Re-designed. Re-engineered. Re-invented.A Case StudyChaahat Khattar
User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved...
User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved...
User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved...
User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved...
User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved...
User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved...
User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved...
User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved...
User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved...
User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved...
User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved...
User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved...
User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved...
User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved...
User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved...
User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved...
User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved...
User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved...
User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

BlackBerry - Case Study

20,814

Published on

A Case Study on Research In Motion (now BlackBerry).
The case study is published by Amity Business School. Any kind of copyright infringement or plagiarism is strictly prohibited. Please respect the author and the extensive research that has been involved.
The analysis is purely for academic purposes only.

Published in: Business, Technology
3 Comments
18 Likes
Statistics
Notes
No Downloads
Views
Total Views
20,814
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
0
Comments
3
Likes
18
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

BlackBerry - Case Study

  1. 1. Re-designed. Re-engineered. Re-invented.A Case StudyChaahat Khattar
  2. 2. User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved. All the registered trademarks,images, logos or any other copyright material used in this case study are the property of their respective owners. The case study is meant for academic purposesonly.Case Abstract:The case aims at highlighting one of the classic examples of product life cycle. Even afterdecades of technological advancement and evolution of information technology, the conceptof product life cycle holds true for every other industry (Exhibit 1). Blackberry has beenthrough every stage of product life cycle and is now in a quest to start the cycle afresh. Thecase will help us understand what all factors are involved in building a world classorganization, sustaining it in one of the most competitive industries and gaining the mostloyal customers on the planet.At the outset of the case one must understand that the life cycle which Blackberry has beengoing through, almost every other organization has to go through. The longevity of theproduct life cycle depends upon the composition, saturation and other economic factors of therespective industry.The other very important factor which this case study aims to highlight is the choice. Thechoice hereby is referred to measures or the steps which any firm is bound to take at everysingle level of the product life cycle. The most important and crucial decisions are usuallytaken at the first stage as well as at the last and the most decisive stage of the life cycle. Everyother activity during the life cycle revolves around the choices that are adopted in these twophases. The case well portrays the contrasting situations of companies that are also goingthrough the similar life cycle as Blackberry but how the decisions taken by other companiesvary from decisions taken by Blackberry’s bosses and what outshines them from theirstruggling competitors.
  3. 3. User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved. All the registered trademarks,images, logos or any other copyright material used in this case study are the property of their respective owners. The case study is meant for academic purposesonly.Once the World’s largest smartphone maker and a pioneer in mobile e-mailing has put all thechips it had on the poker table of the casino of world mobile technology. The company hasmade its loyal customers wait for more than two years to witness the launch of arevolutionary operating system and new range of mobile phones. Blackberry (formerlyknown as Research in Motion) has seen itself go from top to bottom in the smartphonemarket and instead of coming out with latest technology and bouncing back in thecompetition, it decided to refine its products and present the best of the best in front of theworld after a long break.Blackberry faces not only a stiff competition but it also faces a threat of losing its patentedtechnologies and solutions to its mighty rivals which have been constantly bringing new andupdated substitutes for aging Blackberrys. There was a time when every person at thecorporate level relied on a Blackberry and firms with most stringent data protection policiesforced Blackberrys’ upon their employees because of Blackberry’s most sophisticated dataencryption and protection systems. But it is universal rule for any firm to either keep up withtime or to see itself drowning. Blackberry got stuck to its operating systems which it has beenoffering since years and believed that its loyal customers will not move on easily. But as soonas better alternatives arrived in the market, people had to go with better technology and thenthe firms were forced to modify their data protection policies accordingly to keep pace withthe time. The case study takes dive into Blackberry’s past, reinvented present and puts aspotlight on Blackberry’s expected future from both Blackberry’s vision as well as thepublic’s acceptance.
