It no longer news that Research In Motion (RIM) the corporation behind BlackBerry is in trouble, but the one unanswered question is how they got themselves in this mess, absolutely astounding that a company with a market share of $83 billion just three years ago, is now worth $14 billion.
The decline of the Blackberry started two years ago after the release of the Blackberry Storm which is supposed to be Blackberry multimedia phone. Just two years ago, Blackberry and iPhone were the players seen to be fighting for number one, not android and iPhone. In late 2008, RIM released the Blackberry Storm (without wifi). It was this device that was supposed to be the iPhone killer. An Engadget review of the Storm notes that Verizon, Storm’s partner, was Apple’s first choice for the then soon-to-launch iPhone, “Verizon refused and Apple took its multi-billion dollar ball to AT&T. But software glitches and lackluster reviews like that from Engadget killed the Storm, people simple didn’t like the product, and a high return rate likely worried Verizon.
Doubts about the competitiveness of a single product may have sealed Blackberry’s fate, the launch of the Storm was the beginning of the end for Blackberry, and emboldened the carrier (Verizon) to shift its efforts to android, which managed to sell well as an alternative to AT&T exclusive iPhone.
Perhaps there was nothing that Blackberry could have done about the decline, After all, the Storm was badly received, not only because of the software glitches, but also because it simply did not hold up well when compared to the two other smartphone platforms from iPhone and Android. Wall Street Journal also believes that weak leadership played a role in the decline in RIM’s fortunes, as well as missing a fundamental shift away from smartphones targeting the corporate (and law firm) IT departments, they failed to have a backup plan for the future as they were very comfortable at the top.
In March 2011, Android led all Smartphone in market share, toppling the Blackberry for the first time. “no one really expected enterprise customers to start switching over, en masse, to the new consumer platforms of android and iOS, but that is exactly what is happening, the Samsung galaxy S II has sold above 3 million tablets in less than 2months of release, review says it’s the best Smartphone ever conceived by man, it is not to be compared with iPhone 5 but rather with the next iPhone. The future is looking so android for mobile.
Good news for Blackberry users, it is rumored that Microsoft is taking so much interest in RIM and we know how Microsoft can smell blood in the water and swoop like the shark we have come to know them for. I still love my Blackberry phone, don’t care if its RIM or Microsoft I will like to see the Blackberry rise again like a phoenix but time is really running out on the Blackberry, with developers shunning the platform for the Android and iOS the future looks so bleak for Blackberry except something is done really quick.
This should serve as a warning to iPhone and Google, one bad product can bring down an empire especially in this techie world where Smartphone users are unforgiving and not loyal to any Smartphone.