Whatever Happened to Blackberry?
Once giant, has the "Crackberry" fallen by the wayside?
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: August 19th, 2012
Over the course of two years, RIM's market share fell from 40 percent to 20 percent to a dismal one percent.
amsung and Apple are in court battling it out over patents, Nokia is basically dead, and the Droid is getting bigger every day. It makes us wonder: whatever happened to Blackberry? It seems to us that about five years ago, nearly no one had an iPhone yet, and the hot phone to have was the Blackberry. With its obnoxious little trackball (which always seemed to break) and its own messaging network, it seemed that Blackberry was on the rise to domination.
Nowadays, Blackberry is fourth-rung: if you don't have an iPhone, you have a Droid. If you don't have a Droid, you don't have a Blackberry—you have whatever flip phone you've had for the past half-decade and are waiting to upgrade to either a Droid or iPhone. So what happened?
Research In Motion, or RIM as Blackberry users know it, was one of the most innovative and fastest growing companies of its time, but Blackberry's business has stalled considerably. In 2009, Fortune said RIM was the fastest growing company, as profits expanded at a rate of 84%. Unfortunately, in May of this year, RIM announced that it had consulted with JP Morgan Chase and RBC Capital to "reassess" options it had. In other words, it's a dying company. How did they fall so far, so fast?
In 2007, when the iPhone was introduced, Blackberry was still at the top of its game. Popular with businessfolk and "civilians" alike, the Blackberry's QWERTY keyboards attracted the masses. But RIM's managers dismissed Apple. Apple wasn't going after businesspeople, after all. The big problem, however, is that as Android phones and the iPhone appealed to more consumers, the Blackberry got left behind. Employees started bringing in phones, business decision-makers noticed that the other platforms had benefits over Blackberry, and RIM was lacking in the "app store" department.
Interestingly, in 2010, RIM launched an iPad contender, the PlayBook. Haven't heard of it? Neither have we.
And Blackberry has had its fair share of power outages. In Fall 2011, RIM experienced an outage for three days—users had to check their email elsewhere, thanks to a massive network failure. It's never good when a sort-of failing company has to outsource their service.
In any case, the blog Micro to Macro Trend hits the nail on the head: along with unreliable service, failed products, and the complacency of thinking they couldn't be toppled, Blackberry's execs also failed to come up with new ideas, and MtMT also says that the company's location in Canada could have played a role in its relative isolation from the ultra-connected.
From 2010 to Summer 2011, RIM's market share dropped from 40 percent to 20 percent As of last month, however, the company holds a pathetic one percent.
So what will happen to Blackberry users when RIM inevitably shuts down entirely?
Well, we'd guess that all 15 of them will just upgrade.