BlackBerry is not a 'broken brand', despite analysts

BlackBerry is not a 'broken brand', despite analysts

Summary: Analysts say the BlackBerry brand is suffering. Research in Motion does have issues to work through, but on the ground, the BlackBerry is still one of a kind and as strong as ever.

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Analysts have been reacting negatively towards BlackBerry maker Research in Motion since the company released lower than expected financial forecasts.

One analyst even called the BlackBerry a "broken brand", saying the smartphone manufacturer simply isn't competitive anymore. This was only days after the tablet, the BlackBerry PlayBook, was formally announced to be entering stores later next month.

Analysts analyse; they do not necessarily speak the truth. I take the approach, as should all of younger consumers and millennials who vaguely, if at all, know what the role of an analyst is, to take their considerations with a pinch of salt.

Editor in chief Larry Dignan acknowledges that Research in Motion has 'issues' that it needs to work through, and his own analysis points out the financial implications of Research in Motion's tablet venture.

But from a consumerist point of view, I see no reason why the BlackBerry cannot maintain its strength in the smartphone marketspace.

If the PlayBook succeeds, it will strengthen the BlackBerry brand. If it doesn't, and sales do not pick up, arguably I believe the smartphone sector of Research in Motion's business will go mostly unhindered.

Bad press relating to sales and 'marketability' will not deter an entire generation from using the smartphones they fell in love with from the not too distant past.

One consideration to take under one's belt is poor forecasts could limit Research in Motion's internal growth and investment causing the BlackBerry brand to suffer internally, rather than out there in the big wide world of the consumer market.

Granted, from someone who looks at numbers and becomes paralysed with fear, one can only take one particular consumerist approach to defending the brand on the ground.

Numbers, stock, shares and projections aside, the majority of younger consumers simply do not care for the earnings and projected forecasts of their device manufacturers. It barely even enters the mind of most.

The BlackBerry, on the ground and in the field, is still a strong brand. That is, until something bigger and better comes along. Until that bigger and better thing does comes along, financial forecasts will not deter younger, and more spendthrifty studentsfrom spending their parents' cash on a device which propels their own status in line with their social counterparts.

Think of a subculture of phone users as an ecosystem. One will buy, and another will follow. The trend of buying and using a particular brand of phone or device will precipitate across the ecosystem of users - similar to an infectious virus spreading across campus but at a slower adoption rate. Over time, it will engulf the vast majority of those weak enough to ditch in their existing mobile contracts, and upgrade to a device which sets them in line with others around them.

The very fact of the matter is that for younger consumers, the choice between an iPhone, Android device or a BlackBerry still rings true.

Suffice to say, if the iPhone slashed the screen by a third in size vertically and substituted that third with a QWERTY-in-built keyboard, which could well single-handedly kill the BlackBerry in its tracks.

But Apple probably won't.

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Topics: Hardware, Mobile OS, Mobility, BlackBerry

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14 comments
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  • RE: BlackBerry is not a 'broken brand', despite analysts

    Ha ha ha... The moment I hear BlackBerry, I get a picture of a crap hardware combined with an OS of 1900 era... RIM why dont you RIP already!
    browser.
    • RE: BlackBerry is not a 'broken brand', despite analysts

      @browser. .. aahh poor boy/girl... you are obviously speaking from a position of ignorance.
      deaf_e_kate
    • RE: BlackBerry is not a 'broken brand', despite analysts

      @browser.
      Have to agree, I don't miss buttons on my smarphones..
      Hasam1991
      • RE: BlackBerry is not a 'broken brand', despite analysts

        @Hasam1991 I did. Then I got an Android device and am happy again. Texting / emailing from a touchscreen is ridiculously inconvenient.
        NO_CARRIER
    • RE: BlackBerry is not a 'broken brand', despite analysts

      @browser.

      Agreed! Die, RIM, Die.... Make the rest of the world a better place without your junk in our landfills.
      jparr
  • RE: BlackBerry is not a 'broken brand', despite analysts

    Blackberry has done nothing much to force itself into the Indian market. They already are a well recognized brand but their phones are way too expensive for the common consumer. Blackberry needn't dumb down its phones, but most services that BlackBerry has can be removed and the OS is already a very good one. Bring down the price to about $120(6000 rupees) and with a styling based on the youth consumer, BlackBerry will watch its sales rocket. The cheapest phone available from them is the Pearl 8520 which costs a whopping $200(9000 rupees). Their reliability will show as well as the brilliant keypads. There is nothing stopping them to innovate for a particular market. When there is a strong base, and the middle class continues to grow, the Blackberry users will continue to upgrade to smarter phones within the same brand. This is the main reason why Nokia has been doing so well for so long. They have complete monopoly of the market, selling millions of feature phones as well as dumb phones. The smart phone market is still not mature enough.
    idiot101
  • RE: BlackBerry is not a 'broken brand', despite analysts

    Part of the analysts' arguments are that RIM waited too long to release the tablet and have let themselves be one-upped by the early release of the iPad 2. The ironic thing is that most consumers will likely be able to get a BlackBerry Playbook in their hands before they will get an iPad 2 in their hands. The wait time for iPad 2 availability on the Apple Store's website is approximately 3 weeks at the moment, and I wouldn't be surprised if that increased to 4-6 weeks soon. It seems to me that Apple rushed their product to market. I'm not saying that wasn't a wise thing for Apple to do, I'm just saying that RIM is playing it straight and releasing their product when it is ready to be released.

