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What Killed BlackBerry?

From selling BB10, opening doors for partnerships, joint ventures to BlackBerry’s short, unnecessary relationship with singer Alicia Keys — BlackBerry did it all. But nothing could save the beleaguered company. So what was that BlackBerry didn’t do?

1. It failed to recognize the seismic shift of the smartphone market from business to consumer

The success of Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android were good enough hints of where the market was going. Failure to keep up, was a consequence of errors in BlackBerry’s strategy and vision. They failed to anticipate that consumers — not business customers would drive the smartphone revolution.

2. BlackBerry dismissed the touchscreen technology at first and waited too long to release its new OS and then failed to recognize the threat of the BYOD movement

BlackBerry was hell-bent on producing phones with full keyboards, while consumers preferred touchscreens that allowed for better viewing and navigation. When BB finally launched touchscreen capability, it was already too late. It was seen as a poor imitation of iPhone. BB was once the favorite of enterprise IT, but with more employees bringing their own devices to work and preferring iPhone, Galaxy and Samsung over any other, has increasingly pushed out BlackBerry from the corporate market as well.

3. Its single strategic mistake, was to stake its entire future on one killer smartphone app: Email

BlackBerry seemed to be blindsided by the emergence of “app economy” — the very thing that drove the adoption of iPhone and Android. The BlackBerry device was only a fancy email enabled mobile phone while other phones were working towards making powerful mobile computers that not only could send emails and make web browsing as consumer-friendly as possible but also evolve beyond mere communication devices to become full-fledged mobile entertainment hubs.

It seems the smartphone company had a lot of opportunities to adapt and survive, but instead took the wrong direction.

 

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