Blackberryâ??s Final Stand
RIM used to produce one of the most popular brand of phones, Blackberries. But ever since the iPhone was invented and Android came into the market Blackberry has lost its share of users.
In 2012, Blackberryâ??s phone share made up only 6% of phone users. Web traffic from Blackberries has collapsed to 1% and RIMâ??s entire company may soon fail. ‘Soon fail’ means already failing. In the first quarter of 2012, RIM reported a loss of $518 million. Itâ??s certainly not looking good for them.
Why I Thought Blackberry Had a Chance
I had never even bothered with Blackberries up until a couple of months ago when I started using a Blackberry Tour 9630. Let me tell you IÂ wasn’t aÂ fan of the phone or its OS at all. It took ten minutes to boot at its fastest record and had the worst App Market imaginable. In fact when I first clicked on the App Market it told me I needed to update some RIM service. Once I did that it asked me to reboot, which of course took 10 minutes. After waiting for my phone to turn back on I tried to open the app market again.
Guess what? I was now asked to download the App Market itself which was followed by rebooting again. Then when I finally got to opening the App Market I needed an update, which once again promoted a reboot.Â I’veÂ used iOS and Android all my life and let me tell you I was not impressed one bit by RIM at first… But then I started seeing the value that RIM created.
After a couple of weeks of using my Blackberry I can doubtfully tell you my quality of life improved. You may think Iâ??m joking but Iâ??m not. No longer was I wasting my time downloading apps, or rooting Anroid, orÂ jailbreaking iOS.Â My Blackberryâ??s internet was so bad that IÂ couldn’tÂ do anything but not use it. I stopped becoming distracted through my phone and the only apps that were available on the RIM market made me more productive.
Surprise, surprise. If you stillÂ don’tÂ believe me think about it like this: I went from using phones that were built on the consumer market which focuses on entertainment, to a phone that is built from the ground up for businesses. Naturally my productivity would increase if I started using a business phone. It sure did…
The email on my Blackberry works better than any phoneÂ I’veÂ ever used before. My BlackberryÂ notifiesÂ me within 2 seconds ofÂ receivingÂ an email. Iâ??ve tested it by sending an email from my computer to my email address. The results were staggering.
It took less than 2 seconds for my phone to vibrate; something IÂ wasn’tÂ accustomed to with iOSâ??s/Android. I was used to waiting about 5 minutes for the notification to come up.
Another amazing thing about the Blackberry is its battery capacity. With the Blackberry I could now listen to Pandora on my morning run, use the phone for checking email, make a couple of calls throughout the day, listen to Pandora again while I ran and worked out, and throughout an hourâ??s Jacuzzi sessions and 15 minute walk back home. All of this was done on one charge which was really awesome. With other â??smartâ? phones I always need more than one charge a day to keep my phone alive.
Another great feature of the Blackberry is the keyboard. It feels really good writing emails and it saved me time wasted on other touch keyboards.
So when I thought about Blackberryâ??s future I knew they had a niche to fill. That niche was people that needed real keyboards, fast email notifications, great battery life, and a professional feel/look. I knew in my heart that Blackberry would live for ages even if theyÂ would notÂ thrive as well as before. It turns out I was mistaken.
What the Guy at Sprint Thought
After I got my Blackberry my tech enthusiast friend and I debated the usefulness of owning a RIM product. It got to the point where we concluded that if youÂ couldn’tÂ decide between an iPhone and a Blackberry that you might as well buy both.
When we were at Sprint the day the iPhone 5 came out my friend asked The Guy about buying a Blackberry. The Sprint Guy laughed in our faces as if we were old grandmas trying to buy surfboarding lessons. He told us Blackberry is dead and itâ??s a waste of money to buy a Blackberry phone.
We were appalled and left the story immediately. I was holding a Blackberry in my pocket and it surelyÂ didn’tÂ feel like Blackberry was dead.
I thought Blackberry was alive until I thought about writing this article. I knew it was dead as soon as I tried to think about reasons why Blackberry will make it.
I went to the online Sprint store to try and compare an iPhone vs a Blackberry phone. Guess what I saw? Sprintâ??s Blackberry selection was made up of 4 phones. Even if you visit them now it will look exactly like this.
