Analysts have expressed doubt over whether BlackBerry will
be able to regain a foothold in the smartphone market, following a drop of 7.8%
in the company’s shares on Thursday.
Whilst the stock reached a 52-week high in January, it’s
since lost around a quarter of its overall value. BlackBerry's latest handset, the Z10,
is already causing concerns over discounts given for the handsets, which were
designed to take on Samsung’s Galaxy range and Apple’s iPhone.
The company’s new operating system, BlackBerry 10 (BB10),
was launched in January but only began selling in the US in March. This has led
to investors raising concerns about the viability of "regaining its lost glory
and stealing back market share in the U.S. market”, according to a report
from the Calgary Sun.
"(The) recent optimism surrounding the ability of the
new BlackBerry 10 products to get BlackBerry back to long-term profitability
will ultimately prove unwarranted," Pacific Crest analyst James Faucette
wrote in a research note.
"We see a combination of market maturity, more
aggressive pricing from competitors and smaller resources than those of
competing ecosystems frustrating the comeback attempt," he added.
Faucette believes that BlackBerry’s attempts to turn its
fortunes around will fail due to having an unfamiliar user interface, less apps
than Android and Apple and not enough compatible technology. This, he says,
means that any opportunity the company had to sell up had now passed.
"We believe BB10 is
likely to be DOA,” he went on to say, "we expect the new OS to be met with a
lukewarm response at best and ultimately likely to fail.”
However, Paradigm Capital’s Gabriel Leung disagreed,
pointing out that: "The company has significantly improved its ability to
attract developers to build apps for the BB10 ecosystem, which we view as a key
catalyst for success.”