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Critical thinking project – Research in Motion


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MDIA 4700 – Critical thinking in Media

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Critical thinking project – Research in Motion

  1. 1. research report Research in Motion by Akshay Chauhan Presented at BCIT School of Business on 30 June 2015 in MDIA 4700 - Critical Thinking and Ethics in Media
  2. 2. INDEX EXECUTIVE SUMMARY • 03 ANALYSIS • 04 Rise of Blackberry Competitors Shift in the smartphone market – Decline of RIM PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION • 06 Complacency and failure to innovate Investor relationship rather than with customers Lack of planned strategies Internal problems RECOMMENDATION • 08 Longer term planning Continuous innovations and pushing limits Pivoting strategies and evolving Customer–centered and user experience first BIBLIOGRAPHY • 10
  3. 3. 3 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Research In Motion (RIM), a Canadian firm made Blackberrry, a wireless email solution that made RIM a $75 billion dollar market value company. After the launch of Apple’s iPhone in 2007 and emergence Google’s Android operating system RIM had lost its $75 billion dollar market value. The situation became so bad in just 5 years after iPhone that RIM wasn’t even able to any investors that would invest in their business. The co-founder and former CEO Mike Lazaridis failed to see the shift in consumer demands post iPhone. The CEO became too complacent becuase of the success of Blackberry phones. Blackbery had beat competing products from Nokia, Samsung, Palm and Sony, so for Lazaridis iPhone was just another phone. At the same time RIM grew too big and too fast, and had developed lot of internal problems like bureacracy and politicking. The teams missed deadlines and there weren’t people in the management ready to take responsibilities. there was even communication problems withing the middle managment and the executives. Products that were launched during the initial iPhone era were riddled with issues in software, and hardware. Company had failed to innovate at this crucial stage when consumers were demanding better phones and more features. Blackberry’s software looked ugly and was slow as compared to iPhone and Android phones. But by many insider reports the companies internal problems had a much greater role in the companies fai RIM now Blackberry Ltd. by 2012, had less than 0.5% smartphone market share, multiple CEO change, executives left the company, multiple product failures, and lost all its enterprise and government clients as well.
  4. 4. 4 Rise of Blackberry Mike Lazardis founded RIM in 1984. And before it made Blackberry phone pioneer wireless email solution, it had multiple successes in other tech products. RIM had a $600,000 contract with General Motors for network ads. They made DigiSync Film KeyKode Reader launched in 1990 and won an Academy Award for technical achievement. RIM at the time switched its focus into wireless products and launched two wireless products(point-of-sale system and wireless two-way page) before they made their first Blackberry phone. A product which remained their iconic product for many years to come. Competitors Nokia, Samsung, Sony and Motorola launched many products that were called as the Blackberry–killers but they all failed to beat Blackberry in quality and services. Blackberry was used by politicians, celebrities, major global corporations, had official contracts with militaries branches in US, government sections in UK, Middle-east and South Asia. Blackberry had become the phone of the status quo. By mid-2007 had nine million subscribers and RIM was valued at $42 billion. Every three month RIM had a million more susbcribers. RIM partnered with 300 carriers in 120 countries. Blackberry’s market stronghold only began changing late 2007 after first iPhone came along. ANALYSIS 1 OF 2
  5. 5. 5 Shift in the smartphone market – Decline of RIM Prior to iPhone, Blackberry was primarily an wireless email solution with mediocre multimedia features. iPhone changed all that by bringing better camera, music player, application ecosystem in a beautiful small form factor. It had issues with battery life in the beginning but it opened consumers to a more capable device than just a smartphone. iPhone had yearly revisions on their iphone product and with each update they made their phones significantly better. Google’s Android phone Operating System was also making progress on their software platform and made their operating system free. This was quickly adopted by companies like HTC, Samsung, Sony. Apps on both Android and iPhone were showing that you could use the phone as a computer and this gave rise to tablet computers. Blackberry phones even did not have Skype for many years. RIM did not acknowledge the need for change and launched their first tablet product and complete touch screen device in 2010. By then it was already too late. It had already lost a huge market share of user to Android and iPhone. In the middle east and India, RIM was also being forced by government to give access to its encrypted email service stating as a national security reasons. ANALYSIS 2 OF 2
