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February 1, 2013

Blackberry 10 Critical to Research in Motion

by lrb7an

Last class, we talked about the new phone that Blackberry is releasing on Wednesday, and were understandably skeptical about whether its release would be enough to revive the company.  We were not sure whether Blackberry’s target market should be the US, but the Blackberry 10 is primarily targeted to North American customers because customers in less developed countries will not be able to afford it.  The Blackberry 10 might be able to increase the company’s global market share for smartphones, which is currently below 5%, through marketing its revolutionary RIM software to corporations.  The software can separate a person’s business information from a person’s personal information.  This is valuable because if a person leaves the company, his or her business information can be deleted without affecting personal information, and there are controls on what business information an employee can copy.

One aspect that will drive the success of the Blackberry 10 is the brand loyalty that customers have to the company.  Customers must be so brand loyal to Blackberry that they are willing to upgrade to the new software, which will require time to learn.  Also, some of the roll-out events may have confused brand loyal customers.  At the roll-out events, a touchscreen-only Blackberry 10 was promoted, but many customers are brand loyal because of the physical keyboard.  The Blackberry 10 that will be released on Wednesday has both types of keyboards, but the roll-out events may have pushed away loyal customers.

All in all, it will be interesting how the Blackberry 10 story plays out in a field saturated with players like Apple, Google, and Microsoft.

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