RIM used to produce one of the most popular brand of phones, Blackberries. But ever since the iPhone was invented and Android came into the market Blackberry has lost its share of users.
In 2012, Blackberryâ??s phone share made up only 6% of phone users. Web traffic from Blackberries has collapsed to 1% and RIMâ??s entire company may soon fail. ‘Soon fail’ means already failing. In the first quarter of 2012, RIM reported a loss of $518 million. Itâ??s certainly not looking good for them.
Why I Thought Blackberry Had a Chance
I had never even bothered with Blackberries up until a couple of months ago when I started using a Blackberry Tour 9630. Let me tell you IÂ wasn’t aÂ fan of the phone or its OS at all. It took ten minutes to boot at its fastest record and had the worst App Market imaginable. In fact when I first clicked on the App Market it told me I needed to update some RIM service. Once I did that it asked me to reboot, which of course took 10 minutes. After waiting for my phone to turn back on I tried to open the app market again.
Guess what? I was now asked to download the App Market itself which was followed by rebooting again. Then when I finally got to opening the App Market I needed an update, which once again promoted a reboot.Â I’veÂ used iOS and Android all my life and let me tell you I was not impressed one bit by RIM at first… But then I started seeing the value that RIM created.
After a couple of weeks of using my Blackberry I can doubtfully tell you my quality of life improved. You may think Iâ??m joking but Iâ??m not. No longer was I wasting my time downloading apps, or rooting Anroid, orÂ jailbreaking iOS.Â My Blackberryâ??s internet was so bad that IÂ couldn’tÂ do anything but not use it. I stopped becoming distracted through my phone and the only apps that were available on the RIM market made me more productive.
Surprise, surprise. If you stillÂ don’tÂ believe me think about it like this: I went from using phones that were built on the consumer market which focuses on entertainment, to a phone that is built from the ground up for businesses. Naturally my productivity would increase if I started using a business phone. It sure did…
The email on my Blackberry works better than any phoneÂ I’veÂ ever used before. My BlackberryÂ notifiesÂ me within 2 seconds ofÂ receivingÂ an email. Iâ??ve tested it by sending an email from my computer to my email address. The results were staggering.
It took less than 2 seconds for my phone to vibrate; something IÂ wasn’tÂ accustomed to with iOSâ??s/Android. I was used to waiting about 5 minutes for the notification to come up.
Another amazing thing about the Blackberry is its battery capacity. With the Blackberry I could now listen to Pandora on my morning run, use the phone for checking email, make a couple of calls throughout the day, listen to Pandora again while I ran and worked out, and throughout an hourâ??s Jacuzzi sessions and 15 minute walk back home. All of this was done on one charge which was really awesome. With other â??smartâ? phones I always need more than one charge a day to keep my phone alive.
Another great feature of the Blackberry is the keyboard. It feels really good writing emails and it saved me time wasted on other touch keyboards.
So when I thought about Blackberryâ??s future I knew they had a niche to fill. That niche was people that needed real keyboards, fast email notifications, great battery life, and a professional feel/look. I knew in my heart that Blackberry would live for ages even if theyÂ would notÂ thrive as well as before. It turns out I was mistaken.
What the Guy at Sprint Thought
After I got my Blackberry my tech enthusiast friend and I debated the usefulness of owning a RIM product. It got to the point where we concluded that if youÂ couldn’tÂ decide between an iPhone and a Blackberry that you might as well buy both.
When we were at Sprint the day the iPhone 5 came out my friend asked The Guy about buying a Blackberry. The Sprint Guy laughed in our faces as if we were old grandmas trying to buy surfboarding lessons. He told us Blackberry is dead and itâ??s a waste of money to buy a Blackberry phone.
We were appalled and left the story immediately. I was holding a Blackberry in my pocket and it surelyÂ didn’tÂ feel like Blackberry was dead.
I thought Blackberry was alive until I thought about writing this article. I knew it was dead as soon as I tried to think about reasons why Blackberry will make it.