  6. 6. 6 PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION 1 OF 2 Complacency and failure to innovate Blackberry had blindsided its competitors in the past and now it got blindsided by iPhone and Android phones. In multiple occassions Jim Lazaridis had stated that the consumers want phones with physical keyboard and touch screen devices don’t make any sense. Investor relationship rather than with customers RIM seemed to be focussed more and more on selling the same product that made profits for them in the past to other countries.This made them more profits but also less focused into venturig into new innovative ideas. As RIM saw success in Africa, Asia and Middle East it lost its market stronghold in North America to Apple and Google. RIM by limiting the capabilities of their phones though of helping the networks save bandwidths. Apple and Google did exactly opposite of that and allowed high quality multimedia content to be played on that. Consumers loved that and demanded a better product in every iteration. Consumers wanted a better camera, better processing more functionality. Lack of planned strategies Then CEO Lazardis had invested in a philantropic and recreational endouvours rather than focusing on pivoting their business strategies.
  7. 7. 7 PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION 2 OF 2 Their major step in response to iPhone and Android phones was to acquire QNX, a company that made mobile operating system. That response in itself was 3-4 years too late and they found it was much harder to incorporate their existing Blackberry encrypted services. They had to work ground up on the new system. The new and old systems meant that support on the older systems would have to be reduced and this lead to loss of trust of loyal blackberry users. Blackberry also made ‘App World’ similar to ‘Apple App Store’ and ‘Google Marketplace’ but the Apps weren’t well curated as well it did on other platforms. App ecosystem was not favoured by the app developers either. Companies had made apps and even physical attachments on Apple and Google platfom that used the hardware capability of the phone to be used as even more useful tool. People started looking at ideas of things to do with phones as powerful computer to make lives simpler. And Blackberry still a devide that just sent and recieved emails. Internal problems As RIM grew big to fast their werent many communication procedures and practices kept in check. The four fold increased in employees the company bragged about also increased the internal bureaucracy, and politicking. The talented employees started leaving the company for companies like Facebook and Twitter. Some were intentionally laid off just to keep headcount of employees in company low. Even top executives left the companies.
  8. 8. 8 RECOMMENDATIONS 1 OF 2 Longer term planning Apple during their iPhone launch had envisioned an ecosystem of apps, music and videos that their device would be ready to handle. They already had iTunes which is the biggest online music and video store. Apple and Android systems both welcomed developers and gave more resources for them to learn and use their Apple’s product lineup and strategies extended easily 5 years in the future. A long term plawould have help RIM see that they could not see themselves making the same email keyboard phone for the next decade and make profits for its investors. Continuous innovations and pushing limits Apple each year came out with new phones which were much faster, always with improved cameras, more features that would be used and liked by its users. RIM’s Blackberry had only small changes in design and hardware because they never pushed back on the carriers that had an influence in the capabilities of the devices. Apple and Android phones allowed user to play high quality media content that made carriers to open more bandwidth for the subscribers. They both took over the phone softwares and removed all control of carriers from their devices.
  9. 9. 9 Pivoting strategies and evolving Jim Balsillie the co-founder of Blackberry to stay on top of phone business wanted to make their Blackberry messenger services (which relied on device hardware as identification rather than a name, phone or email) available free on all devices. The company had internal debates and this idea was shelved. At the same time WhatsApp messenger became the biggest instant messaging app on Blackberry, Android and iPhone. So RIM lost the race on messaging service as well. Customer–centered and user experience first Apple and Google’s focus on improving their product, making them simpler to use. Both of them also thought about developers engaged in building apps on their platform and allowed them more access to hardware features. As people started seeing other people talk about Android and Apple iPhones, naturally their sales went up and made more profit for them. RIM had its priority on making profit by selling more products, tand they forgot about improving their user experience or products. RECOMMENDATIONS 2 OF 2
  10. 10. 10 • management-has-failed-at-rim/ • blackberry-mike-lazaridis-jim-balsillie-lost-empire • blamed_on_failure_to_innovate.html • why-rims-failure-could-be-your-failure-too/ • and-fall-of-blackberry-an-oral-history BIBLIOGRAPHY