The berry that fell too far from the tree – Blackberry

The Blackberry today is not the way once you and I knew it. They had their glorious time, ruled the mobile market but the empire was more of the Jim Morrison types. Solid, strong, powerful but short. The current status of Blackberry is no more a secret. It is no more a force. It is pretty sure that in the coming years companies like Blackberry will be held up as strong examples and ccase studies will be dedicated to them on how huge empires kiss the dust.

If a one-liner had to be given then it would be rightly said that it’s ‘phone mode’ killed it.

At a certain point of time Blackberry were making exquisite phones which were unbeatable. The competitors needed a strategy to break their monopoly.

So it was then, when Apple tried to step aside and think out of the box. Apple tried making a smart device that was also a phone whereas Blackberry followed the legacy system of being a phone with other features.

What led to the demise of the Blackberry smartphones?

As days passed by and people were more interested in the power of computing devices, competitors came up with the brilliant idea of pocket computers. Though initially they came up with phones which were not powerful computing devices but still at heart they were the first ‘pocket-sized computers’. They were cell sized computers which had the potential of running programs commonly known as ‘apps’ these days.

Apple and Google had put in a lot of efforts to develop the pocket computers and they had taken the concept of pocketable computers to a much higher level which was beyond anticipation by incorporated desktop class architecture in their cell sized pock computers. They had made these devices capable enough to outdo any desktop or laptop. You can see full HD videos, browse web, edit any documents and a lot more on the go.

But unfortunately Blackberry, the undisputed king of the cellular market at that time could not see it’s competition. While making calls and sending text messages had just become icing on the cake. For companies like Apple, Blackberry smartphones were still holding onto its legacy cellular system. Even after iPhone was launched they(Blackberry) tried to make phones with smart features but now it was too late as people had already got the essence of portable pocket computers. All they needed was a computer which can manage calling.

The resurrection….
Blackberry failed but there seemed a phoenix moment for Blackberry smartphones back in 2012. When ultimately they realized that it was important for them to keep pace with the new generation phones and switch to ‘smart device with calling feature’ mode rather than only ‘phone mode’. The new CEO admitted to the fact that they needed a shift in terms of innovation as well as technology.

It launched its first smartphone BB10 in 2012 but by that time the market was flooded with iOS and Android phones. The Z10 and Q10 could have been great phones if released, say in 2009, but it was just a decent phone for 2012. There were a number of reasons behind the failure of BB10.

What led to their death?

BB10 failed and failed badly because of the following probable reasons:

  • The Marketing Strategy tripped the wrong way – One of the essential components in establishing a trusted brand name is to deliver very strong marketing strategies that appeals to all of a company’s prospective customers. But unfortunately Blackberry seemed to lack something somwewhere.
  • The Q10 Showed Lack of Adaptation – By announcing the Blackberry Q10 alongside Blackberry 10, the company sent an extremely wrong message to customers. Blackberry 10 was supposed to show that the company had changed its views and concepts about smartphones but yet it came up with a device with a physical keyboard. Blackberry is supposed to be innovating, not looking like the old company that no one liked.
  • The Z10 Wasn’t Special Enough – The software wasn’t impressive. It had a strong camera features and a relatively nice and modern design. But beyond that, it’s very hard to spot anything that was truly special or impressive.
  • The Enterprise didn’t care much to give something new and unique to its consumers. The Apple effect was way too strong to be combated with at that point of time.

The last call…..

By December they started proclaiming that they are still not dead and this self proclamation had a negative reverberation. They made a keyboard equipped smartphone which couldn’t leave an indelible mark in the market. If a company like Blackberry holds onto the concept that just a keyboard can save them from drowning they should probably give up on that twig.

Though it is very unfortunate to witness that a company like Blackberry, alpha dog of its time, had to go down like this as they were not only complacent to its competitors or stubborn in their own sense of ideologies, but also oblivious to the fact that the their audience demanded cell-sized computers in our pockets, or in simple words, a change. The big, though dreaded, question is ‘What’s next’?

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