BlackBerry has two problems

by Volker Weber

You can find many reasons why BlackBerry is in this dire situation. Let me boil it down to two:

  1. The technical challenge. BlackBerry 10 is incompatible with BES 5. You cannot just buy a few new BlackBerrys and add them to your existing infrastructure. On the upside, you have a fresh start. On the downside, you have to touch your servers.
  2. The sentiment. BlackBerry smells of old. People want new. iPhone. Maybe Android. Once people have made up their mind to divorce you, it's a tough thing to turn around. It's no longer good enough to be good enough. You have to be way better.

It's very hard for BlackBerry to build confidence. Once you lose that confidence, developers won't build for your platform and customers won't buy in.

Comments

Very true and almost a death sentence by vowe..

What I've always been wondering: Why didn't they market their stuff more as Pro gear after iPhone and subsequent smartphones came out? Like "You can't really type on a virtual Keyboard. Use a real one, use BB. And OUR battery lasts longer than a workday, BTW."

Instead they tried to copy the new cool, were late to the game and failed. Kinda sad.

Thomas Cloer, 2013-09-21

As somebody who works for BlackBerry and does Domino stuff, there are a lot more things wrong where they could have really done technical stuff a LOT better. But those at the top don't understand the technical aspects of what they have and what it is capable of. I mean BES5 runs inside a Domino Server ffs. Think about it for a minute. Not just mail. Server. As in it could work with every damn database that has ever been created on a server, with no change to infrastructure. Huge selling point. Completely missed by the powers that be.

Dragon Cotterill, 2013-09-21

Really is a shame how all this is turning out for Blackberry. So many opportunities lost.

Paul Mooney, 2013-09-21

Grund für BBs Niedergang: Kein Alleinstellungsmerkmal.
Aber was ist mit BES, Push-Mail, Encryption, Mail-Komprimierung, Hardware-Tastatur, Trennung von corporate und privat?
Alleinstellungsmerkmale, die offensichtlich keiner braucht.

Martin Kautz, 2013-09-21

"Once people have made up their mind to divorce you, it's a tough thing to turn around. It's no longer good enough to be good enough. You have to be way better."

... applies to other products too ;-)

Stephan H Wissel, 2013-09-21

"Once people have made up their mind to divorce you, it's a tough thing to turn around. It's no longer good enough to be good enough. You have to be way better."

... applies to other products too ;-)

Stephan H Wissel, 2013-09-21

Business customers don't exist any more in the mobile space. You have to go the consumer road, whether you like it or not. But you have to understand the channel and BlackBerry never got that figured out. The demise is marketing and sales not the products from my point of view. In the bb7 time frame the problem was old technology. Today, it's the sales process.

Heiko Voigt, 2013-09-21

Typische Reaktion, wenn ich mein Q10 aus der Tasche ziehe: "Blackberry?! Wie uncool!"

Typische Reaktion, nachdem ich darauf herumgetippt habe: "Wie, das hat ein Touchscreen?"

Die allgemeine Meinung ist gemacht, ohne Betrachtung des Gegenstands.

Haiko Hebig, 2013-09-21

Mit flüchtiger Betrachtung des Gegenstands. Die Marke zählt, nicht der Gegenstand. Sonst würde ja keiner Hilfiger oder nachgemachte Hilfiger kaufen.

Die Menschen haben die Fähigkeit verloren, selbst die Qualität zu beurteilen. In dem Sinne ist dann ein nachgeahmter Gegenstand ein Schnäppchen gegenüber dem "überteuerten" Original.

Volker Weber, 2013-09-21

Your point 2 reminds me of another product. Very hard to turn around. Especially when the vendor has given up.

Adam Brown, 2013-09-22

The other product IS old and IBM hardly does anything to change it.
I have little hope for Blackberry. HP is probably already analyzing how they could integrate Blackberry 10 into their printer systems. What a pity.

Henning Heinz, 2013-09-22

Adam and Henning, there are similarities, but the situation is more difficult for BlackBerry. iPad has forced BlackBerry enterprise customers to deploy alternative paths to their data. iPhone and Android can use this path. Which means that users have a choice. And increasingly they do not choose BlackBerry.

For IBM it's different. IT is still in control and Traveler has saved a lot of Domino installations which would have been killed by iDevices.

Volker Weber, 2013-09-22

I think there is a third point: It is not only this "Blackberry is not cool" thing (companies could cope with that), but companies are disappointed about RIMs/Blackberries performance. Most of them went through a long dry spell waiting for new devices, new software, new services, hoping in the end everything would be as good as their BES5 with new devices. Now they realize that the new devices are nice but not the final word, the software (BES10) still is buggy or not compatible (BMS is not fully functional yet, UDS with Domino is not supported, UDS does not support dedicated BB Routers, etc.) and licensing BES10 is an adventure of its own (trade up, trade up, trade up, temporary licenses). People would be willing to move from BES5 to BES10, but not for the price of functionality.

Eckhard Eilers, 2013-09-26

there is a "less" missing in the last sentence. ;) sorry.

Eckhard Eilers, 2013-09-26

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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