  4. 4. User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved. All the registered trademarks,images, logos or any other copyright material used in this case study are the property of their respective owners. The case study is meant for academic purposesonly.Research in Motion- The Rising SunBased out of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, Research in Motion (“RIM”) was the parentcompany of Blackberry. Like several other technological companies, RIM was brain child ofa college dropout and a technology enthusiast. Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin foundedRIM back in 1984. Manufacturing of mobile phones was nowhere the focus of the founders.They were just fascinated by wireless technology and wanted to explore this technologicalmarvel further. They were so robust about their fascination that they turned RIM into firstwireless data technology developer in North America and the first company outsideScandinavia to develop connectivity products for Mobitex wireless packet-switched datacommunications networks in 1988. Mobitex was the technology which was used in pagingdevices for data transmission. The company was elemental in converting Mobitex from asimple wireless data network into a two-way wireless paging device. RIM’s progress wasbacked by its successful efforts to raise funds through venture capital funding. It receivedCanadian Dollars Five Million in late 1980s which helped the company in fulfilling contractsit has been receiving from several companies. RIM’s first client was General Motors ofCanada Limited for industrial automation technology. The company continued to work oncontract by contract basis for several years. The company was having sales more than amillion dollars by the start of 1990 and it soon started leveraging upon its technologies andhad initiated the process of getting into hardware industry. In 1990, the company introducedDigiSync Film KeyKode Reader (Exhibit 2) which has used to encode the codes found onKeyKode strips manufactured by Kodak for videography. But the company continued toemphasise upon its expertise in wireless technology especially after it received a contract in1987 from Rogers Cantel Mobile Communications, Inc., a paging and cellular telephoneoperator that was a subsidiary of Rogers Communications Inc. The contract required RIM toinvestigate the potential of newer wireless digital network systems which were developed byother successful and large scale technology developer firms.By 1991, the company had started developing software to support a complete wireless e-mailsystem. The company entered into several partnerships with various larger technologycompanies such as Hewlett Packard to develop advanced wireless e-mail technologies fortheir products.
  5. 5. User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved. All the registered trademarks,images, logos or any other copyright material used in this case study are the property of their respective owners. The case study is meant for academic purposesonly.The company continued to explore more and more business opportunities in Mobitex eco-system and it was in 1992 when both Mike and Fregin realised that they had splendid ideasbut they needed someone to help the team in establishing its own brand and bringing moresynergies between its hardware and software and in reducing their dependence over otherfirms. RIM welcomed Jim Balsillie, a Harvard alumnus, to help the company incommercialising its products and turning RIM into a successful sustainable technologicalcompany. Usually such big name hiring involves heavy joining bonuses but in RIM’s caseJim invested quarter of a million US dollars from his very own pocket into RIM. The era ofundisputed innovations in the field of wireless mobility began post 1993. Blackberrycontinued to play around on contract basis and introduced several kinds of wireless modems,paging technology, gateway systems but still no single computer hardware behemothmanaged to utilise RIM’s technology to build a wholesome product. The company got listedon Toronto Stock Exchange in 1997 and it successfully managed to raise more than USD 115million from investors for its ambitious future plans.It was in 1998 when RIM started filing for patents for what later on became one of thebenchmark devices in the history of technology. In 1999, after years of innovation, testingand hard work RIM launched its very first device under the brand name of Blackberry. Thename Blackberry was not an idea of the founders of RIM but it was a creative outcome ofLexicon Branding, California’s President’s David Placek brain who right from the beginningwanted to keep the name of the product fruity and ended up choosing the name Blackberryand RIM decided to take the same forward for indefinite period of time. The first RIMproduct which was Blackberry 850 was a simple paging device with no voice support(Exhibit 3). In its very first year, Blackberry garnered only 25,000 subscribers. Variousanalysts predicted it to be a failed attempt by RIM but RIM had a pool of both investments aswell as ideas and they made sure that they would explore markets other than Canada and gotthemselves listed at NASDAQ in 1999 and raised USD 250 million through the same.Rise of the Crackberry:RIM reinvented the QWERTY keyboard with its Blackberry 850 and aimed to move on tothe next level of technology. RIM aspired to take on the undisputed king of mobile phones-Nokia Worldwide.
