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  1. 1. SWOC
  2. 2. 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.
  3. 3. • 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
  4. 4. 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 load.
  5. 5. • 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 introduction. Weaknesses of Blackberry
  6. 6. • 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 sales.
  7. 7. Opportunities • 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 market share. • 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.
  8. 8. Threats • 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.
  9. 9. 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 innovator.
  10. 10. • 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 changing. • 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 reputation management. • 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 tips.
  11. 11. 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.
  12. 12. • 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 succeed. • 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!
  13. 13. Bibliography • • ot-analyses/blackberry-swot-analysis.html • weaknesses-of-blackberry-10/30337 • /technology/when-blackberry-reigned-the- queen-got-one-and-how-it-fell.html?_r=0 • lessons-for-blackberry-success