Everybody is waiting for it. If you are a RIM supporter – you are probably anxious, if your are RIM – you are probably holding your breath.
In what is starting to turn into one of the most eagerly awaited products in recent memory and the most hyped pre-launch countdowns in recent history, Research In Motion’s BlackBerry 10 OS will either make or break the cellphone pioneer’s future.
So much is riding on the January 30 launch of BB10 that its hard not to feel for RIM. A company that symbolized Smartphones way before Apple and their iPhone brand took the world by storm. They have long been recognized as the makers of BlackBerry. That’s how big the BlackBerry brand has been over the years. But they have never really recovered from the iPhone and later the Android super storm. They have lost more revenue with every passing quarter. And just like Nokia they have been written off by analysts and market pundits alike. The stakeholders are loosing faith (and of course money), the BlackBerry loyalists are loosing interest and switching to different brands.
But as with many great brands before them the BlackBerry brand doesn’t give in to market speculations even if they are statistically correct. And BlackBerry 10 could be that one last magic pill, that could revive RIM’s dying fortunes. But they have to be mindful that it could also serve as the one last nail in the coffin for them.
Even the good folks at Gartner in a report released in April 2011 had predicted that RIM’s market share would decline to 11% by 2015, that’s worldwide of course and might probably need a revision because RIM’s decline has been steeper than what analysts had expected earlier. IDC’s report on Q3 2012 showed that Android held 75% market share compared to 57.5% for the same quarter last year, while Nokia’s Symbian was the biggest loser dropping from 14.6% to 2.3% BlackBerry wasn’t too far behind them in the declining graphs, they fell from holding 9.5% market share in Q3 2011 to 4.3% this year, that’s a huge year-over-year change of 34.7% in a year.
Ever since news of BlackBerry 10 broke RIM shares have seen a surprising and welcome upward climb. But the fact remains that profit is still a long distance call for the Canadian company. If BlackBerry 10 does live up to all the hype, RIM can hope to make a small but certain comeback to a market which was once theirs to rule and which they so naively took for granted, but then all might not be lost yet, they still have many loyalists in Europe and North America and who knows BB10 could just serve as the catalyst for a change they so desperately seek.