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By Chris Lau for KapitallBlackBerry (BBRY), as all investors know, is not the company it once was. The smartphone maker lost market share year after year since
AAPL) introduced the iPhone. Then manufacturers brought the Android to market, and BlackBerry’s slippery slope became an inexorable downward slide. Quarter after quarter, BlackBerry lost market share in the smartphone market.
Despite the dire story of Blackberry’s past, the IPO of Blackberry competitor
MobileIron (its ticker will be MOBL) will validate BlackBerry’s transition as an MDM (mobile device management) play. Here’s why.
MobileIron plans to sell 11.1 million shares for up to $111 million. This values the firm at a market capitalization of close to
$700 million. The company hopes investors will pay over six times sales with a share price of between $8 and $10.
Good Technology also plans to have an IPO, but its billings growth is much weaker than that of MobileIron. Good Technology grew sales but experienced a 2% decline in billings in Q1.
BlackBerry crosses 1 million
The IPOs are good news for BlackBerry, because the company
recently said it issued over 1 million EZ Pass BES 10 Licenses. BlackBerry boasted that it has more EMM (enterprise mobile management) customers than all of its top competitors combined. At a closing price of $7.60, BlackBerry’s market cap is around $4 billion.
Investors should also remember that
VMW) entered the MDM market after it acquired AirWatch earlier this year. VMWare paid $1.54 billion for AirWatch.
Demand in MobileIron’s IPO could signal higher valuations for BlackBerry in the future. There is a risk that the IPO is a bust, but this is still good for BlackBerry. BlackBerry could acquire it, further boosting its market share in the MDM market in the process. Security and the ease of managing mobile devices regardless of their platform are two IT functions that will only grow in importance.