BlackBerry Director Says Smartphone Maker Should Consider Becoming a Niche Company

It didn't take long for BlackBerry's newly appointed board director to make media headlines. In a recent interview in Stockhold, Nordberg talked in depth about BlackBerry's current situation, saying there are "subsets" within the company that can be sold off. But the thing he said that sticks out most is in regards to BlackBerry's ambition to be a major smartphone player and whether or not there's a different direction the company could go.

"I think BlackBerry is able to survive as a niche company. But being a niche company means deciding to be a niche company," Nordbert told The Wall Street Journal. "Historically, BlackBerry has had larger ambitions. But battling giants like Apple, Google, and Samsung is tough."

Bert Nordberg
Image Source: Flickr (News Oresund)

Tough indeed. According to recent data released by International Data Corporation (IDC), Google's Android platform is installed on nearly 8 out of 10 smartphones around the globe, followed by Apple's iOS platform, which accounts for 13.2 percent of smartphone devices. Less than 8 percent of the market is up for grabs by the remaining players, including BlackBerry, which is installed on 2.9 percent of all smartphones around the world, less than Windows Phone at 3.7 percent.

BlackBerry hoped the launch of its BlackBerry 10 (BB10) platform and new devices would thrust the Canadian handset maker back into relevancy. That hasn't happened, and even worse (for BlackBerry), the company's share of the smartphone market dropped below that of Windows Phone in recent months.

In some respects, one could argue that BlackBerry already is a niche company.