Mini case study Blackberry

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Contributors

Toon Abcouwer

The downfall of Blackberry

Organization: Blackberry

Author: Ali Moussi

Course: (V)ODC 2013/2014

Keywords: mini case study

Abstract

In 1984 Research In Motion (RIM), later renamed Blackberry was founded. The company designed complex wireless data connection networks which were used by the police forces, military, ambulance services and such. Following rapid growth and innovation, RIM developed a revolutionary pager, a device that can be used to send and receive messages which used their communication technologies. Soon, this ‘personal communicator’ was labelled as the next big thing. The Inter@active was deployed in 1996 as RIM’s first handheld communication device. In the next years, RIM continued a steady line of innovations and improved the handheld communication device greatly. By 1999, RIM launched the Blackberry rebranded devices and email services which allowed users to sync their devices with corporate email systems. Demand exploded, innovation continued. Blackberry became the iconic in enterprise communication while their Blackberry Messenger (BBM) service was introduced to consumers that used a secure protocol that can be used to communicate with friends. In 2007 the company became the most valuable company in Canada worth over 67 Billion, with 10 million subscribers to their services and introduced their newly developed Blackberry Curve devices. Unfortunately, in 2007 the Apple iPhone was introduced. This moment onwards, the success of Blackberry was no longer groundbreaking, followed by a period of decline and unsuccessful products, ending in an uncontrolled strategic focus which a great loss of value and market share as a result as depicted in figure 1 which illustrate the market share of Blackberry in smartphone sales of the provider Verizon (iPhone was first sold at Verizon in Q1’11).
In this case-study, I argue why this happened to blackberry in relation to innovation and managerial decision-making. Section 2 discusses how innovation of competitors caused Blackberry to continuously take losses, while section 3 expands on the influence of management which allows such losses to continuously happen.

Contributors

Toon Abcouwer