Millions of Blackberry customers were left without the use of internet, email and messenger services for three days from 10 October 2011. This left millions of offices around the world struggling to go about their daily duties that rely on these services to communicate with colleagues.
Research in Motion (RIM), the owners of Blackberry were in the cold about why the service had encountered such a massive problem, and said they would launch a full investigation on the matter. Mike Lazaridis, Blackberry’s founder expressed, “We know we’ve let many of you down. You expect more from us. I expect more from us.”
So how will this rupture in service affect Blackberry in the future? RIM’s share price has slowly decreased by 80 per cent since the highest point in June 2008. Blackberry sales figures are also suffering; they are already two million below the expected target for a three month period during this year, which is approximately 10 million lower than its rivals Samsung and Apple. Samsung sold 19 million smartphones between April and June, whilst Apple sold 20 million in the same period. So can Blackberry recover from this and grow their market share or is this the last piece of the Blackberry pie?
Many people rely on Blackberry’s services, not just at the office but also for personal use. Robin Bienfait, RIM’s Chief Information Officer knows this fact too well, “You’ve depended on us for reliable, real-time communications, and right now we’re letting you down. We are taking this very seriously and have people around the world working around the clock to address this situation.”
Many offices depend on Blackberry services for international conference calls as David Yach, Software Vice President at RIM put across, “As you can imagine, with the global reach of Blackberry and people using it to contact others around the world, there’s a lot of messages to Europe from Asia and the Americas.”
The glitch in service couldn’t have come at a worse time for RIM as they have also faced recent criticism over Blackberry’s new Bold 9900 and PlayBook tablet computer. Critics deem Blackberry devices are behind other top brands and think that their new QNX operating system will come too late in 2012, as Carolina Milanesi, Technology Advisors Gartner Research Vice President said, “Consumers and enterprise have moved on from email and messaging and now want richer media experiences, and that still won’t be addressed by QNX. It won’t be the magic cure unless they also improve their applications and user interface.”
Nevertheless, will Blackberry users and businesses remain loyal to the device or will the company’s sales figures further dip. Marek Pawlowski, Editorial Director at PMN, a research company specialising on the mobile industry believes only the most devoted Blackberry users will stay, “Traditionally Blackberry users have been thought of being very loyal to the brand. What we will see after his incident is how hardcore they really are.”