Strengths of Blackberry 10
• The BlackBerry Hub – I’ve never seen a better way to organize messages and calendar information
than this hub. It elegantly unifies all your e-mail, social messages, and text messages into one place.
You can view all your messages at once or quickly tap to drill down into separate inboxes. The idea
to swipe down on the screen to peek at your calendar is very useful (someone asking you to meet
for lunch? Just swipe down to see if you’ve got something booked). The calendar appointments pull
in so much information with so little effort it’s almost creepy – you can seamlessly navigate through
who’s attending the appointment and what they’re doing on social media lately. It’s an insanely
efficient delivery of personalized and useful information.
• The touch keyboard – Something about the size of the keys, the frets dividing the rows, and the
predictive text capability make this the best touch keyboard I’ve ever used. Normally I type on an
Android touch screen smartphone, but I found I was much quicker with this keyboard. The
predictive text mode is very intuitive – the words appear above the next letter you’d be typing
anyway, and you just swipe up to choose it. Swiping backwards across the screen to backspace and
swiping down to switch between letters and numbers are simple features that also improve speed.
• Smooth experience – This hardware that powers the Z10 and the upcoming Q10 is up to par with
the best smartphones on the market. As a result, the operating system runs smoothly and without
lag. It didn’t seem to matter what apps I used or how many I opened, my experience remained
smooth and untarnished.
• Highly secure phones. The primary RIM’s competitive advantage is
its very secure mobile phones. The company released its phones
with secure encrypted network that allowed sending emails
between phones without possibility of stealing the information.
This became the USP (unique selling proposition) of Blackberries
and was a very attractive feature for corporates and governments
that other phones didn’t have. As a result, BlackBerry became no.1
choice for enterprises and governments.
• Strong focus on narrow customer segment.Unlike other mobile
phones and smartphones companies, BlackBerry tries to appeal for
a narrow customer segment – governments and corporates. The
result is a more focused approach to satisfying the needs of this
narrow segment, something that other businesses rarely do.
Strengths of Blackberry
Weaknesses of Blackberry 10
• Getting back to the home screen – Without any hard buttons to return to the home screen, the
BlackBerry 10 demands you use a gesture that is a swipe up from the bottom of the screen towards
the top. Most of the time this works fine, but I found it had some problems when I used apps that
were touch sensitive across the entire screen, such as the camera or a game. I found myself stuck in
an app, swiping repeatedly to get back to the home screen, or over to the Hub for a text message I
just received. I yearned for a hard, reliable button I could click to get out of the app.
• Multi-tasking – Again, without that single hard button to press, you must use gestures to switch
between apps. First you must successfully return to home screen, then you have to swipe from left
to right to get to the screen showing your open apps, then you must scroll up and down to find the
running app that you want. This could be faster, as on iOS or Android, a simple button press allows
you to switch back to an open app from anywhere.
• BlackBerry Maps – Using this app brought back memories of using my old Curve phone. But at least
then I had the option to download Google Maps to use instead. I’m sure Google Maps will be
available on BlackBerry 10 eventually, but until then you’re stuck with an inferior app that doesn’t
include as much business listing information, no walking or transit routing, and just takes longer to
• Inability to market the brand. BlackBerry’s brand was known for the market long before Apple’s
iPhone launch or Samsung’s Galaxy success. When the iPhone was launched, RIM had a better
quality BlackBerry phone in the market, enjoyed larger sales and greater brand reputation but was
unable to build on that due to poor marketing efforts. It spent and continues to spend significantly
lower amounts ($41.3 million) on marketing, about 10 times lower than Apple ($400 million) and 8
times lower than Samsung ($334 million) in 2012, according to CNET. Even with better quality
products, the company would be unable to “sell” them to consumers as it would be overshadowed
by Samsung’s and Apple’s marketing spending.
Inability to market the brand also resulted in declining brand reputation and low customer loyalty.
According to Interbrand, BlackBerry’s brand was one of the top declining brands in 2012 out of the
top 100 best global brands. It was valued lower than Apple’s, Samsung’s or Nokia’s brands.
Declining brand value indicates decreasing brand appeal to consumers and lower sales.