  6. 6. User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved. All the registered trademarks,images, logos or any other copyright material used in this case study are the property of their respective owners. The case study is meant for academic purposesonly.Everything was going right on track till 13 November 2001 when a group of inventors filed amillion dollar lawsuit against RIM accusing the company of building its wireless e-mailnetwork by infringing on patents held by an American patent-company, NTP Inc. of Virginia.RIM took the case very seriously but at the same time it did not let the same come in betweenits highly ambitious plans. In the very beginning of 2002, RIM launched its very first full-fledged mobile phone Blackberry 5810 which supported both voice and data (Exhibit 4). Itwas not the perfect start for RIM as the stock of RIM dole-drummed to as low as USD 1.57per share. Blackberry 5810 lacked very basic functions of a mobile phone. Such as, it did nothave any built in microphone or a speaker. One had to always plug in proprietary headphonesto use the handset for more than a mobile phone look-a-like pager. To further add to theworries of RIM, a jury addressing the NTP lawsuit ordered RIM to pay USD 23.1 million toNTP. 2003 was a dream run for RIM. It launched back to back premium Blackberry(s). WithBlackberry 6210, the company finally delivered a pager inside the phone and not vice versaand with the launch of Blackberry 7230 (Exhibit 5) the company provided a wholesomeproduct which supported colour screen and more importantly international roamingcapabilities. RIM also strengthened its corporate reach by introducing the BlackBerryConnect licensing program, which enabled mobile device manufacturers to equip theirhandsets with the integrated ability to connect to BlackBerry Enterprise Server.The way a Blackberry works:Blackberry service has always been the heart of both Blackberry devices and RIM. The way aBlackberry functions is till date one of the most coveted mobile phone feature and in years tocome it will continue to remain as the Unique Selling Point (“USP”) of RIM’s Blackberry.The email redirection is run by the Blackberry Enterprise Service (BES) which communicatesdirectly with the exchange server. Alternatively there is a Blackberry Desktop redirection thatsynchronizes directly with your personal computer. The process begins with identification ofExchange (Outlook in most of the cases). The Exchange account receives the message. Theredirector looks in the email account, finds the message, and forwards it to the BlackBerryservice provided by RIM. RIMs BlackBerry service sends the message to the wireless datanetwork (such as EDGE or GPRS). The wireless data network provider sends the message ina wireless signal to the BlackBerry device. (You must be in a data coverage area to receivemail.)
  7. 7. User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved. All the registered trademarks,images, logos or any other copyright material used in this case study are the property of their respective owners. The case study is meant for academic purposesonly.The BlackBerry receives the signal and displays the message. Starting 2003, RIM offered itsBlackberry service to other operating system companies such as Symbian in order to catermuch wider markets across the globe (Exhibit 6).In 2004, RIM not only celebrated its 20th Anniversary but the year marked beginning ofBlackberry’s epic rise with number of subscribers doubling in years to come. Blackberryreached 2 million subscribers worldwide in 2004 and 4 million subscribers worldwide in2005. At the same time company continued to expand itself globally by partnering withtelecom operators worldwide.The ball game was changing thereafter. Initially RIM had tough time to partner with telecomoperators globally but by the end of 2005, operators worldwide were knocking on RIM’sdoor to carry its Blackberry service in their respective service circles. Blackberry by 2006had become an iconic service and it became a must have for every corporate around theglobe. Nokia kept on upgrading its bestseller Communicator in due course but the size of thatmighty phone did compete well with all-in-one and yet trendy Blackberry(s). Blackberry bythe end of 2006 had dethroned all its direct competitors such as Palm, HP, Dell, Mio etc. tobecome the favourite smartphone/service or probably the gadget of not only the emailholicpeople but also the celebrities across the globe.By the end of 2006 Blackberry had 5 million subscribers worldwide in its kitty (Exhibit 7).The company hit another record breaking level. This time the investors got glued up to RIMand RIM’s share touched USD 124.51 per share making the company worth over USD 67.35Billion and it became Canada’s most valuable company.The Matured Berry:Reaching silver jubilee of its existence, RIM had become a known and mature brand acrossthe globe. The company was having stable inflow and outflow of cash. The company hadpaid USD 612.5 Billion to NTP and the dispute was settled thereafter. The growth trajectorywas hitting an all-time high. The company touched 10 million subscribers milestone in 2007.The company turned most of its competitors into its partners. Right from Nokia to Yahoo hadsome or the other relationship with RIM which further boosted the sales of the firm.Interestingly 2007 also market the entry of Apple Inc. into the mobile phone industry with thelaunch of iPhone.
