It’s been a long time since the BlackBerry was considered a chart topper and whether or not it will ever get a chance to take that title is a subject of controversy at the moment.
The first BlackBerry phone was launched in 2003, although the BlackBerry name had been used to market paging devices since 1998. The iconic portrait hardware keyboard with superior instant messaging and email services at a fixed price was an attraction for many and has led to over 78 million active users of their networks at this moment.
But all has not been well in the world of BlackBerry as Research in Motion, the company behind them, struggles maintain their place in the market as competitors like Apple and Samsung continue to gain a substantial share in the mobile market.
RIM is poised for a split of its assets to be sold off or the company itself being entirely sold off. Despite this, their share price continues to tumble as investors are scared off and, their sales seem inadequate to say the least.
If they can stay afloat to release their upcoming BlackBerry 10 line of devices, it may be too late; Apple was in pretty much the same situation in the 90’s with Microsoft saving them at the brink of destruction with a $250 Million investment. Look at Apple now, the world’s largest brand.
There have been rumours that RIM may get a significant investment from either Samsung or HTC in exchange for them being allowed to use RIM’s platforms. However with Samsung’s huge success with Android and the fact that their joint effort with Intel to create a new platform, Tizen, is coming soon, that ship has sailed and so has HTC.
HTC also find themselves in a sticky situation, and it’s doubtful that they would invest in RIM, a competitor, so that they themselves can get back into the game.
Despite the daily struggles they face, RIM is very much alive, and so is the BlackBerry platform. New, affordable devices like the Curve 9220 and Curve 3G 9320 is the driving force behind it, considering that the Curve 8520 continues to dominate emerging markets in Asia as well as Africa.
If RIM can continue to strive in the markets they currently hold the top position, they may be able to survive long enough to bring out a worthy competitor to the like of Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. Markets where affordability is the main driving force behind sales is where RIM will find their success as competing offers from the likes of Nokia, Samsung and LG are overlooked.