Tuesday, August 13, 2013

#Blackberry calling it quits...

1st generation iPhone and a Blackberry
The Canadian smartphone company Blackberry, formerly known as Research in Motion, is calling it quits; or in their words, "We believe that now is the right time to explore strategic alternatives." Those "strategic alternatives" will include sale, break-up and perhaps closure. Remarkably Blackberry's market share has collapsed from close to 50% in the US in 2009 to less than 3% today. There's probably no coming back from that. So what crushed Blackberry? The answer is obvious - the iPhone released in 2007.
   Blackberry believed that their loyal business customers would stay with them, because of its secure messaging and push email functionality. President Obama was even an avid user. They believed that many people preferred a real (if small) keyboard to the iPhone's virtual one. They were wrong and they responded by eventually releasing Blackberries without a real keyboard and updating their operating system to support apps. But they'd missed the point. As I've mentioned several times before it's not about the technology, it's about the services the device offers. The iPhone is a platform that offers users access to music, their photos, games, books, the web and which now increasingly integrates with their other computers, TV and the cloud. Quite simply the Blackberry doesn't - at least not nearly as well. Amazon understand this, hence the Kindle and their Prime service. Companies in 2013 that focus on the technology at the expense of services will fail.

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