    Although I will initially be buying an iPad 2, I hope RIM is highly successful with the Playbook. It looks like a fantastic product and I may buy one down the road to do all the things that the iPad 2 cannot.
    LootinLenny
    • RE: BlackBerry is not a 'broken brand', despite analysts

      @LootinLenny: I call "bull5#!t."<br><br>Apple had a half dozen bugs in their iPad OS; had to release a 4.3.1 upgrade, and some new apps like iMovie have some quirks to iron out.<br><br>In contrast, RIM's developer page still says nothing about Android, java or native C. The announcement will come out 30 days after the hardware goes on sale. Nobody has seen a golden master of the OS and it hasn't been reviewed by anybody independent of RIM.<br><br>Apple has a huge panoply of high-quality apps for the iPad2. Some, like the Chinese dictionary program I use on my iPhone, has real-time OCR (!), superb Chinese handwriting recognition (!), spoken pronunciation (!), multiple dictionaries, and much more-- and the iPad version is a step up -- a thing to behold. Many other apps on the iPad are head-and-shoulders above any competing app on any platform, including much higher-powered desktops.<br><br>Playbook will have the basic browser, email, music and movie player, plus a bunch of apps ported from Flash on the web; you'll be able to count the number of 3rd-party native, better-on-Playbook-than-anywhere-else apps on the thumbs of your left foot.<br><br>So provide some backing for this silly claim that Apple rushed the iPad2 while RIM is going to roll out this most awesomely complete, elegant and smooth alternative. Looks like an utter wreck from a drunk driver.
      WaltFrench@...
      • RE: BlackBerry is not a 'broken brand', despite analysts

        @WaltFrench@... "In contrast, RIM's developer page still says nothing about Android, java or native C." what does the Apple dev page say about Android?
        yes the iToys have lots of helpful apps and 2000 fart apps and 200 gun apps and so forth.
        jmeinhart
  • What?

    Somebody help me out here. The gist of this article seems to be that sales of Blackberrys could go into the crapper and RIM could go bankrupt, but that would not stop people who are ignorant about the world around them from blowing their parents' cash to look like the Cool Kids.

    If there is some other message here I'd like to know what it was, because the one I did get is pretty depressing.
    Robert Hahn
    • RE: BlackBerry is not a 'broken brand', despite analysts

      @Robert Hahn: here ya go: "But from a consumerist point of view, I see no reason why the BlackBerry cannot maintain its strength in the smartphone marketspace."<br><br>RIM's business plan is basically to hang on to the low-cost, highly-tuned, Outlook-only communications business while using the Playbook (which is less price-sensitive and has a bigger battery to support the much more powerful CPU that a true App OS demands) to show that they're as modern as anybody.<br><br>Heck, given that they totally denied the iPhone era for something like 2 years (Kuebler-Ross Stage 1), I'd say they moved through Anger pretty quickly -- many boosters are still stuck in one of those two -- and have come up with a better Bargaining plan than I could have.<br><br>Right now, the execution of their grand bargain -- "Hey, ignore the fact that our handsets are 5 years out-dated! Look at the hardware and POSIX-certified OS on this whizzy tablet!" looks pretty messy, maybe awful, because rushing huge software projects is inherently ugly -- even IBM admits they bet the farm on OS/360 and "The Mythical Man-Month" almost killed (!) 'em.<br><br>In IBM's case, they ALREADY had a dominant position and mini-computers were years in the future; they got thru their crisis and prospered as never before. RIM, even sitting on lots of cash, does not have that cushion and I think they will be lucky to be perceived as competitive in two years' time.<br><br>So the original "I see no reason" seems like empty faith, without an iota of analysis of what made RIM great and how it is faring in this huge Disruptive Technology tsunami. But RIM is flailing pretty hard and may yet find a niche it can hang onto long enough to make a new assault on the business.
      WaltFrench@...
  • RE: BlackBerry is not a 'broken brand', despite analysts

    The BB Bold is a great business phone, perfect size for me. Love the physical keypad, the security, and the sync feature. It is not a media phone and doesn't claim to be.
    ITOdeed
    • RE: BlackBerry is not a 'broken brand', despite analysts

      @ITOdeed I agree, their mixing up consumer toys, for business built, encryption, built for corp infrastructure, with the right security. It's OS is being updates for touch screen and browsing. But, it's a business PDA.
      shcrepea
  • The &quot;cool kids&quot;?

    I returned to university in the last couple of years, and let me tell you -- the "cool kids" are no longer carrying Blackberries. (And this was with a year abroad, in the EU.) If RIM thinks that that is a demographic it can count on, they are mistaken: I didn't talk to a single one of those students who wasn't switching to Android or iPhone.

    I don't wish ill of RIM, but they are facing major challenges.
    chidino