Once super popular for consumers and businesspeople, the BlackBerry is losing out to smartphones such as Apple's iPhone and Google Android handsets.
Research in Motion and its
ubiquitous BlackBerry devices
have long been the reigning kings of enterprise
mobility, though tiny cracks are beginning to show in the company's coveted
management software providers such as Good Technology and MobileIron are
scrambling to seize the advantage against the Canadian company, which commands
the bulk of smartphone installations in the business workplace.
First, it's good to take a
step back to view the current smartphone environment, where RIM is seeing a
softening demand. The company said June 16 it earned $4.9 billion in revenue
for the first quarter of fiscal 2012, down 12 percent from the previous
Net income also declined,
and RIM curbed earnings per share for fiscal 2012 to be between $5.25 and $6, a
marked decrease from its prior call for $7.50 EPS. In addition, company
executive have announced about 2,000 layoffs
"The shortfall in the
United States is primarily related to the age of the BlackBerry
portfolio," RIM Co-CEO Jim Balsillie said during the company's earnings
Translation: The BlackBerry,
once super popular for consumers and business workers for messaging, is losing
out to smartphones such as Apple's iPhone and Google Android handsets.
These newer smartphones
have big, bold touchscreens, speedy processors and hundreds of thousands of
applications from which to choose. Worse still, RIM's next-generation
Blackberry OS 7
and the Blackberry Bold 9900/9930 devices received a tepid
reception from reviewers earlier this year.
These devices are expected
to arrive this September, but few anticipate that these BlackBerry smartphones
will help boost RIM's sales or cut into iPhone and Android's growing market
market share is starting to suffer. For the quarter that ended in June, RIM's
U.S. smartphone market share declined to 20 percent,
or almost half as much as
Android handset share and behind the 28 percent iPhone commanded, according to
market researcher Nielsen.
RIM executives declined to
comment for this story.