An offbeat idea to make BlackBerry great again

Phone maker might want to consider exiting technology altogether in favour of new horizons.

blackberry classic, make blackberry great again

Make BlackBerry Great Again:

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In the news biz, the dog days of summer go by another name. It’s the silly season, so named because everyone is on vacation and truly newsworthy events tend to be few and far between.

With no one making news and no one reading it, we journalists have to stretch our brains to somehow fill the nevertheless-eternally-gaping content chasms. The results are often silly.

It’s especially true in the technology industry, where companies’ annual revenue strategies are built largely around the fourth quarter, which is why there is inevitably a gusher of news just as soon as Labour Day arrives. Through July and August, though, inanity and triviality flourish – have you heard about the outrage over the new Netflix app icon?

In that vein, here’s another bit of inane and trivial news – BlackBerry is discontinuing its Classic smartphone. You know, the one it launched 18 months ago, with the actual keyboard buttons.

BlackBerry is explaining the move by saying it wants to “keep innovating and advancing our portfolio,” but the abysmal sales are obviously¬†the real reason.

So, the fact that a company that doesn’t matter at all in the grand scheme of things – its global smartphone market share is less than one per cent – is discontinuing an underperforming product… well, that’s the news in July for you, folks.

But since we’re on the topic of BlackBerry, I recently came up with an offbeat idea to revive the company – to, as the saying goes, #MakeBlackBerryGreatAgain. I’ve tested this theory on a few friends and they greeted it, shall we say, “positively,” so here goes…

BlackBerry should get out of technology entirely and start selling actual blackberries. The fruit:


If you think about it, it makes sense from a lot of angles.

For one thing, the company is facing an uphill battle no matter what it tries to do in the tech space. The hardware business is a lost cause and pivoting into software and services won’t be any easier.

BlackBerry has fierce competitors there, including the likes of IBM, Amazon and Google. There’s little reason to believe the little, shrinking company from Waterloo, Ont., can outdo such incredibly well-resourced competitors.

Fruit, however, is another matter. As a 2013 report from Euromonitor outlined, there are tremendous opportunities in blackberries. The¬†“superfruit” phenomenon – where consumers are snapping up anti-oxidant-rich fruit such as blueberries and raspberries – is in full swing, but it has not yet hit blackberries despite improvements in production and cultivation.

“The nuts and bolts of the supply chain are in place and the fruit is laden with potential,” the market research firm says. “The only thing blackberries are waiting for now is some more enthusiasm from the industry to stoke latent consumer demand.”

One of the things BlackBerry, the company, still has going for it is brand recognition. So who better to lead the blackberry revolution than BlackBerry? It’s a thought that chief executive John Chen and the board of directors would do well to consider.

I did warn you off the top that it’s the silly season, right?

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