A large number of business people around the world became attached to the blackberry that at its peak was estimated to be worth over $80bn. But along with Nokia the blistering pace of tech development has overtaken the blackberry brand and this morning they sold out to a Canadian business consortium in a bid for survival.
Blackberry attempted to modernise through the launch of ever more sophisticated smartphones such as the Z10 in an attempt to catch up with rivals Apple and Samsung but to no avail. Apple has just entered the China market with its new mid price 5C and sold 9m phones in the first week!
There is a lesson here for every proposition, build on what you are good at and be wary of imitating for the sake of it. In so doing you concede the competition have better ideas than you do.
Blackberry is good at basic e-mail, contact and calendar work any time, any place, anywhere. The compression software they were once famous for enabled business people who travel to keep functioning without Wi Fi and without huge data roaming costs. This is a differentiator and value add. They should develop it further and contrast their go anywhere access at affordable prices with the more complex, crowded and expensive smartphone market which can’t deliver the same accessibility without whopping great data bills.
The ‘Crackberry’ company may have been sold for a lowly $4.7bn to new buyers Fairfax Financial but it may just be its best chance of survival.
Millions of business people around the world this morning will be rooting for that small functional qwerty handset in the suit pocket or handbag.