Blackberry market (turnaround strategies for blackberry)
Purva Kini 3038
Research in Motion (RIM), a Canadian telecommunication and wireless
device company popularly known as the developer of the BlackBerry
smartphones and Tablet PC , entered India in 2004 targeting the enterprise
Initially, the company priced its BlackBerry mobiles quite high, affordable
only to corporate employers.
The use of enterprise applications put the BlackBerry in the hands of
corporate people and the company achieved significant success.
BlackBerry soon achieved a leadership position in the smartphone segment
in India catering to high net-worth customers.
Over the years, people in the middle and junior management levels too
started aspiring for a BlackBerry.
To take advantage of this aspect, RIM decided to shed its enterprise image
and target youths and teens.
In pursuit of this goal, the brand had lost its exclusivity. But RIM decided
to go to masses.
In 2011, BlackBerry had a range of models targeted at every possible
consumer segment - senior management professionals, young executives,
women, and even those who had just crossed their teens.
In order to tap the Tier-II and Tier-III cities in India, RIM planned to
strengthen its sales and service network in these cities.
This decision developed several questions about whether blackberry can
strive in such a competitive market.
Limitations of BB
Operating System is closed. Not too many applications can be accessed.
Customers were not able to get value for money from the products that BB
offered them. No 3G, almost 2MP camera wherein other Smart phones
such as Sony, HTC, Samsung have 8MP – 12MP camera.
Internet packages are expensive for BBM usage.
While middle income consumer can use other options such as Whatsapp,
Chat on, We Chat etc at less than half the price paid for internet usage.
3G options can also be availed on other phones, except for BB.
The USP of any BB phone was email and phone calls. This feature today
can be enjoyed more attractively on other smart phones. BB has not
sustained itself in the competitive smart phone market.
New operating systems such as OS7 etc had little new to offer. Look and
functionality largely remained same.
Another move made by BB which was perceived as a mistake by many was
its entry into the touch screen market. BB Torch sales had not picked up
very well. The touch screen experience offered by BB was meager,
compared to its competitors such as Samsung and Apple.
While entering into the market for the masses, BB did not consider offering
various social networking applications to the consumers which included
teenagers, youngsters whose education is based largely on social
Facebook, twitter, whatsapp and other applications were late entrants and
not so effective as other Smartphone's offered these faster and more
Camera and sound Quality is not comparable with other smartphones as the
primary focus is on emailing and phone calls.
Technical parts of BB are difficult to replace and resale value is very low.
The phones are not as durable as Samsung or Sony smartphones as BB
phones are manufactured abroad.
BlackBerry App World debuted in 2009 and had about 26,000
applications as of April 2011. Android had over 200,000 apps and iOS was
Reasons for BB loosing its market
Numerous variety of upcoming models by competitors.
Lack of Availability of BB models
The status of BBM decreased due to the Whatsapp, Line, We chat and other
Cost for using BBM is high than any other. (Others are android based and
provide free apps from Playstore.)
Dealers are unable to push the BB products to consumers due to the
common aesthetics of the BB phones, emerging leaders in the Smartphone
Blackberry, before deciding about catering to the masses has been unable to
position itself properly in the minds of the consumers with its offerings.
One cannot expect to use a business phone and have creative or fancy
applications in the same was the perception that BB followed.
High prices ( this move did not seem to be working when BB tried to cater
to the masses)
Lack of promotions.
Lack of innovation as compared to competitive brands.
Screen appearance and camera.
Very less variety, colors, and models (looks).
Lack of user friendly applications.
It can go either the Apple way and continue to cater exclusively to senior
managers and other participants of the top management, or go the Samsung
way and cater to the masses with better and innovative all round mobile
Offer premium services to its customers, specially high net-worth
Position itself in the minds of the consumers by pricing phones at not less
than Rs 30,000 (the way older BB models used to be).
Include the functions of easy accessibility such as Whatsapp, or any other
corporate communication tools.
Attractive Incentives to the dealers on existing and new products.
Aggressive marketing. For e.g.. Promotional Activities with the Touch and
feel Experience – in colleges and corporates.
Conduct Market Research for the improvement and Betterment of the
Quality of BB Products
Offer more Models and Colors with attractive design.
Innovate and Improve quality of sound (Accessories and Display,
Aggressive Research & Development for the new innovation in
Applications, Services, Design, Accessories.
Enter into the Laptop Sector With Innovation and Interesting Graphics.
BlackBerry can start a “software” based company, launching corporatefocused apps that sync with both Apple, iOS, Android devices.
Blackberry as a brand remains as an executive class phone for the working
and the business class. If Blackberry wishes to gain market share by
catering to the masses, it can do so effectively by building another Brand
Acquire or merge with a Gaming company for the Improvement in the
Graphics sector of Product.
BBM coming to android
They are going to introduce BBM video call and voice call features soon.
For now you can add just 30 people but soon you will be able to add more
now that they are expanding in android market.
BBM is priced at Rs. 100 for BB phones (full internet package is rs400).
Most probably they will price BBM at same cost for all phones (i.e. rs100)
and it will be a demo app.
BBM has its own share of loyal customers. Now that it will be available on
all phones more people will be subscribing BBM. Which will result in
more profits. It might result in more earnings as compared to its earnings
from mobile phones.
BBM is known for its secure server.
Youth is crazy about BBM.
This move will result in profitable results for BB.