Is it time to bid good bye to the Blackberry? In 2003, the company stormed the market with their push email product, BB messenger, and browser, which promised to change the way business was done.
Their march forward, fueled by their USPs, saw their subscriber count go up to 79 million customers around the world.
To their credit they were pioneers in secure push email, the USP they banked on the most, only to be copied by solution providers who soon came put with their own push solutions. But this was mostly a product aimed at business houses and for corporate email.
The QWERTY keyboard allowed the corporate yuppy to key in his email, with the least of typos which would never be possible on a flat touch screen. Secure chat helped fuel the ride of the BBM to the top and a browser that allowed a user to browse porn even over safe filtered internet connections gave Blackberry an edge over the rest. Like the DVD industry, it was no surprise what was propelling sales of BB devices to users who were not going to use it for secure corporate email communication. All this was soon to change, what with OTT apps like whatsapp and the Opera mobile browser, which obliterated the USP of the Blackberry.
Cheaper Android based devices and the more stylish iOS tablets and phablets ate steadily into the market share of Blackberry. The BB playbook tablet, an ill conceived keeping up with the jonses, device did not manage to revive its fortunes.
A rechristening of RIM to Blackberry was supposed to give it a new energy, but it only saw the company sacking over 4500 people, fat it had gained at its peak. New investors have now taken over the company, and without the infusion of a new spirit, which will see the release of new and innovative services and products it is hard to see where the company is headed.
BB surely has patents and 1.6 billion $ cash in hand and this corpus may see it through for a few more months.
The future is bleak and soon the Blackberry will be relegated to the annals of history, if they dont come out with new solutions besides nicer looking hardware, and a renewed focus on the corporate market!
Leave the chatting and porn to the consumer products, for the kids, and stick with the corporates to carve out a niche.