This might just be the Hail-Mary pass from BlackBerry Ltd. (TSX:BB)(NASDAQ:BBRY) that investors and users have been waiting for.
BlackBerry may finally be reaching a fork in the road on the superb, yet sparsely used BlackBerry 10 operating system. For over two years, the beleaguered manufacturer has pushed out a variety of form factors, all underpowered and not very impressive.
That may finally be changing with signs pointing that the next device the company will release will be running the popular Android operating system, sporting updated hardware.
What does this mean for BlackBerry moving forward? Let’s take a quick look at what this new device potentially means.
Taking something unknown and great, and putting it on something popular
The BB10 operating system is a modern, fluid, and very secure operating system. Those that have used it have touted both the efficiency in doing common tasks with simple swipes and gestures, as well as the integration between simple common tasks without going “in and out” of several different applications.
The problem with BB10 is that not too many people know about this greatness, opting to go for the more mature iOS or Android operating systems. Adding to this, the smaller share of the market that BB10 has over those rivals limits the development of applications, making those consumers that are willing to try BB10 all the more hesitant to take the plunge due to some of the most popular apps being not available for the platform.
Taking the efficiencies and security of BB10 and placing it within the popular Android platform would draw out many of the would-be users of BB10 that were on the fence, as well as current users of Android that miss the security and efficiency of their old BlackBerry devices.
Taking a platform for few and turning it into a service for many
BB10 is the diamond in BlackBerry’s software crown. It oozes efficiency and boasts a number of certifications for its renowned security.
The problem is that at the moment the platform is only available to users running BB10 devices. BlackBerry devices are, for the most part, underpowered and dated in terms of specifications, which is truly a shame considering the strength of the platform.
If the software was severed from the anemic hardware and the potential arose for it to be installed on other manufacturer’s devices as an installed service, perhaps even at a cost, the potential upsides are endless.
Catering to the niche market that BlackBerry owns
BlackBerry’s niche market has always been Enterprise. The BES-12 software is the envy of the industry, and the platform is so secure that the list of clients includes prominent world leaders and Fortune 100 companies.
In contrast, the Android operating system is constantly associated with a consumer-driven, media-focused, lower security platform with an app for every imaginable purpose available a tap away.
If BlackBerry itself were to become an installable option, albeit one with both the underlying security and efficiencies from BB10 bolted on, a sure winner will emerge.
In my opinion, BlackBerry is a great company with a lot of potential that can be bought at a discount price—the stock is down nearly 30% this year. The passion that the company shows in trying to reinvent itself is truly astounding.
The company has already silenced the naysayers that have been reading the company’s eulogy for years, and will be around for many years to come.
Fool contributor Demetris Afxentiou has no position in any stocks mentioned.