Blackberry is dying. Research In Motion (RIM), known for manufacturing the mobile devices characterized by distinctive and inflexible QWERTY keypads, is reportedly contemplating a company reorganization that could see 2,000 to 6,000 jobs eliminated, albeit it also predicts savings of $1 billion a year. This is pretty much indicative of a company with one foot in the grave.
Like the QWERTY keypad, RIM has gone from a symbol of business, professionalism and power to a sign of inflexibility and lack of imagination. The company has pretty much gone from the top of the food chain to something akin to krill.
So what caused Blackberry’s fall?
First off, it’s a big old fossil. It still markets email, for crying out loud. Although email does still count as a huge part of every person’s online experience, most people today only sign up for it as a gateway service, since it’s required to sign up for social networking and other services.
Another indication of its nature as big old dinosaur is the fact that the Blackberry devices today still look pretty much like their counterparts from years ago. Their failure to make a proper and definitive move from the QWERTY-dominated design definitely cost them customers. More often than not, QWERTY keypads require both hands to type and a spare hand is just not something the multi-tasking professional wants to let go of in this day and age.
Blackberry is also based on the premise that serious business people want serious business phones. What the company failed to anticipate is that the emotionless and efficient robot army they predicted would rule the corporate world hasn’t been designed yet. Human beings still comprise their market and human beings are still prone to desire individuality and fun.
Even though Blackberry may have managed to make deals with companies to issue serious business mobile devices to their employees, most people still prefer to use devices that let them hang loose and play from time to time.
QWERTY killed Blackberry; that and a lack of imagination.