Blackberrys which were extremely popular just a few years back are now struggling to survive in the smart phone market. They now occupy a meagre portion of the smart phone market as compared to an overwhelming majority few years back. Much of its share has been gobbled up by of course the iOs and Android phones. Research in Motion (RIM), the makers of Blackberry are now facing rising losses and its sad to see them go down in a market which they virtually invented.
The Blackberry’s rise was due to its association with Corporate life. It became a must have device for every corporate professional. This was due to the convenience and uniqueness it offered for email and messaging services. They were infamously referred to as ‘Crackberrys’ due to their excessive usage by its owners and in a reference to crack cocaine addiction. But its ironical that this was the reason for its fall too. Though it was ideal for the corporates, it was ideal only for the corporates. It was ideal only for its email and messaging services and nothing else. Other phones like the Apple’s iPhone and Android phones could do much more as well as being equally convenient for messaging and emails. They were more, lets say, well-rounded than the uni-dimensional Blackberrys. So people started to shift their loyalties to these phones.
The question then arises about how exactly did the Blackberry go down?
Unlike The iPhones and the androids, the Blackberrys did not offer the option of using third-party apps, until recently. Apps are a major reason for the successes of iPhones and the androids due to the vast customization options they offer. There are a huge number of apps available in the apple and android markets which offer a ton of features. Users of Blackberry had to be content with the pre-installed features on the phone which included just the basic stuff. By the time, RIM opened up its system third-party apps, the damage had already been done. The iPhones and the Androids had swept the market. Besides, their app-store offers only a fraction of the apps available in the Apples or the Android stores. It is also believed that developers are finding it tougher to develop apps for the Blackberry as compared to the Androids or the iPhone.
Another reason is the omnipresent QWERTY keypads in the Blackberry phones. Though they offer easy typing, they severely inhibit navigation and entertainment options. Touch screen phones are far more easier to navigate through and they offer a rich entertainment experience due to a larger screen area.
In the highly competitive technology domain, it is imperative to continuously innovate and stay one step ahead of the competitors, else the product dies. Blackberry found out the hard way by sticking to its ‘business user’ image.
Could it change its fortunes with the release of the new Blackberry 10 mobile operating system? Lets wait and watch.