  8. 8. User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved. All the registered trademarks,images, logos or any other copyright material used in this case study are the property of their respective owners. The case study is meant for academic purposesonly.Jim quoted, “It’s kind of one more entrant into an already very busy space with lots of choicefor consumers…. But in terms of a sort of a sea-change for BlackBerry, I would think that’soverstating it.” Almost every journalist in the world predicted Apple’s fall whichunknowingly targeted Blackberry users. The only common feature in an iPhone and aBlackberry was the ability to make calls and send messages. iPhone was totally differentfrom the traditional Blackberry(s) but what made iPhone a direct competitor of Blackberrywas the price point. iPhone was launched as a premium phone. RIM’s products also hadpremium price tags. Hence, the market and the ground were same but the offerings weredifferent.Within a year of iPhone’s existence, iPhone had 10.7% smartphone market share andBlackberry hit 19.5% market share. Both the players were stealing business from Nokia butwere on the verge of becoming head on competitors. That one single year saw RIM switchingits strategies. The company which for so long boosted about its QWERTY keyboard,launched very first complete touch-screen phone, the Blackberry Storm. This move not onlyportrayed how threatened RIM was with iPhone but at the same time it gave a clear indicationacross the world that iPhone is soon going to take the world by ‘storm’.On the side-lines of all the limelight that both Blackberry and iPhone had been getting, therewas a whispering technological development taking place. Google, the king of search engineswas fast developing a mobile operating system it acquired back in 2005. Google released thefirst version of Android in 2008 but it was not commercially available till 2009 (Exhibit 8).2009 was also the best year for RIM till date. It was the pinnacle of Blackberry. RIM had dughard in smartphone market and it had 20.7% market share in the smartphone marketworldwide. iPhone also stood tall at 17.1% and the newly launched Android had mere 3.5%share but considering that it was the first year of its commercial existence, the share wassomething to worry about for the two fruity mobile manufactures (Exhibit 9).The Berry falls:Blackberry Storm was officially declared as a failed effort to compete well with the iPhoneand to worsen the situation more, Google launched Android Cupcake which later on becamea commercial hit. Struggling mobile phone manufactures such as Samsung, HTC and LG hitgold when they decided to forgo with Symbian and switched to Android.
  9. 9. User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved. All the registered trademarks,images, logos or any other copyright material used in this case study are the property of their respective owners. The case study is meant for academic purposesonly.Nokia was already hurt badly by the rise of all three smartphone players but it still had a rayof hope through its strategy of having mobile phone at every price point. Smartphones werelimited to a certain audience whereas the commoners still relied upon the mighty Nokia.Blackberry had no such option. It did bring down price of its mobile phones, changed itsmarketing strategies and attracted young customers as well and launched some cheaperversion as well but the simplicity of a Nokia could not be matched. 2010 marked thebeginning of Blackberry’s fall from the cliff. Apple iPhone zoomed to 16.7% worldwidesmartphone market share, Android surged to 25.5% and Blackberry fell to 14.8%.2010 also marked the launch of Apple’s iPad. Apple had generated enough success andrevenue through the sale of iPhone and gave rise to an all-new product segment. RIMresponded too quickly to the same. It announced the development of a table codenamedPlaybook. RIM was imitating Apple at every level. Google also did not stay behind. Itlaunched the much awaited Android Honeycomb in 2011 to enter the tablet bandwagon.RIM’s Blackberry Playbook was commercially available in 2011 and the initial reviewsdeclared the Playbook as a failed attempt. To further add to the worries of RIM, Blackberryfaced a major outage across continents. By the end of 2011, RIM had realised that it had theworst year and started going back to drawing boards and board meeting at RIM’sheadquarters became more frequent. RIM’s stock price hit the all-time low level.Blackberry’s share dropped to meagre 8.8% and Android was the undisputed king ofsmartphone market.2012 was a silent year for RIM across the globe except at its headquarters. The duo whofounded the company paved way for the new Chief Executive Thorsten Heins. The companyreported its first net loss in eight years. The employees were trimmed across the globe andRIM had no answer to rise of phones with super speed processors, high definition screens,cameras better than a standard digital camera and more importantly the looks and feel to diefor. While other operating systems were having thousands of applications to offer to theircustomers, Blackberry could only offer few hundreds of them and relied majorly on itsBlackberry Messaging service which was the only saving grace of RIM and probably the onlyincentive for which people had been sticking to not so good looking Blackberry(s).Blackberry which was also the favourite phone at organizations with most strict corporatefirewalls started getting substituted by iPhone.
