The Electric Blackberry Acid Test

5 May 2013 by Steve Blum
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“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”

I was wrong to say that Blackberry CEO Thorsten Heins doesn’t seem to be the sort of CEO that might dabble in hallucinogens. First he claimed victory over Apple in the smart phone wars, and last week followed up with a declaration that tablets are dead.

We need Hunter S. Thompson. Now. He broke the ibogaine story in the 1972 presidential race and would quickly find any ambient pharmaceuticals floating through the Blackberry corporate ecosystem. Unfortunately, he’s chilling with Steve Jobs in the Great Crash Pad in the Sky. Lacking his authoritative diagnosis, all we’re left with is irresponsible speculation.

Instead, let’s consider Blackberry’s life expectancy once the U.S. Department of Defense certifies Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones, Apple iPhones and, yes, wheezing tablets as secure enough for military use. Blackberry is already rapidly disappearing from the consumer market and bring-your-own-device pressure is forcing corporations to allow Android and iOS users into their walled gardens. An aura of top secret grade security is its only competitive advantage left.

Once Apple and Samsung have breached the Pentagon’s firewall, Blackberry’s last market stronghold – professionally paranoid government IT departments – will fade away like fractal visions of gila monster-headed campaign rallies in the Haight.

Sorry. Didn’t mean to go there again.

With DoD’s blessing in hand, the two mobile device market leaders can aggressively sell to other cautious buyers, like banks, military contractors and law enforcement.

And to security conscious deliverymen. Care to bet how long it’ll be before you see Thorsten’s connection standing on a Waterloo street corner checking Colombian commodity prices on an iPad?