5 reasons for the Blackberry Slide
About 18 months, Blackberry had an unassailable lead in the US smartphones. An year later, Blackberry was being challenged and within a month or two, serious competition was snapping at Blackberry’s heals. This post examines a few factors behind the fall of Blackberry!
A recent report by Strategy Analytics, puts Apple ahead of Blackberry in terms of devices shipped globally over Q3,2010.Global smartphone shipments surged 78 percent to reach 77 million units in Q3 2010. Apple was the star performer, as it overtook Blackberry and closed the gap on Nokia. The report mentions that Blackberry is still handicapped from the lack of touch devices in its high end consequently its global smartphone marketshare has edged down from 20 percent to 16 percent during the past 12 months.
The 5 reasons that led to the slide at Blackberry are as follows:
1. Blackberry made its mark by being a device of choice for enterprises. However, if latest reports are to be believed iPhone and iPad (In particular) are finding traction at the enterprise segments. Interesting Apple never made these devices with enterprise usage in its perspective. Verizon and AT&T are beginning to sell the iPad in their channels and this could upset the balance for RIM in the enterprise segment.
2. The problem for Blackberry has been that after riding the wave of the same OS for longer than usual, they seem to be running out of favour. Carriers, Consumers, Developers and Enterprises have better options available for them from the Apple and Android stables. Blackberry has essentially gone the Nokia way. For long it rode one prized horse without adding anything substantial. Competition out-innovated them.There are plans of refreshing the Blackberry with the Blackberry tablet: Playbook. The Playbook will have a new look-new feel OS designed by QNX which would run the Flash and Adobe. However, without active developer support and a launch date of Early 2011, RIM has seriously lost on developer mind share already.(More about that later)
To make matters a little more complicated for RIM, as against two (Apple & Android) earlier, now they have three for company (Apple, Android & Microsoft).
3. The latest RIM torch bearer, Blackberry Torch has been an effort to bridge the gap between an enterprise device and a high end multimedia smart-phone. However, Goldman Sachs has declared the launch as underwhelming and RIM had to move fast in dropping the price of Torch in order to stay competitive. (RIM lowered prices from $199 bundle with AT&T to $99).
4. Touchscreen continues to be RIM’s Achilles Heal. After two unsuccessful trials with the feather-touch Storm and Storm 2, RIM still has a long way to go in touchscreen devices.
5. If Smart-phones in the future are about applications and the eco-system is about wooing developers,RIM focus has been inadequate in this space largely. The Blackberry Apps store just hit its 10,000 apps online and a Electronista report confirms that the gaming developers community is giving Blackberry a miss. The corresponding number is 100K apps for Android and 250K for Apple. Nlot adequate for the leader in US smartphones, right? Blackberry is trying all out to try and gain developer support