Once the business world was dominated by the smartphones of BlackBerry, because of its great functionality and security. Countless businesses handed out BlackBerrys to its workers and many politicians possesed a BlackBerry. That all changed when Apple and Android enterred the market. It went from a 47% market share in 2009 to a dissapointing 2.1% market share in 2013. In addition, its market value dropped from 55billion US Dollar in 2008 to 4.6billion US Dollar in 2013. They tried to regain their market share by introducing new phones and even introduce a tablet, but BlackBerry was not able to compete with the iPhones and the Android phones. But this might change again. Last month the CEO of BlackBerry announced that BlackBerry will release a new phone WITH Android as its operating system. Will this be the comeback where BlackBerry was waiting for?
A major problem for BlackBerry was that Apple marketed its iPhones directly to consumers instead of the businesses. It had a trendy design, it had user a friendly operating system and apps. After a while people weren’t using their iPhones or Android phones solely for their personal life, they were bringing it to work as well. As a result, employees demanded the iPhone instead of the BlackBerry. Android followed Apple and became very popular under consumers as well. From that moment BlackBerry lost its marketshare in the business world and was not able to compete with Apple and Android in the consumer market.
Another reason, was its own operating system, BlackBerry 10. This operating system was not able to compete with the amount of apps which were made for iOS and Android. For many developers BlackBerry was not a priority as BlackBerry was designed for businesses. Therefore, many apps were not available or became available years after the apps were made for iOS or Android.
With the announcement of the new BlackBerry Priv, BlackBerry tries to compete again in the smartphone market. As we are familiar with BlackBerry, it will differentiate its phone with extra security features (BlackBerry Priv is derived from Privacy). BlackBerry has added their own security apps to their device, such as BlackBerry Safeguard. Furthermore, the BlackBerry Priv has a full-QWERTY keyboard in order to make e-mailing and texting easier. In addition, it will add its own BBM apps, such as Calendar, Tasks and Notes. As mentioned before, the BlackBerry Priv will run on the operating system of Android. This tackles the problem that there weren’t enough apps for the BlackBerry.
It looks like BlackBerry tries to regain its marketshare in the business world via the consumer market. As Apple and Android had many issues concerning privacy and security, BlackBerry anticipates on this to release a phone with its own security features. In addition, they want to reintroduce its features which were very popular for the business world, such as its security features, QWERTY keyboard and its own BBM apps. With its Android operating system, they want to win the customers as it does not have the problem of the lack of apps. Will this be enough to compete with Apple and Android? Will this be the comeback of BlackBerry? Will Obama switch back to Blackberry?
I think everybody knows tech startups like Uber and Airbnb, which disrupt the, in this case, “old-fashioned” taxi and hotel market. Many see these companies as heroes who change the rules of the market. However, the government and the traditional companies are not that happy with these companies as they create unfair competition. This has led to many lawsuits in order to forbid these kind of companies. Is it the task of the government to intervene to restore the traditional market or do they need to embrace these companies as they innovate the industry?
I personally think that the government has to embrace these companies as they just found a more profitable way to deliver the services/ products. Survival of the fittest as Darwin would say. These companies show that the current regulations are old-fashioned and that it is time to review the regulations in order to improve the technology. During our Bachelor Business Administration we all read cases where companies failed, because they did not adapt to their changing environment. If companies have to adapt, I am convinced that the government has to do the same.
Sam Altman, the president of Y Combinator, stated that “The greatest threat to this country is incompetence of governance”. He says that the government has to adapt faster to the rapidly growing technology, otherwise there will be a mismatch.
In order to keep up with technology, policy makers have to collaborate more with these disrupters to innovate the rules. For example, currently many different companies are investing in self-driving cars, but for these self-driving cars you will need to have modified road rules.
It is important for the government to adapt and react faster to technology. As the Conversation states “New technology will force new rules, whether we like it or not”.