Blackberry: Past Perfect, Present Tense, Future Unsure (Part I)
The No 1 smartphone company in US is getting sidelined by competitors who are innovating better and more engaging products for the BB consumers. 2011 may see BB loose the balance to competition in a way that it may never come back into reckoning again. In an earlier post, i had written about the 5 reasons responsible for the BB slide.
Blackberry under pressure: Gartner report shows that while Blackberry has grown over 30% YoY, its still is loosing relevance in the market courtesy Android and iPhone!
RIM is under pressure and it not only about loosing the grip on enterprise solutions, where it continues to be the king though. RIM faces pressure of getting side lined by emergence of categories and consumption patterns that it was not bothered about till a few quarters back.
BlackBerries forever, were known for one thing: instant access to push e-mail and the ability to sync your in-box with your corporate mail, on the go. Over the years, RIM has added calendar and contact sync, Web browsing, color and touch screens. At the heart, though, is the power of push e-mail. The BlackBerry thus remained a one-trick pony, but it does that trick extremely well. Unfortunately, relying on that trick is not going to be enough to keep RIM relevant in the market going forward. The problem for RIM is that others have learned to do that trick as well. It took some time, but now Microsoft’s platforms offer tight integration directly to Exchange, which remains the corporate standard for e-mail. In addition, by licensing the Exchange ActiveSync protocol, Microsoft has given vendors such as Nokia, Palm, Apple and others the ability to offer that core wireless personal information management functionality.
So the move has been from RIM’s best-of-breed management capabilities, tight security and encryption, and the ability to integrate into scores of business applications to touch screens and multi-touch gestures, photo tagging and cataloguing, media and music synchronization, and the integration of social networks. From Enterprise to the consumer underscoring a very important point: When it comes to mobile, it’s not necessarily what IT thinks is important; it’s what the end user thinks. So, while RIM has all enterprise features on its side, end users are starting to demand the sorts of smartphone features they can find on new and flashy devices that run iOS and Android, putting pressure on IT to allow those devices into the organization as a corporate standard. Apple and Google, while wooing the mass market, have made huge strides in adding more business-required support, positioning them-selves to capture the hearts and minds of both the business user and the consumer, who in many cases are one and the same.
Users’ mobile expectations have evolved. Communication is still what consumers want most from a mobile device, but now they expect the ability to reference information, browse the Web, consume entertainment and play games. It’s with these functions that RIM’s platform starts to severely show its age. BBs browser and app store experience is pathetic and I could seriously vouch for that, now that I carry an enterprise BB on me.
To be Contd.