Nov 08, 2011

Is the Blackberry finished as a business tool?

I used to have a Blackberry. Almost everyone I knew that worked for a business with more than one employee used to have a Blackberry. Beyond use as an actual tool, it was a symbol of a tech savvy guy that was filled with thoughts so beautiful that they needed to be shared 24/7, 365. Now I have an iPhone, and everybody I know either also has an iPhone or an Android smartphone. I can't think of a single person I know that has a Blackberry. Are they done for, or am I just living in a Blackberry free zone?


What would you want on a BlackBerry that you can't find on an Android or iPhone? BBM was probably RIMs signature feature (security, privacy and all that), but alas you can get that on an Android or iPhone so what else is left that they can hold on to?


I'm not sure about the rest of the world, but in the US I think the outlook is pretty bleak for RIM.  There was a recent survey from Enterprise Management Associates that showed that among those who used Blackberrys in large businesses, only 16% expressed satisfaction, and 30% planned to switch from Blackberry to another device with the next 12 months.  Those numbers are terrible.  I bet Yugo cars had a higher customer satisfaction rate than 16%!  And things didn't work out so well for Yugo.  Blackberry had a huge head start in the marketplace, but even so, the selection of mobile apps is very, very thin compared to Android of iPad platforms.   There is very little penetration into the consumer market.  If you have a teen, ask how many of their friends have Blackberrys.  I would bet that the answer is zero.  Add in the recent problem with service outages around the world over the past few months to the aforementioned problems with low rates of customer satisfaction that has one third of existing business customers actively planning to move away from Blackberry, and I don't see a high likelihood that Blackberry will be a serious player in the business market for much longer.  Of course, I've been wrong before.

The Blackberry had a good run and a huge head start, but the company that produces it just didn't keep up. They've fallen behind and many people have left the platform. I doubt it will ever be as prevalent as it was in the past.

It's sad to see, but that's the nature of technology. It's always shifting and changing, so no company ever remains on top forever. Change is inevitable and companies who don't understand and roll with it will lose their position as time goes by.
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