Blackberry Finally DyingWritten by Michael Levanduski
August 13, 2013 # 7:53 pm # Industry News, Specials # 12 Comments
BlackBerry, the mobile phone company which was once the dominant player for the early smart phone market has officially, “formed a special committee to explore strategic alternatives to enhance value and increase scale in order to accelerate BlackBerry 10 deployment.” This essentially means they are putting out a for sale sign and looking for other companies to either purchase them outright or form some sort of partnership.
However this plays out, the company isn’t going to be around in its present form for much longer, leaving the future of the BlackBerry phone in serious question. This won’t be much of a surprise to most people, given that the market share for BlackBerry’s has fallen to under 3% globally and just 5% in the US. At one point just a few years ago, BlackBerry was the leader in smart phones with over 50% of the market. Of course, at that time the market was significantly smaller than it is today.
Once Apple introduced the iPhone and then dozens of Android based phones were developed, however, BlackBerry simply couldn’t innovate fast enough to stay competitive. When they did release new phones, they were always behind the times in technologies and couldn’t manage to pick up customers. The only thing that kept them around this long is the fact that they have long been the primary choice for businesses. As they continued to lose market share for business users as well, however, they couldn’t regain customers in any other areas.
Their latest phones, the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10, were their last attempts at relevance. Unfortunately, there was very little interest from either business or personal users, perhaps because most people recognized that the company was in rapid decline and it was unlikely that they would be around much longer. Another factor which kept many users away was BlackBerry’s relatively small App store. When compared to the Apple store and Google Play market, there was little to attract people, making the BlackBerry phones essentially expensive phones which weren’t actually that smart.
Over the coming months there will undoubtedly be a lot of changes to the Canada based company, and depending on who expresses interest in the mobile phone company, there may be a future for the BlackBerry name. Microsoft, for example, could consider purchasing it to try to gain some traction in this market. Google or Apple could make the purchase in order to get some of the patents which are still held by BlackBerry. In light of the last 12 months, even Yahoo may be looking to make another major purchase and enter into the already highly competitive smart phone market.
Do any of you still have a BlackBerry phone? Do you think the company will be able to remain open in any way, or will they simply be forced to close shop?
You can view the company statement from BlackBerry HERE.