I went to the online Sprint store to try and compare an iPhone vs a Blackberry phone. Guess what I saw? Sprintâ??s Blackberry selection was made up of 4 phones. Even if you visit them now it will look exactly like this.
There are actually two phones that are exactly the same price and model, expect that oneÂ doesn’tÂ have a camera. RIM actually thought to make a phone without a camera because someone would buy one for the same price as a model that doesâ?¦ What are they thinking?
So once you click on the last two phones (Blackberry Bold 9930’s)Â you’llÂ see the real deal. The Blackberry Bold 9930â??s regular price is just about $499.99. If you sign a 2-yr agreementÂ you’llÂ get $250.00 off, and if you buy it onlineÂ you’llÂ get $50 off. That’s $199 with a 2-yr plan.
That makes absolutely no sense for a number of reasons.
- You could buy an iPhone 5 for the same price with a 2-yr agreement.
- You could spend $150 extra to get the iPhone 5 at retail price as opposed to the Blackberry’s retail price
- You could buy a Nexus 7 tablet for $199. (Itâ??s not a phone but think about the parts that go into making both products. Surely if you can sell a tablet for $199 retail price, RIM should be able to sell a darn Blackberry phone for $199 retail. With a 2-yr agreement no Blackberry phone should cost over $100).
- You could buy an iPad mini or iPad 2 at retail price for less than the retail price of the Blackberry Bold.
Do you see how that business model makes no sense? Why am I even holding a Blackberry in my hand right now? Why does the Backberry Curve cost $350 at retail price?
That makes no sense RIM! What are you people doing with your lives!
Blackberryâ??s Last Stand
There are rumors about a glorious new Blackberry. In truth RIMâ??s plans arenâ??t going to amount to much. Blackberry 10 OS is planning to â??give control to the user over the OSâ? and the new phone modelsÂ aren’tÂ that impressive either. Iâ??m not saying I even know what these models are going to look like but I can take a safe bet that theyâ??re not going to save RIM one bit.
They plan on releasing an all touchscreen model and another one that will support a physical QWERTY keyboard. How fantastic? No matter what RIM releases itâ??s not going to change anything. Itâ??s highly unlikely that they will make these new models have any advantages over an iPhone or an Android phone.
When the top dogs such as Google and Apple have brought their tablet prices down to $200-$329, it really makes you think if the hardware in a Blackberry is really worth it. I understand the iPhone costs $650+ at retail price but if you can buy an iPad mini for $329 would buying a Blackberry for less ever be justified? Hopefully I made some sense here. Hopefully I’m not the only consumer on earth that looks at things this way…
Their Last Stand Will Become a Failure
RIM is trying to make a last stand tâ??s impossible to get into the phone market again. There arenâ??t any new features that RIM can bring to the table and thereâ??s not much pricing competition they can offer either. RIM is going to give it their all in 2013 but unless their phones can be bought for $100 or less (with a 2-yr agreement) I see them failing hard. If consumers can buy the old iPhone 4S 16GB for $99.99 with a 2-yr agreement why would they ever buy a Blackberry instead?
Buying an iPhone 4/5 and using it only for email/productivity apps is still a better choice than buying a Blackberry for the same price and being locked into their failing schemes/app markets. Clearly itâ??s come to the point where yourÂ choicesÂ are Windows Phone, iOS, and Android. BlackberryÂ doesn’tÂ have any more room in the market.
Would You Blame Them Either?
I thought that Blackberry would always have a niche to fill, andÂ I’mÂ sure they did too. ButÂ they’veÂ realized that thereâ??s no value they can offer anymore and itâ??s too late to change anything. Itâ??s too late to get into the market that phones have become.
After all if you really need a QWERTY keyboard that bad you can just buy an Android phone or a keyboard attachment for the iPhoneâ?¦
Article written by Octavian Ristea. He currently uses a Blackberry Tour that is that is activated with Sprint and a non-activated iPhone 4.