Research in Motion’s Blackberry brand is now struggling to be the leader in the company’s home market of Canada.
Last year, for the first time, Blackberry was not the most popular phone brand in Canada. 2.08 million units were sold, compared to 2.85 million iPhones. Just four years ago, Blackberry was selling out its nearest competitor by a margin of five-to-one.
It’s no surprise that RIM has been floundering in the market worldwide. The company has failed to innovate for years, and now that it has finally realized that its operating system – which is still based on its original platform that’s now decades old – needs to be completely rebuilt.
The problem is that it takes time to build a brand new mobile OS. RIM originally wanted to have a new line of Blackberry phones running the Playbook’s QNX platform early this year, but the company has had to delay that multiple times.
The company had a classic “too big to fail” mindset. Rather than ever be legitimately worried, RIM assumed that it had fans who would be loyal customers no matter what, and that even in the absolute worst case scenario it would at least always have the gigantic corporate accounts, from employers who have thousands of Blackberries for their employees.
Then, RIM seemed genuinely shocked when even the biggest corporations in the world started ending their decades-long Blackberry contracts and doling out iPhones and Android phones to workers.
Anyone with even the slightest business sense can see why RIM is in the situation it is now. The contrast to RIM is Microsoft, which built a brand new OS that has no remnants of the legacy Windows Mobile platform, and now Windows Phone is starting to mature and gain a respectable following. For RIM, it might be too late for that.