There are actually two phones that are exactly the same price and model, expect that oneÂ doesn’tÂ have a camera. RIM actually thought to make a phone without a camera because someone would buy one for the same price as a model that doesâ?¦ What are they thinking?
So once you click on the last two phones (Blackberry Bold 9930’s)Â you’llÂ see the real deal. The Blackberry Bold 9930â??s regular price is just about $499.99. If you sign a 2-yr agreementÂ you’llÂ get $250.00 off, and if you buy it onlineÂ you’llÂ get $50 off. That’s $199 with a 2-yr plan.
That makes absolutely no sense for a number of reasons.
- You could buy an iPhone 5 for the same price with a 2-yr agreement.
- You could spend $150 extra to get the iPhone 5 at retail price as opposed to the Blackberry’s retail price
- You could buy a Nexus 7 tablet for $199. (Itâ??s not a phone but think about the parts that go into making both products. Surely if you can sell a tablet for $199 retail price, RIM should be able to sell a darn Blackberry phone for $199 retail. With a 2-yr agreement no Blackberry phone should cost over $100).
- You could buy an iPad mini or iPad 2 at retail price for less than the retail price of the Blackberry Bold.
Do you see how that business model makes no sense? Why am I even holding a Blackberry in my hand right now? Why does the Backberry Curve cost $350 at retail price?
That makes no sense RIM! What are you people doing with your lives!
Blackberryâ??s Last Stand
There are rumors about a glorious new Blackberry. In truth RIMâ??s plans arenâ??t going to amount to much. Blackberry 10 OS is planning to â??give control to the user over the OSâ? and the new phone modelsÂ aren’tÂ that impressive either. Iâ??m not saying I even know what these models are going to look like but I can take a safe bet that theyâ??re not going to save RIM one bit.
They plan on releasing an all touchscreen model and another one that will support a physical QWERTY keyboard. How fantastic? No matter what RIM releases itâ??s not going to change anything. Itâ??s highly unlikely that they will make these new models have any advantages over an iPhone or an Android phone.
When the top dogs such as Google and Apple have brought their tablet prices down to $200-$329, it really makes you think if the hardware in a Blackberry is really worth it. I understand the iPhone costs $650+ at retail price but if you can buy an iPad mini for $329 would buying a Blackberry for less ever be justified? Hopefully I made some sense here. Hopefully I’m not the only consumer on earth that looks at things this way…
Their Last Stand Will Become a Failure
RIM is trying to make a last stand tâ??s impossible to get into the phone market again. There arenâ??t any new features that RIM can bring to the table and thereâ??s not much pricing competition they can offer either. RIM is going to give it their all in 2013 but unless their phones can be bought for $100 or less (with a 2-yr agreement) I see them failing hard. If consumers can buy the old iPhone 4S 16GB for $99.99 with a 2-yr agreement why would they ever buy a Blackberry instead?
Buying an iPhone 4/5 and using it only for email/productivity apps is still a better choice than buying a Blackberry for the same price and being locked into their failing schemes/app markets. Clearly itâ??s come to the point where yourÂ choicesÂ are Windows Phone, iOS, and Android. BlackberryÂ doesn’tÂ have any more room in the market.
Would You Blame Them Either?
I thought that Blackberry would always have a niche to fill, andÂ I’mÂ sure they did too. ButÂ they’veÂ realized that thereâ??s no value they can offer anymore and itâ??s too late to change anything. Itâ??s too late to get into the market that phones have become.
After all if you really need a QWERTY keyboard that bad you can just buy an Android phone or a keyboard attachment for the iPhoneâ?¦
Article written by Octavian Ristea. He currently uses a Blackberry Tour that is that is activated with Sprint and a non-activated iPhone 4.
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Great points on the strengths and weaknesses of owning a Blackberry there Octavian. Yes, almost everyone I know has had a problem with the Blackberry OS, even though they loved their Blackberry phones to start with.
What a shame that such a useful phone will fall behind now. I had a friend try and market a new phone called ‘Dolphin’ phones, but he said that it was so hard to even break into the phone market now with giants such as Android and iOS phones being on the cutting edge of tech. They marketed the phones 4 times cheaper than Blackberry with most of the features that Blackberry had – but it didn’t make a dent.
