Last September I wrote a post titled “Can Blackberry Go From Enterprise to Consumer?” I argued both cases if they should try or not and if they did, could they succeed. At the time, my sense was that smartphones are so ubiquitous that the division between enterprise and consumer is fading so quickly that BlackBerry had to try transitioning and they did. But now it is quite obvious they failed and the RIM ship is heading for an iceberg as executives jump off.
Sales and sentiment has gotten so bad, it has come to the point where RIM is considering selling the company. They have also been taken to court after being accused of infringing six patents on chips. Total worldwide sales for last quarter have dropped 25% and 57% in the U.S. alone since last year.
BlackBerry tried to battle it out with iPhone and Android but clearly does not consumer DNA to compete. I remember talking to a representative from BlackBerry in Barcelona at an after party at the Mobile World Congress and he kept trying to convince me that BlackBerry was going to succeed by giving consumers all the apps they could ever want. But I just felt little hope and thought he was a little delusional.
Now after being smacked in the head by market reality, RIM is aiming to refocus on their roots in the corporate market and persuade loyal users (if any) that they can still deliver value.
With the aim of sending a clear message for RIM management to focus on the business consumer and do things right again, independent American film director, Pawel Pawelczak of Hand Hammered Films and admittedly heavy BlackBerry user has produced a commercial titled “It’s Not a Toy”. The independent commercial urges BlackBerry to realize that it is not a toy for fun but a serious tool for business people.
Pawelczak said “RIM’s announcement last Friday (March 30) that they’re shifting focus to corporate customers is a critical step in the right direction. They need to accept that BlackBerry users are a niche market. Instead of trying to have it both ways (i.e. “we’re like all the other smartphones, only better”), RIM should aggressively embrace what makes BlackBerry different, specifically: security, reliability, and integration with desktop office applications.”
Check out the video below but be aware you will need a vpn to watch it.