Losing Home Depot biz shatters investors' confidence in BlackBerry 10

Losing Home Depot biz shatters investors' confidence in BlackBerry 10
Now that the dust has settled on the BlackBerry Z10 and the bloom is off the rose, a step back from the hype has many wondering whether BlackBerry has indeed turned itself around. If there is one unsettling story that seems to be weighing on the company, it was the word this weekend that Home Depot had decided to go with the Apple iPhone for its executives, which means dropping its current BlackBerry handsets.

Some have used the Home Depot story as a reason to dump the stock, questioning how successful the BlackBerry Z10 can be in the enterprise if it loses business from as huge company like Home Depot, which was a BlackBerry client to begin with. Considering that BlackBerry 10 was supposed to help the company compete with iOS, Android and Windows Phone as a gadget for consumers, it was hoped that it also would staunch the bleeding that has taken part in the enterprise market, especially in the BYOD arena where employees were bringing in touchscreen Android and Apple iPhone models to the workplace. BlackBerry Balance was supposed to be the feature that gave IT department heads the confidence to select a BlackBerry model for work, and still let employees take it home and install as many apps as they wanted. But the Home Depot business, which was for 10,000 units, cuts deeper because the phone that is replacing BlackBerry at the retailer is the Apple iPhone 4S, a phone that is 16 months old.

Also bothering investors enough that the stock dropped 8% on Wednesday and more on Thursday, is the news that former co-CEO Jim Balsillie had dumped his remaining stake in the company. As we told you this morning, in a Valentine's Day filing with regulators, Balsillie showed no love for the company he once steered by selling all 26.8 million shares that he still had in what was then called Research In Motion, before the end of 2012. That represented about a 5% stake in the company.

The next big thing on the horizon for BlackBerry is the U.S.launch of its all-touch BlackBerry Z10 model followed by the launch a few weeks afterwards of the physical QWERTY equipped BlackBerry Q10. How the U.S. market responds to the new models could very well be the difference between life and death for the Canadian manufacturer.

source: Reuters via Crackberry

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