If I were in the Blackberry management team, I’d put everything on hold and have outside people come in and brainstorm a new strategy. No one internally, only externally, to bring a fresh perspective. I’d invite Blackberry users, Android users, iPhone users and business strategists to spend a whole 3 days at least working separately in small teams to come up with a brand new direction for RIM. Then I’d look at each idea separately with business advisors and pick the best one. Whatever it would be, it would have to be better than their existing ‘stick in the mud’ line of thinking. What could they lose? When a boxer is just about to go down, why not try and throw a lucky punch before hitting the deck?
Stock holders want to see it die as slowly as possible rather than risk an overnight flop I guess…
I dislike the OS as well. Sometimes it gets stuck with the turning icon indicating its thinking or whatever. It gets annoying.
My new direction for blackberry would be this:
Clean hardware design. No Porsche blackberries like you can see on their site. That’s useless.
Unify the blackberry. No 50 models that cost more at retail than an iPad mini.
One blackberry tablet (at first I thought no way.. But they need at least one to compete with nexus 7 on business level)
Blackberry tablet has some sort of great keyboard. Better than microsoft’s slate. OS isn’t for angry birds but rather for powerpoints, PDFs, ebooks, word, email, excel, calendar, etc. great touch screen but touch isn’t the focus. Aka no touch keyboard. If you can’t perfect it don’t bother… Not even the iPad has that great of a touch keyboard. I doubt blackberry can make a better one.
Two blackberry phones. One takes us to classical (relativly) times of phone, email, facebook, web, twitter, SMS, that’s it. $0 with two year contract. Thinking behind this is that people like me enjoy just having a phone as well as an iPod an iPad to mess around with. Make it the phone your grandma and kid use. Make it the phone business people use, etc. just keep it simple. No touch, keyboard and mouse cursor thing as always.
The other phone will also have no touch. Take everything from bold 9930 and make it twice as good. Backup contacts, photos, bookmarks, call logs, everything imaginable in the cloud. Make it easy to manage all that on a web app. Think iCloud here but 20x as useful and just as simple. I don’t want to back up my contacts manually. Grr. Make it foolproof.
Make sure the apps are all quality and useful. Get rid of custom themes. 98% of the ones I try suck. Just make one nice design and stick with it. Don’t put all that bloatware crap on there. I don’t want to see sprint t.v, NASCAR live, etc. just no. I do want to see word, excel, PowerPoint, great browser, fast Internet speeds, solid OS, reliable OS, fast booting OS, and other useful apps that should come with it. It would be helpful if all the apps that RIM designed for the phone would sync to your computer, work on other devices and Internet browser.
What’s the point if I have memos and task lists but I can’t sync them to my computer? I don’t want to always go to my phone for that…
Other than the essential apps I don’t think there should even be an app market. I mean who is going to want to develop for a phone that is a phone? If blackberry try’s to go smart phone they will fail.
Let the big guys make pandora, Netflix, shazam, etc type of apps but don’t make your app market your selling point. Make your no B.S approach your selling point. By no b.s. I mean don’t make 30 different phones and sell them all for high prices. Don’t do that with hardware or software, etc.
My outlook on the new vision of Rin would be “we make phones”
Windows, android, and iPhone make make up the phone shares, but I’m sure someone will always need a phone.
This last model of blackberry would be under $170 retail price and $50 with two year contract. Think about it. If you can buy the iPhone 4s at $100 with a contract the only way you’ll buy just a “phone” from RIM is if its $50 or less. There you have it. Just a phone. Unde $150 retail price you can throw it around and it’s just a phone.
My current blackberry takes spills every week and hard throws. Throws… And it doesn’t break. My iPhone doesn’t like to be placed on a table without breaking…
Imagine if they made the new models with durability in mind. I’d feel better carrying around just a phone rather than a $700 retail worth iPhone!!! No ones going to steal it either. That’s what I like about “just a phone”
Reminds me of why my teacher bought a Zune over an iPod. “Because my iPod was stolen and zones suck and no one would steal one” if you’re selling point is you’re cheap, don’t break, but function perfectly enough for your purpose, I think it’s a pretty damn good point!
Written on an iPhone….