Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Death of BlackBerry? Oh How the Mighty Fall…

Smartphones are becoming our most powerful device. And let's face it when a lot of people use to think of smartphones they only thought of BlackBerry, so powerful it became dubbed Crackberry.

Now many say we are in a “smartphone war”, although I would really call it a three-way battle. And after weeks of market share loss RIM (BlackBerry) got passed for the first time by Android (announced about a week ago) following a third spot held by Apple.

With that said, let the eulogy for the imminent death of BlackBerry begin.

Courtesy of comScore: Take a look at market share from January 2010 to January 2011.

In short: RIM is losing market share fast. And in another year expect a real plummet. All numbers and percentages aside - seeing some of the biggest corporate accounts switching out to me is telltale.

What does BB need to do to stay competitive?

BlackBerry is known as a business tool. And lets be honest – what is it good for? The keyboard, BBM, the forced corporate account? The browser, app world and everything else is pretty sad and painfully slow. And RIM simply can't compete with the influx of better handsets, apps, processing speeds, intuitiveness, etc. Therefore, they have to again come out with something that sets them apart as a business device. They also have to do some marketing for crying out loud. I would have put way more thought into a new lineup of handsets than any into a tablet that is going to fail.

Also some recent announcements have me perplexed. BlackBerry Messenger is a reason a lot of people stay on Blackberry. It’s a free messaging app that doesn't count against messaging and is great for staying in touch with international users. Now, it’s reported that BBM will come to Android and Apple iOS? I expect that this service will come at a one-time fee and but it makes no sense to me how this could monetarily would make sense for BlackBerry to be cross platform? Why give away your best goods?

In closing, I will say I have been a BlackBerry user for almost 7 years. I currently use the Tour (as well as an iPhone) but will be switching to a Droid Pro shortly. After years of loyalty I realized I’m not even sure I will miss anything about my BlackBerry but the keyboard (which is why I’m going Droid Pro). Buying my black dress...

Would love to hear your thoughts...

Images courtesy of comScore


  1. RIM is doing something similar to what Microsoft did when they realized Apple had superior, hipper products and offered to have their software compatible with Macs. If you can't beat 'em join 'em. Might as well have a small piece in almost 100 percent of the market instead of watching your company's market share just melt away.

  2. Just as Nokia had to partner with Microsoft to survive (we'll see how that goes), RIM will have to find a strategic ally as well... perhaps HP?

  3. fair points.

    for me its like how do you let it get to this point - corporate #fail.

  4. Regarding staying competitive:

    At this point, it's all about marketing. They were the only players in the game years ago, but that's changed. Apple now has the hip user market, Android has the tech geek market, RIM still has a good percentage of the professional market. They should leverage that; brand themselves as the phone that professionals use, brand Apple as a shiny toy for hipster kids, and Android as a complicated gadget just for geeks. Make it a status symbol, make it expensive (that's right, up the price), and sexy. They might not be able to keep as big of a market share, but if they can keep the top-end users they can stay strong and carve out a (fairly large) niche consisting of people with money to blow, and maintain a good profit margin.

    Regarding the app:

    They might make the non-BB versions have some flaw (can't send MMS, or something like that) which would allow non-Blackberry users to use it too, but to get the "full experience" you need to be on a Blackberry. But my bet is they will probably just make it a free app with full capabilities, and insert ads for Blackberry phones to non-Blackberry users.

  5. well
    I do not own a smart phone so i guess am neutral. RIM for awhile was providing great service the the products where great. But most of the users in Botswana are constantly complaining. I guess the mighty have fallen



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