Was 2012 a "RasBerry" for BlackBerry?
Research In Motion (RIM), (http://www.blackberry.com ) stated they had a good third quarter however it is no secret they continue to slide deeper and deeper down the well. Published reports show they had 47% decline in sales from the previous year. The United States Government and a few others continue to support BlackBerry with large orders and this is mainly due to the success of their operating system being very secure and easy to control for keeping information inside. This is a huge plus for RIM. BlackBerry moved 255,000 Playbooks in the third quarter and money still continues to flow into their coffers to the tune of 2.9 billion. The other bright side is the launch of BlackBerry 10, their new platform has many and possible future users excited. The downside is the pressure to keep sales up and the new 10 system may or may not cause sales of present stock to slump.
So what happened to BlackBerry, once the king of mobile cell phones especially for the business professional? In a nutshell, lousy product development. When the iPhone and Android OS systems took off, RIM had no answer with outdated technology and a OS system that could not handle the onslaught of apps. They rolled the dice that business users would stay loyal to BlackBerry and they lost. They knew the consumer market would probably jump ship and they did but other than their government clients, even SMBs users went to the iPhone and some to the Android system. In this ever-changing technology market, users want sleek, smooth, and video friendly phones and Blackberry (as of late) really had no answers. The Playbook is not a bad product but even the name within itself sounds like something a coach would use on a football field over a sleek cool tablet that a college kid would want to buy. Microsoft is finding out the same thing with its slumping Surface tablet sales.
Hopefully BlackBerry will re-invent itself this next year and find that niche they once controlled again. Their investors continue to believe in them and their stock continues to hold steady or even climb a few points so not all is bad news for RIM. As to whether they will ever recapture the consumer market or be the friend of only the enterprise level or government user is still debatable but lets hope BlackBerry does not become a raspberry. May they be fruitful. Competition is good for everybody.
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