Sunday, 22 September 2013

Blackberry heads for the exit

This week Blackberry, the company that used to be RIM (Research In Motion), announced 4,500 redundancies and a loss of just slightly less than $1 billion. This is possibly the announcement of the end of a company that once was the premium supplier of secure mobile phones to business.

The end has been a long time coming. Blackberry dismissed the iPhone and Android as toys because business needed a real keyboard. In reality the onscreen keyboard would do for most people. The extra screen real estate and touch was what people liked. The extra mis-step was to create a tablet that could not do email unless you paired it with a Blackberry. It must have seemed like a good idea at the time! The Blackberry Playbook ended up heavily discounted and cheaper than no-name Chinese Android devices a year or so after launch.

The greatest Blackberry asset is in fact Blackberry Messenger (BBM). This was the IM that defined secure messaging. They could transform to a much smaller software and secure messaging company.

Blackberry has now reduced it's model range to 4 devices and now says it wants to concentrate only  on business.

That's a sensible strategy because in recent months Windowsphone has move to being the third mobile ecosystem. This has partly been increased sales but also because a complete collapse of Blackberry sales.

The mobile market has become mostly Samsung and Apple. Even Blackberry seems to have been beaten.