I read an interesting articleabout the downturn of a once powerful brand – Blackberry. A product that once commanded 50% of the smartphone market is now less than 5% of that market. In only three years…what a precipitous drop. It has even been called out
as not cool enough for companies like Yahoo!
The article points out the one area that is at the crux of why RIM lost its fastball – innovation. The lack of innovation when it came to creating and developing apps was the downfall for the once powerful icon. I can speak from experience. Yes I was once a Blackberry loyalist. When it was about fast email and a full qwerty key board, the Blackberry had few rivals. But that market shifted. Emailing is only a fraction of what we use our phones for these days. It is not even about web browsing, it is all about having access, via apps, to a number of functions. Whether it is to find a restaurant through Yelp, or reading the news via Zite, posting on Facebook, or reading the latest Tweets or fighting a zombie invasion through horticulture our phones have become a conduit to a cyber smorgasbord of tools. While this was happening, RIM continued to cling to their email servers and qwerty keyboards.
Unfortunately I am not sure that RIM will be able to recover from this position. Question becomes how will this story end? Will someone come and buy the Canadian company? Will they go out of business? Or will they somehow reinvent themselves and emerge from the ashes…much like another iconic tech company that was in the computer business and now is the consumer electronic darling – Apple.
This story is not over, but I am not sure RIM has a Steve Jobs type leader to get them out of this tailspin. If the following video is any indication, I am not hopeful for RIM and their future –