Discussion – BlackBerry’s Rise and Fall

BlackBerry’s Rise and Fall A PIONEER IN smartphones, BlackBerry (formerly known as Research in Motion, or RIM) was the undis-puted industry leader in the early 2000s. Corporate IT managers preferred BlackBerry. Its devices allowed us-ers to receive e-mail and other data in real time glob-ally, with enhanced security features. For executives, a BlackBerry was not just a tool to increase productiv-ity—and to free them from their laptops—but also an important status symbol. As a consequence, by 2008 BlackBerry’s market cap had peaked at $75 billion. Yet within a short four years, by 2012, this lofty valuation had fallen to just $7 billion; and, by 2019, it stood at a mere $4 billion. Since its peak, BlackBerry’s market cap had fallen by almost 95 percent. What happened? Jim Balsillie, a Canadian and BlackBerry’s longtime encrypted for security than they were about the user ex-perience, which was fun and diverse. The iPhone al-lowed users to text, surf the web, take pictures, play games, and write and send e-mails. Although Black-Berry devices were great in productivity applications, such as receiving and responding to e-mail via typing on its iconic physical keyboard, they provided a poor mo-bile web browsing experience. The second external development that helped erode BlackBerry’s dominance was sociocultural. Initially, mobile devices were issued top-down by corporate IT departments. The only available device for executives was a company-issued BlackBerry. This made it easy for IT departments to ensure network security. Con-sumers, however, began to bring their personal iPhones (and other mobile devices with an Apple-like user expe-rience) to work and used them for corporate communi-cation and productivity applications. This bottom-up groundswell known as BYOT (“bring your own tech-nology”) forced corporate IT departments to open The two PESTEL factors—technological and socio-cultural—set BlackBerry back in the smartphone mar-ket. Unlike Gretzky, it failed to skate in the direction that the puck was headed and remained instead in its current position, that is, focused on its existing cus-tomer base of corporate IT departments and govern-ment. Although it attempted to promote some product modifications later, they were too little, too late. By then Apple was the innovation driver in the smart-phone industry, bringing out more advanced iPhone models and enhancing the usefulness of its business and productivity apps. Ten years after the iPhone was introduced, Apple has sold more than 1 billion iPhones globally, directly driving more than two-thirds of its annual revenues, which stood at a whopping $265 billion in 2018. Mean-while, BlackBerry sold its iconic line of smartphones, including its BlackBerry brand name, to TCL Commu-nication, a Chinese electronics company. The original BlackBerry company pivoted away from consumer electronics to enterprise software and the internet of things. Let’s think about the rapid progress in mobile com

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