• BlackBerry OS. BlackBerry phones and tablets are powered by RIM’s own OS. While, in Apple’s
case this yielded some competitive advantage, BlackBerry experiences different effects. First,
BlackBerry customer base is too small to be profitable for major application developers. Low
amount of apps in store deters customers from buying the phone or the tablets. Second, the
company lacks enough funding and coordination to develop its OS properly. The company has
already suffered from using the outdated version of OS on its phone and multiple delays of new OS
Weaknesses of Blackberry
• Dependent on government and corporate contracts. BlackBerry is
highly dependent on government and corporate contracts as these
make up the largest company’s customer base. Although BlackBerry
offers the most attractive phones for governments and corporates
due phones high security features, the company is not guaranteed
to receive long-term contracts from the government and a loss of
contract with at least one government agency or corporate results
in substantially lower sales.
• Poor presence in the tablet market. RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook
tablet was an unsuccessful effort to enter the tablet market and the
product captured only the small market share, resulting in losses for
the company. Poor presence in the tablet market decreases
company’s chance to successfully compete with Apple or Samsung
who enjoy significant income and profit growth due to the tablet
• Growth of tablet and smartphone markets. Tablet market is expected to
grow by 50% annually from 2011 to 2015. According to estimates, it will be
worth $100 billion by the end of 2015. BlackBerry has a great opportunity
to strengthen its position in this fast growing market and capture larger
• Strong growth of mobile advertising market. The growth of mobile
advertising market is an opportunity, which could be exploited by
BlackBerry on its smartphones and tablets.
• Increasing demand of cloud based services. Cloud-based services market
is expected to grow significantly until 2020 and reach $240 billion worth.
BlackBerry has an opportunity to expand its cloud-based services and
benefit from the growing demand.
• Obtaining patents through acquisitions. The key competitive advantage in
technology sector is strong patent portfolio. Patents can be discovered by
engaging in costly R&D or through acquisitions of other firms, which is the
best option available for BlackBerry now.
• Rapid technological change. One of the most severe threats BlackBerry and the
other tech companies are facing is rapid technological change. Companies are
under the pressure to release new products faster and faster. The one that cannot
keep up with the competition soon fails. This is especially hard when a company
wants to introduce something new, innovative and successful. RIM has been
subject to this threat a few times when it couldn’t release its new BlackBerry OS
on time and when it rushed its PlayBook tablet to the market.
• Saturated smartphone markets in developed countries. Smartphones market in
the developed economies is saturated and experience slow growth rate. This
affects BlackBerry’s ability to expand its market share in US and Canada.
• Increased competition for government contracts. Government renews its
contracts with suppliers every few years and BlackBerry has to compete with such
formidable players as Samsung and Apple for contract renewal. Although
BlackBerry has an advantage over competitors in providing highly secure mobile
devices, it has to compete on other phone features (at which the company
competes poorly) as well. BlackBerry has already been outcompeted by Samsung
on renewing some of US government contracts last year.
Areas to Improve in blackberry
• 1. Understand first things first. It’s important to move current product inventory,
but simultaneously make long-term product development a priority. The company
needed to make effective decisions and avoid making ridiculous comments like Mr.
Heins when he said “drastic change” wasn’t needed.There are nine dos and don’ts
for best decision-making. Blackberry failed to strategically plan and
implement management strategies for a successful turnaround.
• 2. Develop a strategic marketing plan and align it with sales. Obviously,
Blackberry also failed in marketing.There are necessary basics to get strong
marketing plan results, and 14 reasons why major marketing campaigns fail. And
for profits, it’s critical to align marketing with sales.
• 3. Attract visionary product-creation relationships. Blackberry lost ground
because it didn’t have enough developer support, which opened the door for
competitors.It’s important to stay atop marketplace volatility. Hire or partner with
visionary innovators. Think about nine key questions before you form a
partnership and here the nine steps for strategic alliance success.
• 4. Create an iconic product. In Blackberry’s case, it missed opportunities to create
excitement by intensifying its research and development for a blockbuster
smartphone – bigger screen, 4G, and better camera.Innovation is key to be a top
• 5. In view of the economy, remember Henry Ford’s success. Blackberry used to own the corporate
market and didn’t create a consumer niche. It needs to regain corporate market share and its own
version of the Model A for the digital phone age. But it’s given up on the consumer market.
