Where is Research in Motion heading?
The Blackberry maker Research in Motion is surely not having a good time! With better options in the market, consumers are moving away. Where is the company headed to at a time like this?
In the late 2000’s Blackberry was more than just a name. It was a brand, an icon, a premium class product that defined a man and gave a pretty fair idea who he is (a businessman, duh!!). But now, the addictive course of Crankberry and BBM has lost its charm and the blackberry has lost its crown.
The Canadian manufacturer Research in Motion’s global market share in the smartphone business has tumbled down drastically to about half of its value a year ago. The reason to this steep slope isn’t that complicated. Androids and Symbians, Samsungs and Apples is what happened. Be it the relatively lower costs, the feature-rich apps, the wide range of options, the attractive offers or the smoother strategic market approaches, Blackberry maker RIM has a disadvantage at almost all the fields.
When a video showcasing the next gen of Blackberry was leaked last year, it didn’t boast of a promising new start or strikingly futuristic apps. Being the first of the kind to step into the ‘smart era’ isn’t making anything easier either. BlackBerry was meant only for the business users. The company wants to continue this trend even though the company doesn’t seem to have anything up its sleeve to woo its customer population.
After huge losses for the past five quarters, the only reason Blackberry still exists is because of its million users and a hope that its user base will increase in future after the launch of Blackberry 10 OS. Its prototype, released on 1st May, sported a touch screen (SwiftKey) without a physical keyboard and a new camera technology. Like the previous BlackBerry versions, the new technologies weren’t homemade; a first for the company, RIM’s only hope to recover now seems to be the new OS. If the new OS doesn’t click, analysts say that rather than shutting down, prospective buyers might take it over.
Surprisingly, the sales in India and other developing nations have been rising. We might have to attribute it to the fact that BlackBerry is now targeting the student community, rather than the businessmen, as BBM is more popular among students – now you know how imessage got its concept from. Apart from that the traffic police in Bangalore are all being handed with BB’s for ‘paperless control’ (The Hindu, Jun 9). RIM seems to be taking the sales outside US rather seriously this time.
Will the BB 10 be able to keep up with the expectations even though better features have taken over RIM’s ideas? Only time can tell.