Latest statistics point that Blackberry continues to lose positions. RIM’s product holds only 6.4% of the entire global smartphone market. This means that Blackberry fell with 29% only in one year. Its rivals Apple and Google, on the other hand, have increased their combined share of the market with more than 200%.
A few years ago, Blackberry was the most popular smartphone among people whose work bound them to email communication. Today, RIM’s device doesn’t stand a chance against iOS and Android phones. However, we cannot ignore the impact which Blackberry made in terms of connecting business and technology especially in the Middle East.
The very first Blackberry device, the 850, was launched in 1999 and it was basically a pager. However, its unique features distinguished it from the other pagers on the market. Blackberry 850 stood out with its QWERTY keyboard, email and message support. The device was like a small PDA organizer because of its ability to provide various connections to its users.
In 2006 RIM made a big break with its 8000 series which were more popular as the Blackberry Pearl. It was developed to meet the needs of a larger audience. The Pearl had a TrueType feature and a 2MP camera. The TrueType was one of the first type technologies. Blackberry’s keyboard had three rows of 5 keys. Each button stood for two letters and the keypad reminded of the computer QWERTY keyboards. The first version of the device had external memory options and slots for MicroSD cards. Later, RIM introduced Blackberry Messenger (BBM). With BBM Blackberry users could send text messages to other Blackberry fans. Today, Apple uses this same framework for some of its applications. Here were people who even called RIM’s phone “Crackberry” because of its popularity and hooking features.
Blackberry’s success in the middle of the 2000s may have dazzled RIM. In 2007, the company didn’t see it coming when Apple launched its iPhone. The first iPhone had similar functions to Blackberry. However, many people who used phones for business thought that Apple’s smartphone was less secure. Maybe that is why RIM didn’t work hard to improve their device. However, at one point iPhone slowly started to take away some of Blackberry’s shares on the market. Apple’s product was easier to use and to access. In addition, it generally it worked better. Blackberry still offered plenty of functions, but iPhone offered both functions and pleasure.
Then RIM slowly started to lose its ground. Blackberry marked its peak in 2007-2008, when it dominated 21% of the global smartphone market. However, with the release of iPhone and later the Google Android, RIM’s shares fell dramatically. Currently, iOS smartphones hold 28% of the entire smartphone market.
Despite that fact that RIM is far from its heyday, the company may revive soon. There are rumours that RIM plans to launch Blackberry 10. But will that save the company from sinking? The once popular Blackberry is now a shadow from the past.