BlackBerry on list of brands most likely to disappear in 2015

24/7 Wall Street insists that the BlackBerry brand is at death's door. However, it predicted the same thing in 2012.

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Can BlackBerry square the circle and survive? Blackberry

I'm not sure that Eric Schmidt would ever let this happen.

The famed BlackBerry lover -- yes, despite being executive chairman of Google -- must be blanching at the notion that his trusted machine might be no more.

Yet some analysts have been sharpening their obituaries of Canada's fine brand for many a month and year.

This time, it's 24/7 Wall Street that has placed BlackBerry on its list of "10 Brands That Will Disappear in 2015."

It joins retail brands such as Lululemon and Aeropostale, as well as tech brands such as DirectTV and Time Warner Cable on the list.

Of course, those two tech brands are there because they'll likely disappear thanks to mergers. The idea of BlackBerry disappearing is more, some say, thanks to a certain myopia and indolence about the emergence of the iPhone and its many clones.

The criteria 24/7 Wall Street uses include declining sales and losses, as well as "withering market share."

For BlackBerry, it says that though the QNX platform has some traction in the auto and health care industries, such successes "are inadequate on their own to make the company viable."

In five years, BlackBerry's share of the global smartphone market slipped from 19.5 percent to less than 1 percent in 2013.

That's a little more than careless. However, some judicious financial pruning helped it beat market expectations just last month.

Moreover, BlackBerry has decided that it's going to distinguish itself by the shape of its new phone. It's not going to be rectangular. It won't even have rounded edges. No, it will be square. Because, well, you know, square.

There is, perhaps, a place for a brand that expressly positions itself against every sheep-like market trend. The only question is how much of the market it can drag along with it.

One ray of joy in this apparent gloom is that 24/7 Wall Street made a previous prediction. This was that Research In Motion (aka BlackBerry) would disappear in 2012. This didn't exactly happen.

Personally, I hope that Schmidt steps in, buys the brand, and releases phones that have truly square names.

Wouldn't you like to buy a BlackBerry Actuary or a BlackBerry Staid (or even "Stayed)? And who wouldn't be moved to put a BlackBerry Schmidt in their pockets?

 

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