Blackberry’s QNX OS scored a big win at Ford this week. If readers have yet to catch up with this news, they can read about it in an article written by Craig Trudell and Jeff Green, which was published on the Bloomberg web site on Monday, February 24, 2014: BlackBerry Gains as Ford Said to Pick QNX Over Microsoft. At the same time, the volume of articles written about facebook’s controversial $19Bil acquisition of WhatsApp, engulfed Blackberry’s Messenger (BBM) service. All this news amounts to a positive sign CEO John Chen is succeeding in his attempt to resuscitate this mature ISV.
What’s different about Blackberry’s BBM service, as compared to WhatsASpp, is not at all the feature set, but the installed base of users. BBM users are predominantly people employed by large organizations in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. So the monetary value represented by the BBM user community may actually be greater than the same value metric for WhatsApp users, despite the annual subscription opportunity and the enormous numbers of WhatsApp users. Bottom line: teenagers lack the buying power of enterprise business users.
As far as the win at Ford for the QNX OS, put this one on top of the role the QNX OS played for Audi’s Infotainment system and I get the feel of momentum building for further sales of this feature-rich smart car OS. QNX has been at the smart car business for quite a while and presents the market with a particularly rich set of features.
Speaking of Audi’s Infotainment system, another company of recent strong interest to me, NVIDIA, is also playing a part in the architecture of Audi’s Smart Car feature set. In a press release dated January 7, 2013, and titled Audi and NVIDIA Expand Visual Computing in the Car, NVIDIA announces a big win at Audi. Curiously, the win for NVIDIA promises to displace the QNX driven Infotainment system.
Disclaimer: I’m long NVIDIA and Blackberry
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