Blogs & Comment

Winners & Losers: BlackBerry gets Good, Verizon gets checked

Company name? Check. Laughably grandiose press release? Check. Widespread ridicule? Check!


Archrival Bad Technology said to be seething


Rather than trying to compete with rival Good Technology, BlackBerry decided to buy it for $425-million in cash. Good provides secure mobile device management solutions to businesses and governments, which makes it a natural fit for BlackBerry. The acquisition is the company’s largest ever, and is the latest in a long line purchases under CEO John Chen. All of Chen’s acquisitions have been designed to help transition BlackBerry to a software and services company, rather than a hardware manufacturer. (BlackBerry doesn’t even rank amid the world’s top smartphone manufacturers.) Chen set a goal of generating $500 million per year from software, and the acquisition of Good puts him closer to that milestone. The acquisition is somewhat unexpected, given how often the two companies traded barbs. Good Technology CEO Christy Wyatt (a Canadian, incidentally) used any opportunity to brag about poaching customers from BlackBerry. This habit prompted BlackBerry to criticize its rival’s security features in a blog post titled “Good is not Good Enough,” proving its attempts at humour are about as weak as its handset sales. In January, BlackBerry also fact-checked a press release from Good to deflate its grandiose claims. The animosity will surely present no issues when it comes time to integrate the two companies.


They can hear us now


The biggest wireless carrier in the U.S. unveiled a new logo this week, which, predictably, resulted in scorn, ridicule, and a particularly searing jab from a competitor. In plain English, Verizon’s new logo is the word “Verizon” next to a small red checkmark. In biz-speak, the logo is a “chance to further everyone’s understanding of who Verizon is,” the “beginning of the next chapter,” and a representation of “simplicity, honesty, and joy,” three things absolutely nobody associates with their wireless carrier (unless that carrier is Canadian Business-owner Rogers Communications, right?). The reactions weren’t exactly favourable, and a parody logo generator quickly emerged. But the best dig probably came from T-Mobile CEO John Legere, who included Verizon’s checkmark in a laundry list of grievances against the company, including that it “screws over customers” and applies “hefty fees for international roaming.” Legere liked the image so much he tweeted it twice. See, BlackBerry? That’s how you troll a competitor.