What To Learn From Blackberry’s Decline?

BlackBerry was once the undisputed leader in the Smartphone segment known for its unmatched security features and the popular BlackBerry messenger. However, since the launch of Apple’s iPhone in 2007 and the Android OS in 2008, things haven’t been the same for the Canadian Smartphone manufacturer. As of November, 2013 BlackBerry’s global market share has declined to 1.7%. So, what led to the downfall of BlackBerry and what should other firms learn from it?

Established ecosystems cannot be attacked from behind
The first thing that you can learn from BlackBerry’s downfall is that no company can compete against an established ecosystem. By the time BlackBerry realized that they were neck-deep in trouble, it was too late. Android and iOS had already become hot favorites by then. The Canadian giant failed to understand that creating a viable ecosystem in the form of BB10 was extremely difficult given the stringent time frame.

By the time BlackBerry launched their new range of devices running BB10, its rivals held strong position in the market and developers were unlikely to look back.

Short-term financial results cannot gauge a company’s prospects
While BlackBerry was happy catering to its corporate clients, it did not emphasize on the rest of the market. When iOS and Android shifted the basis of competition, BlackBerry couldn’t match up to the market expectations and the results are evident. In fact, BlackBerry’s shares reached its peak in 2008. Therefore, it is impossible to determine a company’s prospects keeping short-term success into consideration.

The true test of an effective long term strategy if how well the company matches to the evolving competition in the highly competitive market.

The best customers cannot be used as a benchmark
Blackberry’s best customers included the corporate. However, while catering to their diverse needs, BlackBerry forgot about the emerging trends market. BlackBerry’s core user base were of the opinion that email, instant messaging, a hardware keyboard and impeccable security gave the company a competitive edge other manufacturers. Unfortunately, while BlackBerry fans were preoccupied with these features, the basis of competition shifter to enhanced usability, simpler user-interface, applications and a complete internet experience.

This is exactly why BlackBerry lost its dominance in the global market. The company that had a monopoly in the Smartphone segment lost its ground to Android and iOS mainly because they appealed to the younger audience.

In 6 years, their global market share of fell from 13.7 percent to mere 1.7 percent. Back in 2008, the company was valued at $80 billion. As of September, 2013 it was only $4.3 billion. It is important that a firm learn from the mistakes committed by BlackBerry in order to stay alive in the competition.


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