140 character tweet:

 

Imagine @BlackBerry M2M Tech @CTV @CBC @PMHarper @JustinTrudeau @GlobeandMail @AJAM @CNN @ABC @CBS @IndustryCanada http://wp.me/p381yl-SJ 

Here’s hoping that you will get on board with this movement and support a titan of innovation, BlackBerry, an alternative reality, an alternative future, before it’s too late. Going private will weaken the brand and the biased/unbiased media scrutiny would remain! BlackBerry needs a serious marketing strategy, and perhaps putting BBM on iOS and Android devices is the beginning of a game-plan?!

We can do this!

BlackBerry-An Alternative Reality, An Alternative Future

Darryl McKinnon.

getdjmac@hotmail.com

@getdjmac

C0007CCC8 Channels

 

Check out our most recent post on the prospective partners for BlackBerry here:

https://pfcsystems.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/blackberry-looking-for-a-mutually-beneficial-partnership/

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Space Grade M2M Tech in the Palm of Your Hand

image

Imagine ———— see the video below and re-tweet by clicking on the twitter button at the end of the page 😉

{UPDATED November 1, 2013}

OR Tweet (copy and paste):

Save @BlackBerry from going way of Avro Arrow! @pmharper @IndustryCanada @JamesMoore_org http://wp.me/p381yl-SJ  pic.twitter.com/zETemm5A12

OR Tweet (copy and paste):

Save @BlackBerry from going way of Avro Arrow! @pmharper @IndustryCanada @JamesMoore_org @JustinTrudeau @CBC @CTV http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rGW76JB90Ro …

Learn more about what can be done to save BlackBerry: as easy as 1, 2, 3–CHECK OUT THE VIDEO BELOW FIRST, and then read these posts!

1)A Letter To Members of The Canadian Parliament 

https://pfcsystems.wordpress.com/2013/10/19/a-letter-to-members-of-the-canadian-parliament/

2)BlackBerry an Alternative Reality, An Alternative Future

https://pfcsystems.wordpress.com/2013/10/27/blackberry-an-alternative-reality-an-alternative-future/

3)BlackBerry: Looking For a Mutually Beneficial Partnership

https://pfcsystems.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/blackberry-looking-for-a-mutually-beneficial-partnership/

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The Enterprise App Economy

App yapp!

TechCrunch

Editor’s note: Aaron Levie is CEO and co-founder of Box. Follow him on Twitter @levie.

Next week, thousands of developers will converge on WWDC, the vast majority representing companies and products that didn’t exist before the creation of Apple’s iPhone and App Store.

They’ll talk about the future of mobile gaming, photo sharing and, of course, Snapchat. But what likely won’t be center stage is how transformative Apple’s devices and ecosystem have been in the enterprise.

The enterprise world was once solidly dominated by PCs. Today, nearly all of the Fortune 500 are testing iPads. Combined, Apple and Android (and Android’s partners) represent nearly 91 percent of smartphones and tablets used today. And it’s not just that people are buying a new category of device; they’re actually buying fewer PCs in aggregate, as well. In the last holiday season, PC shipments sunk 6 percent, the first decrease…

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