How BlackBerry lost the empire

by Volker Weber

BlackBerry never had a successful smartphone. Their commanding market share was built on rather simple messaging devices and an architecture that allowed customers to tie into their internal, walled-off mail infrastructures.

When iPhone launched in 2007 the writing was on the wall. This was not a highly efficient device with a long battery life and super low demand on network bandwidth. This was a real computer with a web browser, always connected. It brought down the AT&T network and other carriers around the world. They had to invest into their networks and iPhone paved the way for real smartphones.

When BlackBerry finally caught up with BlackBerry 10, it was too late. If you develop apps, you don't want yet another platform. You are busy doing Android and iOS. No software, no customers.

And in the enterprise space BlackBerry made a major mistake. BES5 would handle all old BlackBerrys, but BlackBerry 10 demanded a new BES10 server. And BES5 was not upgradable to BES10. You had to make an enterprise sale to deploy a new architecture. And an enterprise sale takes years.

BES12 rectified this situation, somewhat. But again, it did not help the BB10 platform since customers had long started deploying iPads. When you safely handle iPads, you can also handle iPhones. There was no need for BB10.

Then last year, BlackBerry changed course again with their Android initiative. Making a super expensive PRIV was probably not a smart idea. Sales just did not add up. And when DTEK50 shipped, I told you this does not feel like BlackBerry at all. It's a secure Android device with a berry on the back.

We can take a lesson from this. BlackBerry could not transition from the super successful initial BlackBerry platform to BB10 and then Android. Palm could not successfully launch the webOS platform. Nokia could not take their Symbian success and make it on Windows Phone. And I will give you another one: GoPro will not be able to take their action camera success and battle DJI in the drone space.

Will BlackBerry succeed in the software space? I don't know. Companies who retire their BlackBerrys are likely to also retire the vendor. Buying Good was a smart move. Because that is where many customers are swimming. And they will be surprised to find BlackBerry at this beach.

Comments

I wonder what would have happened if Microsoft had bought Blackberry and not Nokia.

Ian Bradbury, 2016-09-28

Sorry about being slightly off-topic, but because you mentioned GoPro and DJI as another (interesting) example: Who has made the most successful YouTube videos about Karma and Mavic? As BB start to had some hard times delivering press examples of their new devices the signals were set.

Peter Meuser, 2016-09-29

Disagree.

Volker Weber, 2016-09-29

Recent comments

Hans Giesers on Microsoft Office 365 verlängern at 22:32
Benjamin Bock on Logitech zum halben Preis at 17:15
Axel Koerv on Tages-Angebot: Arlo minus 30 Prozent at 15:16
Michael Witzorky on Microsoft Office 365 verlängern at 09:26
Volker Weber on Microsoft Office 365 verlängern at 09:12
Michael Witzorky on Microsoft Office 365 verlängern at 09:10
Thomas Hernadi on Rettet Eure Flickr-Bilder at 21:52
Volker Weber on Tages-Angebot: Arlo minus 30 Prozent at 19:44
Markus Philippi on Neuer Kindle Paperwhite :: Jetzt kaufen at 19:25
Tobias Hauser on Tages-Angebot: Arlo minus 30 Prozent at 18:56
Nikolaus Schickl on Neuer Kindle Paperwhite :: Jetzt kaufen at 18:51
Frank Stoermer on Erzähl mir nicht, das geht nicht at 18:21
Thomas Schmutz on Erzähl mir nicht, das geht nicht at 17:15
Martin Imbeck on Erzähl mir nicht, das geht nicht at 16:29
Bastian Anthon on Tages-Angebot: Arlo minus 30 Prozent at 15:52
Volker Weber on Erzähl mir nicht, das geht nicht at 14:19
Martin Engel on Neuer Kindle Paperwhite :: Jetzt kaufen at 13:38
Harald Gärttner on Erzähl mir nicht, das geht nicht at 13:27
Ragnar Schierholz on Erzähl mir nicht, das geht nicht at 13:09
Martin Baron on Erzähl mir nicht, das geht nicht at 12:54
Manfred Wiktorin on Erzähl mir nicht, das geht nicht at 12:41
Clemens Müller on Erzähl mir nicht, das geht nicht at 12:37
Volker Weber on Neuer Kindle Paperwhite :: Jetzt kaufen at 12:25
Axel Koerv on Erzähl mir nicht, das geht nicht at 12:10
Andreas Weinreich on Neuer Kindle Paperwhite :: Jetzt kaufen at 12:06

Ceci n'est pas un blog

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

vowe

Contact
Publications
Stuff that works
Amazon Wish List
Frequently Asked Questions

rss feed  twitter  amazon

Local time is 07:04

visitors.gif

buy me coffee