Blackberry’s chairman announced that the former smartphone heavyweight will begin exploring “strategic alternatives” to address its dwindling market share and placate unhappy shareholders. As I’ve said before, it ultimately makes sense for Blackberry to ditch its OS team, adopt Android, and just concentrate on two businesses: hardware and enterprise services like encrypted email and messaging. It seems logical for a few reasons:
1. Blackberries always had better hardware than software. In an age of indistinguishable Android OEMs, Blackberry would provide a familiar name and form factor. Plus, Samsung’s recent Galaxy S4 was knocked for the same reason HTC’s One was praised: hardware quality.
2. Blackberries were – and in a few cases, still are – the go-to enterprise device of the early-mid 2000s. Although most businesses are switching over to BYOD, Blackberry would be wise to offer its phones bundled enterprise software , much the same way Samsung has tried to convince business customers that its S4 can switch between work and play using its “Knox” business-division feature.
3. Blackberry would ultimately save massive amounts of money on OS development, since Google’s engineers would be doing all the hard work. Granted, Blackberry would take huge accounting charges in its next quarter due to severance costs, but it would, ultimately, make the company a leaner, and possibly more profitable organization. Either way, it’s better than bankruptcy.
4. The name “Blackberry Ice Cream Sandwich” just works.