Where have all the BlackBerrys Gone?

BlackBerry, once a business person’s elite status symbol and something that they could truly not live without, is now considered passe and for most of this target market, obsolete.

While Research in Motion is still selling BlackBerrys in countries like India and Indonesia, it is not doing well. In the US, Blackberry’s share of the smartphone market is hovering around a 5%–down 50% versus just 3 years ago. In fact, RIM recorded a net loss of $753 million in the first half of the year compared with a profit of more than $1 billion a year earlier.

Meanwhile, business professionals are quickly trading in their BlackBerrys for iPhones and Androids which have more apps and bells and whistles than the outdated BlackBerry. To add insult to injury, one of the first steps Marissa Mayer took as Yahoo’s newly appointed chief executive to remake the company’s stodgy image was to trade in employees’ BlackBerrys for iPhones and Androids. Couple that with Goldman Sachs’ decision to give its employees the option to use an iPhone, BlackBerrys once the darling of professionals is being given the BIG heave ho.

Where did all the BlackBerrys go? Research In Motion lost its leadership brand when they did not keep pace with technological advancements in the fast moving mobile market. While they are betting on a much-delayed new phone coming out next year, will it be enough to resurrect their now defunct brand image?

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