NEW YORK — BlackBerry is the anti-Apple. It doesn’t have a new phablet or smartwatch to show off this week or next. So you might think the company would be overshadowed by Samsung, Motorola and Apple and their glitzy product launches.
But you’d be wrong.
Shares of BlackBerry rose nearly 3% Wednesday following a similar pop on Tuesday.
Why is the stock doing this well at a time when most consumers view BlackBerry as an antiquated device?
Cue Apple’s iCloud security snafu, which some believe was partly responsible for the more than 4% drop in Apple’s stock Wednesday, may be helping to fuel BlackBerry’s latest rally. Here’s why.
BlackBerry is widely acknowledged by many tech experts to have one of the most secure mobile platforms.
That’s a big reason why a lot of government agencies and big businesses continue to use BlackBerry devices even as regular consumers have dumped them in favor of iPhones, gadgets running on Google’s Android and even handsets that use Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system.
But now that Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities are dealing with the PR nightmare of their nude photos circulating around the Internet due to a hack of their iCloud accounts, it’s possible that the company could win new customers … or, at the very least, regain some of the ones it has lost.
Many BlackBerry loyalists took to Twitter to poke fun at Apple and the iCloud and praise the security prowess of the Canadian mobile device company.
“#iCloud gets hacked, it’s a funny twitter hashtag. #Blackberry gets hacked…oh wait..@BlackBerry DOESN’T get hacked,” DayneB wrote on Monday.
“#icloud hacked…hey companies, suddenly #blackberry doesn’t seem so bad again to protect your data,” tweeted Kevin Boodhoo on Wednesday.
“If you like highly unsecured apple products then have fun. My #BlackBerry is the most secure mobile network in the world. #icloud garbage,” added wisniewskidave.
An image of Robert DeNiro and Samuel L. Jackson from Quentin Tarantino’s “Jackie Brown” was also a popular meme thanks to a post on TheTechieGuy.com blog. The photo replaced Jackson’s quote about the virtues of an AK-47 (did I mention this was Tarantino? By way of Elmore Leonard?) with the following line:
“When you absolutely, positively gotta keep your nude pictures safe .. BlackBerry! Accept no substitutes.”
And some users showed their excitement for BlackBerry’s upcoming Passport phone, which is going to be unveiled on September 24.
“Hey @BlackBerry! Please gift a #Passport each to the celebrity victims of iCloud hack,” quipped Shahriyar Ali.
Still, can BlackBerry really capitalize on the iCloud hack? Or will this all be forgotten by next week when the iPhone 6 takes center stage? The company needs more than just snarky tweets to turn its finances around.
BlackBerry’s comeback strategy is based on a hope that the so-called professional consumer, or prosumer, will stick with BlackBerry. So far, CEO John Chen has done a great job convincing investors that the company can remain a viable competitor in the crowded mobile market.
And the Canadian mobile device company continues to be one of the surprise market success stories of 2014. The stock is up 45%, making it the second-best performer in CNNMoney’s Tech 30 index.
The good news for BlackBerry investors is that things seem to be stabilizing. It has increased its cash position thanks to some real estate sales. Losses are narrowing.
But they are still losses. And sales are expected to keep declining this year and next as well. So not everyone is buying into the notion that Apple’s pain is BlackBerry’s gain.
“Yes, the ‘iCloud hack’ is a massive win for BlackBerry. It’s called security by not offering any features people will want to use,” tweeted Kunal Dua.
The Bard of Hicksville … and Reader Comment of the Week! I spoke with the CEO of Ciena after its earnings report (and disappointing sales outlook) Thursday.
That prompted me to twist a certain song lyric into one of my silly Name that Tune challenges.
“When will you realize Ciena waits for you?” Dtradio was the first to correctly ID Billy Joel as my muse. The song was Vienna. Off “The Stranger” album. I’m from Long Island. I have to know this sort of stuff.
And now the Reader Comment of the Week. While writing about the strong dollar on Tuesday, I had to take a quick break from wonkiness to focus on the pop culture news of the day: the latest legal woes for Justin Bieber. I joked that maybe the Canadian loonie would fall because of Bieber’s arrest.
Nick Gwiazda wins my Reader Comment for award for a simple suggestion: a new cryptocurrency. #BiebCoin
Ha! That idea is so ludicrous that it could work. Or shall I say Ludacris? Baby.