Blackberry’s are mobile phones which we have either purchased at one point in out lives, or had the desire to do so. It was a brand which screamed “business class/corporate” and was a device to behold for everybody from the average Joe, to CEO’s of large companies.
The legacy of the Canadian Company went strong, right from the onset of the original Blackberry Pagers back in 1999, upto the, say, advent of the iPhone and Android Phones.
But the onset of these phones (along with other factors), hit RIM like a brick wall. Blackberry saw huge decrease in sales, their shares droped, and they had to start offering their mobile phones at less premium prices so as to recover losses. But why did this happen? What led to the fall of the Blackberry? Why had Blackberry sales declined so much? Where does Blackberry stand now, and what is its future?
Lets delve deeper.
Onset of More Smartphones.
Back when Blackberry was orginally launched, smartphones were more of just a concept as opposed to reality.
So, when Blackberry came along with its line of Smartphones, which offered the ability to email and browse the web on the go, people went ga-ga over the new phone on the market.
This craze for Blackberry continued for some time. It became a favourite amongst the business men, who were in most need of such features. But then came Apple and Google into the Mobile market.
The iPhone and Android Phones were phones which lead to a revolution in the smartphone market. They offered tons of apps, whole load of multimedia options, and at more price points. (We are talking Android here)
Blackberry lost its initial monopoly with the influx of these superphones. The features of these smartphones are another thing, but there presence alone made the pie divide into more pieces.
Blackberry had a very secure system via which the consumer could email and message each other. This may have been a gift for many, but a curse for other. In some countries, where the Blackberry’s were available on contract, the premium was adjusted into a their monthly bill, but in countries where the consumer bought the phones factory unlocked, they had to pay a monthly premium to access the internet. This was something the consumer did not like. Also the crash in servers in 2011, lead to headaches for many users, which took many people off the Blackberry Bandwagon.
The App Store and Play Store both are very robust allowing the consumer to download virtually thousands of apps with just a few taps. Blackberry on the other hand had a market which had very few apps, and those too, targeted towards professionals and not the teen and younger crowd. This was a serious hit for Blackberry.
Failure of the Blackberry Playbook
Hardware wise, the Blackberry Playbook was a solid product. It packed excellent specs, and premium looks. But it failed in the way the other touch devices of Blackberry tanked. The Tablet didn’t have any good apps, and for tablet, apps are the bread and butter. Otherwise you could just go out and by a Portable Media Player. Blackberry saw huge fall in its share price and the launch of the Playbook was considered the a maj0r factor for drop in RIM’s revenue in 2011.
Many other factors also played a role, such as Blackberry devices always having lower specs then its competitors. But all in all Blackberry isn’t what it used to be. And Blackberry knows this.
Blackberry is now trying to recapture its market position. One of the ways they are trying to accomplish this is by decreasing their prices. This will only go a certain distance in increasing sales. Currently, Blackberry is shipping with OS 7, but is expected that a major makeover for Blackberry will be soon coming which will attempt to give the company a facelift.
Only time will tell how this works out. What do you think? Will Blackberry be able to establish a market dominance again?