Former Apple Chief Exec Advices BlackBerry to Drop Hardware, Concentrate on Messaging Services

John Sculley Proposes Radical Reform of BlackBerry

by Anton Shilov
07/01/2013 | 10:33 PM



John Sculley, chief executive officer of Apple who fired Steve Jobs from the company, has proposed a rather radical move for BlackBerry, a struggling maker of smartphones. Instead of selling hardware or operating system, the company should focus only on secure messaging services and several programs.

BlackBerry’s smartphone platform is considerably behind Apple iOS and Google Android when it comes to market share. The company also does not show any signs of being more successful that Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Phone. Without being a strong No. 3 smartphone platform on the market, or at least as successful as Windows Phone, BlackBerry will not be able to compete against rivals in the long term since it will not be supported by software makers.

But despite of not gaining popularity, BlackBerry remains a preferable mobile messaging service for many corporations, which means that the firm does have a stable client base. Potentially, BlackBerry could guarantee a certain amount of popular applications to its customers and continue offering them premium devices with premium service not available from other companies. However, the former chief exec of Apple believes that hardware business is not for BlackBerry.

“The clock is running on them. They can come back if they drop hardware and focus on secure messaging,” said John Sculley in an interview with Bloomberg news-agency.

Many analysts share Mr. Sculley’s opinion and believe BlackBerry should drop competitive hardware business and concentrate on what it does best. However, the company wants to continue selling own-brand smartphones since this brings a number of business opportunities and allows to earn by selling software to BB handset owners.