Why BlackBerry Needs Real Innovation, and How Boston Can Help
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associate their frustrating experiences with all brands. That is not what happened. In 2009, iPhone gained the top spot on Vitrue’s Top Social Brands list and Apple moved up 4 notches to #20 on Interbrand’s Best Global Brands list.
The Web is our lifeline—Can you imagine life without Google? Americans have become dependent on the Internet, with 253 million of us (74 percent) using it, 48 percent more than one hour per day. As a nation constantly on the go, it’s only natural mobile Web browsing eventually would take hold. What we lacked until the late 2000s was a mobile experience resembling that on the PC. Together with prevalent 3G access, iPhone’s clean, user friendly interface is largely credited with accelerating adoption of mobile Web browsing. Early last year, the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project reported 56 percent of American adults had accessed the Internet wirelessly, and this number has surely increased since. Today, despite a global recession, smartphone shipments are projected to grow by 18 percent in 2010, totaling 235 million units worldwide. Virtually all of these phones have GPS, pegging your whereabouts and enabling a whole new class of valuable content and services, appropriately labeled location-based services (LBS). With approximately 50 percent of US smartphone traffic, iPhone is uniquely poised to capture the lion’s share of the benefit. Android is the only other operating system gaining share over the preceding 6 month period. BlackBerry is among the losers, dropping 11 percent.
Let the market be our guide—You bankers still not buying it? Well, let me speak in a language you understand. While BlackBerry’s stock (NASDAQ: RIMM) is up 80 percent since the Nasdaq market low in early March 2009, Apple’s stock (NASDAQ: AAPL) is up 130 percent during the same period. Granted, Apple also makes and sells Macs, not just smartphones. But as the mobile device market is growing faster than the PC market, you might expect that would have had a dilutionary effect, curbing otherwise greater growth in Apple’s share price.
Synergies for Apple loyalists—Like all Apple software, the iPhone platform is proprietary, leaving the door open for Google to enter the market and gain share with open source Android. That said, there are many benefits, ranging from software compatibility to a seamless user experience, for Mac users choosing the iPhone.
The Perfect Storm
By now, hopefully I have most of you on board, but what does it all mean? How bad is it for RIM? Well, on paper today the picture doesn’t look bad. BlackBerry is in the lead at 42 percent of the US smartphone market with Apple climbing to 25 percent. But the future holds a very different picture. In Q409, when BlackBerry had 13 smartphone models for sale, iPhone and Android were the only two operating systems that gained market share. IDC predicts that by 2013 Android will displace RIM as the number two operating system globally, shipping an estimated 68 million units. With such scale, Android will … Next Page »
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