The four nearest direct competitors for Blackberry Z10 are the iPhone, LG, Samsung, and Nokia (Blackberry, 2013). iPhone is the biggest direct competitor of Blackberry as both Blackberry and Apple are responsible for manufacturing the actual phone and developing the phone’s operating system as well. However, LG, Samsung, and Nokia can also be considered Blackberry’s nearest direct competitors as just like Blackberry, LG, Samsung, and Nokia are also manufacturing their own phones (i.e. without the operating system).
On the other hand, Blackberry’s indirect competitors are the operating systems, such as Google’s Android operating system and Windows Phone 7 (Blackberry, 2013). According to Blackberry (2013), the competition over the operating system has hurt the company’s sales more than the competition over the actual construction of the phone.
According to Marlow (2012), Blackberry’s business is declining. As of the last quarter of 2012, there seemed to be more existing subscribers leaving than new subscribers signing up. In this regard, analysts forecast that Blackberry’s revenue will decrease from $2.8 billion to $2.5 billion in the first quarter of 2013 and that the number of shipment will decrease to between 8.5 million and 7.7 million devices. This goes to show that many of Blackberry’s subscribers are preferring its competitors. Moreover, although Blackberry’s cheaper models still sell well in certain markets, such as the Middle Eastern and Indonesian markets, their higher-end models still sell poorly (Marlow 2012).
However, the release of z10 last month has been shown to have good sales during its first two weeks. This means that it might be able to turn things around for the company (Sacco, 2013). In particular, the revenue for fiscal Q4 2013 was $98 million (Sacco, 2013) and Blackberry has shipped about 6 million devices, 1 million of which are Blackberry 10 units (Sacco, 2013). However, its subscriber base decreased from 79 million to 76 million and its sales decreased by 36 percent from one year ago (Sacco, 2013).
I think that, due to the success that they initially had – being the initial leader in smartphones – Blackberry has become complacent in upgrading and promoting their products, allowing their competitors to surpass them. In this regard, the lesson is that marketing campaigns and customer relationship building should never stop no matter how successful a company becomes. As well, innovation should be a continuous effort. In particular, Blackberry has been slow and has had delays in coming out with upgrades to their existing models and they don’t advertise as heavily as iPhone. On the other hand, not only is iPhone good at creating hype over their products, they also consistently come out with new models that never fail to excite their customers.
In this regard, the strength of Blackberry is that they are a pioneer in the smartphone industry and have a wide following among users in the business or corporate world. They also have cheap services. On the other hand, their weakness is that they don’t heavily advertise their products. Many of the applications that are available on other smartphones are also not available on Blackberry. Moreover, the touch screen interface is not available for their cheaper models. In addition, most users prefer Windows and Android operating systems because Windows is also a computer OS, making users familiar with it, and Android is associated to Google, which is used by everyone.
Blackberry. (2013). Are there Blackberry competitors? Retrieved from
Marlow, I. (2012). Agenda: Flatlining user base spells end of RIM’s growth story. Retrieved
Sacco, A. (2013, March28). BlackBerry earnings, shipment numbers show forward progress.
Retrieved from http://www.cio.com/article/