  10. 10. User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved. All the registered trademarks,images, logos or any other copyright material used in this case study are the property of their respective owners. The case study is meant for academic purposesonly.Organizations had no option but to change their policies accordingly since the CEOs, VPsetc. no more wanted to stick around with a Blackberry when they had more good looking,trendy and feature rich handsets to carry with them. At the end of 2012, Blackberry nothingto offer other than teaser advertisements for its upcoming handsets and operating systemswhich had been delayed for so long. The year ended with dark clouds for RIM and the shareof Blackberry dropped to 1.1% in major markets (Exhibit 10). To summarise, it was the endof RIM’s almost two decades of product life cycle. Other major growing companies aroundthe globe such as Lenovo and Google had started making strategies in their board rooms toacquire the ailing Blackberry business of RIM. RIM was struggling with cash and criticismfrom everywhere hovered over the RIM.The Much Awaited Comeback:By late 2012, the rumours of RIM working on something revolutionary, pictures of so calledupcoming Blackberry(s) from RIM, the new operating system, new management etc. leakedall over the internet. There was still that little ray of hope among the investors that Blackberrywould bounce back. Finally the date was announced. RIM invited journalists from around theglobe for a special date on 30 January 2013 for a gala event in Waterloo. Everyone knew thatRIM would announce launch of both new hardware as well as software. RIM did notdisappoint either. It not only launched a brand new operating system along with couple ofnew handsets which promise to launch many more in coming quarters but it renamed itself toBlackberry. Now, the brand of the company owned the company. New operating system hasbeen designed very much in line with industry expectations along with good number ofinnovative features. Handsets on the other hand have catered to good looking criteria and alsoboost of good hardware specifications but the pricing seems to be an issue. The most recentlylaunched Blackberry Z10 is priced around USD 750 hence it is directly competing with thelikes of Samsung and Apple. This is a “do or die” situation for the company. If it does not hita goldmine this time, there would be nothing to save the ailing firm.
  11. 11. User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved. All the registered trademarks,images, logos or any other copyright material used in this case study are the property of their respective owners. The case study is meant for academic purposesonly.Summary:What RIM (now Blackberry) Did Wrong?Dug its Own Grave:Post launch of Apple iPhone, within that particular year, without thinking even twice RIMlaunched Blackberry Storm. Blackberry had no prior experience in the touch screen businessand it failed to distinguish between its own USP and Apple’s USP.Just like Blackberry Storm was launched in a haphazard manner to counter iPhone,Blackberry Playbook was launched to compete against Apple’s iPad. It was certainly a verypoor launch even after knowing that Apple had become a mammoth company and itsdominance would not be hindered. To further worsen the things, Playbook was not evenindependent enough. It had to use a Blackberry handset through software known asBlackberry Bridge that would allow the user to use the Playbook as a true Blackberry device(instant messaging and emailing).Leadership Failure:The founding duo paved way for the new CEO quite late. It happened when the company hadalready lost majority of its customers. The step should have taken earlier or the board ofdirectors of the company must have introduced a refreshed executive team when theywitnessed the stock hitting new lows every day.Failure of Application Store:Both Apple and Google and to certain extent Windows as well have developed an excellentecosystem of applications for their devices. RIM always failed to tap that market perfectly.Developers were not motivated to develop more and more applications for Blackberryhandsets. The compatibility of Blackberry handsets did not match the standards of othercompetitive operating systems. Even the acquisition of QNX could not help RIM much orprobably Blackberry maker did not make much out of the deal.