• A salient reason Mr. Ford was successful: He manufactured an everyday car – the Model A – a car
the average American could afford. Think 1930s for business success. Consumer attitudes are
• 6. Restructure the team. If Mr. Heins still really believes drastic change isn’t necessary, he better
wake up quickly and reverse course. He should make certain he employs a lot of thought leaders
who serve as devils’ advocates. But again, he’s losing top executives.
• Blackberry needs to earn marketplace confidence by exploring and communicating all its strategic
options. Unfortunately, it appears Blackberry needs to take the six steps to implement a cultural
change for profits.
• 7. Operate profitably. Develop a laser focus on profitability. Understand in any economy, what
drives your profit. Here are 10 basic tips — leadership for business profit.
• 8. Continue to focus and promote security. Daily, the media is filled with headlines about identity
theft and security. Blackberry is known for its security, but the message has been diluted.
• Android is successful despite its security weaknesses. Ironically, who profits from Android’s security
issues? Not users.
• 9. Manage your reputation. The key is to create positive images. But Blackberry is suffering in
• Here are the best practices to optimize your brand and manage your Web reputation. It’s also vital
to know how to leverage the news media for publicity, and to implement PR crisis management
Blackberry should learn from Android
• Focus on Strengths
• Android’s success is in its openness and, by extension, in its varied offerings. You can get an
Android-powered smartphone or tablet in almost any shape, size, color, or form-factor with prices
from the very high to moderately low. Android’s strength is its flexibility in this regard. BlackBerry
needs to very quickly re-evaluate what the market perceives as its greatest strengths — not what
the company thinks, then run toward capitalizing on them.
• Ask any BlackBerry user and they’ll tell you one of the major strengths in the past has been their
physical keyboard. Although some may see physical buttons as a dying art, many still live and die for
the tactile feedback that real buttons give. For some folks emails and texts can be pounded out
substantially faster with physical keys than can be done using an on-screen keyboard, regardless of
the fancy auto-complete and swiping gestures that abound.
• Of course, this is just one example of where BlackBerry can focus on one of their major strengths.
• Eliminate Weaknesses
• Network outages plagued the “old RIM”. The new BlackBerry has to make sure that never happens
again. Sure, “never” is a strong word, but in many circles, RIM is synonymous with “network down”.
Apple, Google, and Microsoft have different architectures that are arguably more distributed and
redundant than the RIM of old. Whether that’s technologically the case today or not doesn’t
matter. RIM got a black eye over and over again when road-warriors were unable to work due to an
outage. The new BlackBerry can’t let that happen again.
• Responsive Updates
• Android is continually hurt by OEMs and carriers who seemingly abandon fairly new devices, by
either never releasing OSupdates, or releasing them so slowly that they may as well not have
released them at all. In the Android eco-system that’s the nature of the beast. iOS
and Windows Phone handle things a bit differently. Apple users, especially, get updates almost
immediately, regardless of device or carrier. The new BlackBerry must learn from the frustration of
Android customers and offer an OS upgrade path as close to Apple’s as possible if they are to
• Address the App Shortage
• We live in the era of smartphones where a phone is more a “personal communicator” and
“entertainment device” than it is a “phone”. Sure, it must still make and receive phone calls and
texts, but apps are a necessity on today’s mobile devices. Unfortunately, apps aren’t easy to come
by for new platforms — just ask Microsoft!
• It takes developers some time to develop an app for a new platform, and end-users will be hesitant
to change platforms if the apps they want aren’t available. Developers, similarly, aren’t enticed to
develop for a new platform if there aren’t a lot of users to download their apps. To get apps you
need users. To get users you need apps.
• They must do everything they can to woo developers to build for their customers. Some of these
enticements must be in letting developers take home more of the money collected per app sale,
whereas the other side must be making the development of new (or porting of existing) apps as
easy as possible. Apple takes a large chunk of developer’s revenue when compared to Android.
Google still takes a fairly large chunk — a US Android developer must charge $1.44 to his users to
net $1.00 of positive cash flow per install. The new BlackBerry already faces an uphill battle with
the number of apps available for their platform.
• All in all, the new BlackBerry has loads of potential. Having a fourth player in the field may seem
like a lot, but we’ve seen wonderful things from the old RIM. We can’t wait to see what more the
new BlackBerry has in store for us!