Blackberry RIM (Research in Motion) is a Smart phone manufacturing Canadian firm operating since 1999. It is currently the fourth most popular smart phone with 11.7% market share of the world behind Ericsson, Google and Apple. Blackberry started as the market leader introducing the push e-mail, mobile telephone, text messaging, internet faxing, web browsing and other wireless information services back in 2003.
How Blackberry is losing its market share?
Starting from the recent outage of Blackberry services in October, 2011; when an open letter to RIM CEOs came up addressing the failure of Blackberry PR, nothing really turned out good for RIM. New launches were not that successful and nearly 60% of Blackberry RIM users in US are planning to switch to either Android or Apple by the end of next year. Let’s see how it all started. Blackberry was Wall Street’s baby until Apple and Google launched its first iPhone and Android in 2007 respectively. For RIM’s adversity it never felt the need for a real innovation. Blackberry users were using the same technology for years and they needed a change which Android and Apple provided. It all started there and then. Blackberry didn’t realize the need of an hour, which was innovation, and it kept on giving the same services thinking that who’ll mess with RIM. This is where it all begins, RIM never went too far to feel a need of marketing intensely and the other companies made use of its over confidence.
According to Michael Mace
“In my opinion, RIM’s real problems center around two big issues: its market is saturating, and it seems to have lost the ability to create great products. This is a classic problem that eventually faces most successful computer platforms. The danger is not that RIM is about to collapse, but that it’ll drift into in a situation where it can’t afford the investments needed to succeed in the future. It’s very easy for a company to accidentally cross that line, and very hard to get back across it.
There’s a lesson in RIM’s situation for every tech company, so it’s worthwhile to spend some time understanding what’s happening.”
Why Blackberry is failing as a product?
Primarily Innovation was the main reason because of which Blackberry is facing such a rapid downfall. Most of the smart phone users have gone so far and called the upcoming launches of RIM “Boring”. Another reason is the lack of applications in Blackberry. Looks like even the developers don’t like the idea of making Blackberry apps. Since its debut in 2009 only 26,000 applications of Blackberry have been developed as of April 2011. Blackberry’s core competence were its push e-mail and BBM (Blackberry Messenger Service), of late almost all mobile phones have push e-mails and the new iMessage introduced by Apple is gunning for BBM.
What Blackberry should do to strike back?
Blackberry OS 7 is already facing the downfall despite the fact that it’s yet to be released. Blackberry’s future looks blurry with no real hope as it also lost its competitive advantage of BBM which ensured its sales in Middle East and Africa mainly. There are certain things which could be done to save Blackberry for all the right reasons. As Michael Mace says,
“To fix their problems, RIM needs to create rigorous up-front planning processes in its software team, with someone who has dictatorial power placed in charge of overall software integration for a device or OS release. Also, the product manager needs to be empowered (actually required) to delay shipment of a product if it’s not right. I’m sure someone at RIM knew about the problems in the Torch. The fact that the company went ahead and shipped it is almost as disturbing as the problems themselves.”
What Blackberry needs is a visionary innovation that will give RIM a reason to stay in the market and compete at the top level. Along with that the company needs to change its development process to guarantee proper design and integrating all products. There’s a lot of work needed to be done if Blackberry RIM really wants to make sure that it stays in the competition and reclaim its lost market share.