  12. 12. User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved. All the registered trademarks,images, logos or any other copyright material used in this case study are the property of their respective owners. The case study is meant for academic purposesonly.Lack of Innovation:RIM did launch lot of Blackberry(s) but as soon as the company saw its end coming, it almoststopped manufacturing the phones it used to be known for. Blackberry had been favourite ofcorporate even after the launch of Android and iPhone for a good time. Young generation didshift to iPhone and other devices but the corporate honchos were loyal to their Blackberry(s)for a long time but RIM did not announce anything. The last Blackberry Bold (the top endrevolutionary version) was launched way back in 2011. Thereafter, RIM had only launchedcheaper versions of the handset. By going with this strategy RIM neither gained ground in themarket it was launching phones nor it could incentivise the loyalty of its high classcustomers.Wrong Executive Decisions:Soon after RIM realised that it is losing ground, it went ahead with the strategy of costcutting. The new CEO of the company immediately hired investment bankers and startedlaying off employees worldwide. The executive committee probably failed to realise the factthat reducing costs was not the right way to increase revenues instead it meant poor business,poor innovations, poor services and delay in execution of future plans. The same happenedwith RIM. Neither it could launch new phones and the company suffered historic outage ofBlackberry services across the globe which affected millions of Blackberry subscribers formany days. The failed decisions also brought the company into red much before it wasexpected.The Questionable Future:The Last Bet:Launch of Blackberry OS 10 devices is probably the last bet of Blackberry as Blackberry hasbeen left with no more chips to play with. 2013 could be the last year of Blackberry if OS 10fails to make its presence felt in the industry. Z10 has been launched as a premium offeringand its success could be extremely elemental for Blackberry.
  13. 13. User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved. All the registered trademarks,images, logos or any other copyright material used in this case study are the property of their respective owners. The case study is meant for academic purposesonly.The Confirmed Strategy:In an interview with one of India’s English daily- Times of India, Blackberry India’sManaging Director Sunil Dutt said, “Let me put it this way: We are not going after the marketshare. There are several segments of the market, which our competitors deem important, thatwe dont address. For example, we are not present in the below USD 200 segment. As abrand, sometimes you need to evaluate what is it that you are chasing and what is it that yourcustomers are looking up to you for? We can go and chase volumes but volumes might not bedriving profit pool. At the same time, our consumers associate BlackBerry with aspirations.Our phones are aspirational products. If you reduce prices too much, you may gain volumesbut may lose the value your products have. We are not going to be meant for everyone. So,you have this addressable market where we are going to focus. This is the part of the marketwhere our brand is strong and where margins are.”It is very much evident from what Sunil said that Blackberry is going to cater to its nichemarket which probably is the right decision. Still one can see some top executives carryingBlackberry(s) which means that most of them have been eagerly waiting for the newlaunches. If Blackberry manages to keep hold of them and attract back the high endcustomers it lost to its rivals, Blackberry could well become a top leader by revenues at leastin times to come.Strategic Tie-Ups:Blackberry appreciates its very own proprietary Blackberry services. Blackberry can verywell leverage upon its technology and gain much out from it. It can tie-up with luxury phonemakers such as Tag Heuer, Porsche etc. to render Blackberry services for high end phones.Blackberry might charge royalty for the same. If people can afford iPhone, then more thanhalf of them would love to go ahead with high priced handsets which are feature rich, looktrendy, match their millionaire status and above all can let them stay connected to the worldwhich is the basic USP of Blackberry services.Rise as a Wholesome Information Technology Company?There are very few number of companies in the world which are champions in both hardwareand software markets. In current times Apple is one such company. Company’s singleproduct and single software compete with hundreds of substitutes.
