They should still be major players on the mobile phone market. Blackberry was indispensable for the young, upcoming business folk and families of the last decade.
The Windows smartphone had the backing of perhaps the biggest tech corporation ever known to mankind.
So, what went wrong? The demise of Blackberry and the failure of the Windows smartphone all point to a problem with keeping up with the Joneses.
Windows: The Unloved Smartphone
Most of us have a smartphone. They’re still increasing in popularity with sales up another 4% this year. That equates to over three quarters of us now owning at least one of these devices. So why are sales of the Windows 10 smartphone still on a downward curve?
With less than 1% of the market share, you might think that the company would be doing all that it can to halt the decline in sales. The opposite, in fact seems to be true. The majority of sales that did happen over the last few years came through Microsoft itself but they’re reticent about making any more Lumia devices.
Third party developers are not that keen on taking up the mantel of the Windows 10 operating platform either, particularly when sales have been so poor and the competition from android and iOS platforms is way out ahead. Part of the problem, of course, is undoubtedly the paucity of apps available with the platform – why buy a smartphone that doesn’t support your favourites and often has operating issues when they do?
With little movement or innovation going on with Microsoft’s mobile Windows 10 strategy, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of incentive for app developers to come on board or for manufacturers to include Windows on their phones. Until this changes, we will certainly see a continued decline in sales. The Windows phone may well find itself consigned to history quicker than many think.
The Blackberry: A Case of RIP?
The Blackberry is dead with little or no share of the market nowadays. That’s the news in a world where android and Apple phones seem to dominate. Think back to the 2009 and Blackberry had about a fifth of the market share even with the rise of the new iPhone which was just under two years old. By the end of 2016, the number of sales for the Blackberry could be measured in the low hundreds of thousands.
By this time, Blackberry had already announced that it wasn’t going to manufacture any more of its own phones. It had failed to keep up with the competition and innovate when most needed. The main focus is now entirely on producing software. Even in this market, however, the company has an uphill battle to differentiate itself from other providers and play catch-up.
Blackberry is a prime example of what happens when you fail to keep pace with the rest of the market – they didn’t seriously take on the rise of the touch screen smartphone and they died a quick and, potentially, ignominious death because their strategy failed.
The mobile phone market has always been competitive and that will continue. The likes of Apple and Samsung need to put a lot of effort into developing their next line of smartphone nowadays and its becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate brands. Even Apple has problems coming up with the new tech with the wow factor that gets people rushing into stores or shopping online.
For products like the Windows 10 phone and the Blackberry, there’s a salutary lesson – once you start to fall behind, it’s awfully difficult to catch up and regain your share of the market.