A former Blackberry user and cheerleader myself, I have watched the decline of Research in Motion’s (RIM) market share, stock price, and consumer perception with disbelief and disappointment.
In 2005, CNN published the article How BlackBerry conquered the world.
There wasn’t a law firm, big or small that you walked into that didn’t breathe without their BlackBerries.
If you were a business person and didn’t carry a BlackBerry you were the odd man out.
The widespread use and adoption of the device quickly earned it the nickname CrackBerry.
The BlackBerry became the first device to truly define what being connected meant in the corporate setting. Setting the expectation that we are always available, email is in our hand… and on our nightstand, then acts as our alarm clock, and even sits next to us at dinner.
So how could such a dominating power in the early smartphone market end up where they are today?
RIM’s board meets this week with looming pressure from shareholders to identify options and deliver.
Following the 74% drop in RIM’s stock price, and the possible release of an Amazon Smartphone this year, they have their work cut out for them.
The BlackBerry Playbook, released in early 2012 left much to be desired, but fell into the price point they needed to compete with the Kindle Fire & new Google Nexus 7 tablet.
The Playbook while not the most fantastic product released by RIM, displayed the company’s desire to stay in the game.
With job cuts affecting one-third of its employees, Google, Samsung, and Apple charging forward at an alarming pace, and rumors of a possible sale… staying motivated will be no small task for this team.
The BlackBerry Pearl was the first smartphone to steal my heart… let’s hope they can find a way to make that connection with their users again.
What are your thoughts on the current state of Research in Motion? Do you think new leadership will be able to hold onto enough market share to survive?