  14. 14. User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved. All the registered trademarks,images, logos or any other copyright material used in this case study are the property of their respective owners. The case study is meant for academic purposesonly.Such companies are isolated from supply side pressures and have more hold of their books ofaccounts unlike other major companies such as Microsoft or Google (has the software butrelies on other companies for hardware supporting its software) and Samsung (has hardwarebut is nothing without Google’s Android). Blackberry once was such a company. Its softwarewas something every other handset manufacturer wanted to partner with and later Blackberrycame out with its own handsets and became an undisputed leader in both hardware andsoftware. Blackberry has got one more opportunity to go reach the top on the same lines. Ithas done the right thing by reinventing both hardware and software but what matters the mostis how it maintains it superiority by continuously refining its products in order to stay aheadof the competition.Cooperation with Governments:Blackberry has always been on scanner of several governments across the globe. SinceBlackberry’s servers are not present in every other nation, in the long term it can force theBlackberry to incur high expenses on account of either lobbying or paying millions inlawsuits. Hence, Blackberry must ensure that every ruling government has due access to theencrypted data of their respective nations. This would keep Blackberry in the right light andwill certainly keep the company away from unwanted speculations and litigations.Will the Company Rise Again?The company has seen both ups and downs. Blackberry has been classic example howdreams turn into reality and then reality becomes a dream. The company has gone through -every phase of product life cycle. Now it has reinvented itself. The battleground is the samebut the company is known coupled with more energy and strategies. The fight will not beeasy but it will be interesting to see if Blackberry manages to fights all alone or after sometime opts for tag team. The company has enough patents to stay alive for quite some time andit will give in everything before it backs out (Exhibit 11). Company must upgrade its tablet toturn it into a complete Blackberry product supporting every feature which a Blackberryhandset does if the company wants to survive in the tablet industry or it is the right time toexit the market. The investors have nowhere to go. If they dump their stocks, they will notgain much hence they will continue their interest in the Blackberry and will give the mobilephone maker another chance to rise and shine. The early reviews of the new operating systemare anywhere from good to excellent. Blackberry must capitalize upon the same and can wellbecome a business phone if not smartphone leader in few months only.
  15. 15. User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved. All the registered trademarks,images, logos or any other copyright material used in this case study are the property of their respective owners. The case study is meant for academic purposesonly.Exhibit 1:Product Life CycleSource: igcsebusinessrevision.blogspot.comExhibit 2:RIM DigiSync Film KeyKode ReaderSource: www.berryreview.comExhibit 3:Blackberry 850Source: www.crackberry.com
  16. 16. User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved. All the registered trademarks,images, logos or any other copyright material used in this case study are the property of their respective owners. The case study is meant for academic purposesonly.Exhibit 4:Blackberry 5810Source: www.cellphones.about.comExhibit 5:Blackberry 6210 Blackberry 7230Source: www.time.comExhibit 6:How Blackberry WorksSource: www. manojhunk.blogspot.com
  17. 17. User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved. All the registered trademarks,images, logos or any other copyright material used in this case study are the property of their respective owners. The case study is meant for academic purposesonly.Exhibit 7:Blackberry’s market share in 2006Source: www.pingmobile.comExhibit 8:Timeline of Android
  18. 18. User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved. All the registered trademarks,images, logos or any other copyright material used in this case study are the property of their respective owners. The case study is meant for academic purposesonly.Exhibit 9:Blackberry’s growth till Quarter 3 2009Exhibit 10:Changing market share of RIM (Note the similarity with Product Life Cycle)
  19. 19. User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved. All the registered trademarks,images, logos or any other copyright material used in this case study are the property of their respective owners. The case study is meant for academic purposesonly.Exhibit 11:The Way Forward for BlackberryHardware SoftwareBlackberrySmartphoneBlackberry Servers BlackberryOperating SystemIndustrial PurposesTo Third Party handsetmanufacturesStiff CompetitionContinuousInnovationsLimited CostsLimited CustomersProfitsHigher CostsMore CustomersConcentration onApplication EcosystemConcentration onSuperpowermultipurpose highlysecured serversHardware + SoftwareThe IBM Route The Google Route
  20. 20. User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2013 Chaahat Khattar, All rights reserved. All the registered trademarks,images, logos or any other copyright material used in this case study are the property of their respective owners. The case study is meant for academic purposesonly.References:1.http://ca.blackberry.com/company.html2.http://www.blackberry.com/select/get_the_facts/pdfs/rim/rim_history.pdf3.http://investorplace.com/2013/01/a-brief-history-of-research-in-motion/4.http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_blackberry_works5.http://faqoid.com/advisor/android-versions.php#version-1.06.http://m.timesofindia.com/articleshow/18189896.cms7.http://forums.crackberry.com/general-discussion-f2/timeline-history-research-motion-7162/

×