In 2011, Blackberry used to be among the top companies leading the mobile market with a market value of over $19.9 billion. On the other hand, today with a market value of only $1040 million, Blackberry does not even make it to the top 10 companies in the mobile market.
Founded by Mike Lazaridis, Blackberry Limited, originally named as ‘Research In Motion’ is a Canadian Company, which provides secure and high-reliability software for industrial applications and Mobile Device Management (MDM). It provides government agencies, carmakers, and industrial plant agencies, all over the world, with software and hardware products. The name Blackberry itself describes its product. The black button keys on the black color phone look like blackberry seeds and hence it was named blackberry.
Blackberry was once the emperor of the mobile market. In 1999, the company introduced the Blackberry 850 Pager which proved to be a game-changer. The device could receive push email from a Microsoft Exchange Server using its complementary server software. This feature set the stage on fire and paved the way for future enterprise-oriented products from the company. This right move at the right time helped Blackberry acquire the world market. In April 2000, Blackberry introduced its first smartphone, “Blackberry 957”. The Blackberry OS platform and BES continued to increase in functionality. The incorporation of encryption and messaging support helped Blackberry find users among government and businesses.
Eventually, Blackberry aimed to include a different consumer market so they came up with Blackberry Pearls 8100. It was the first Blackberry phone to include multimedia features like a camera and guess what? Blackberry handled its people very efficiently. It generated a huge buzz. The right steps were taken in the right direction. New policies were introduced and Blackberry was ruling the top position, a position, the world at that time thought it would never fall off.
It is often said that one blunder can cost the company its whole operations. The same happened with the brand. The blunder it made was in identifying consumer needs. It failed to understand that the consumers required a device inclusive of all the features which provided them a premium experience. The consumers aimed for a device that allowed them to have a personalized experience in everything from capturing moments to chatting with people using emoticons.
Even when Blackberry tried to include such features, it could not come up with an appealing design for the device. Despite having a built-in keyboard in the device, It always added its QWERTY keyboard. This made the device bulky. Apart from this, Blackberry didn’t allow its users to download apps provided by competitors at no cost. It failed to recognize the competition at the right time and take measures.
Meanwhile, Apple entered the smartphone market and launched the first-ever iPhone and Samsung too came into the picture. They realized the role of consumers in establishing the market and utilized the potential efficiently. Apple and Samsung attracted the audience and locked them into their ecosystem by offering personalized features.
The other reason for Blackberry’s decline was the developer gap. While Apple was signing on developers who produced the type of apps that grasped consumers’ attention, Blackberry was left behind. When the company was finally able to come up with some appealing apps, it had been too late to catch up. Blackberry eventually offered users access to Amazon’s Android Appstore, but it could not stack up well due to the delay in introducing such features. Blackberry could not stand up to its competitors. And the rest is history.
After considering all the aspects, we can definitely conclude that Blackberry failed to innovate and recognize the potential of the consumer smartphone market. It failed to make the right decisions. It failed to learn from its competitors’ strategies. It failed to reduce its cost.
Therefore, to survive in a competition, one must stand out and cope up with the continual changes, and to be a forever leader, one must innovate well.