Why Everyone's Full of Shit and Should Just Shut Up Already About the Blackberry Failing
I find it ridiculous and incredibly annoying that there is a non-stop stream of articles being published by many top news sources (if you can believe that any truly exist anymore) about the death of Blackberry. I believe they've been releasing these for years now, or at least since I worked at RIM back in 2005. I remember thinking it was so weird to read the articles while working on the inside as they didn't seem to correlate with anything that was going on or actually happening within the company, it was like the authors were just making stuff up, or had a strong hate on for RIM, especially the Canadian press, who'd you'd think would support the country's giant!
What's the newest hubbub about? The United Arab Emirates doesn't think they are secure enough and are a security threat after failing to install shitty spy code that failed miserably? Boohoo, a 3rd world country with just under 7 million people, most of who make $1.20 an hour doesn't want Blackberry anymore, oh the lost business, oh the humanity! Sure Abu Dhabi has almost a million people and is really expensive, but still, what kind of business that relies on Blackberry is going to stand for the overpriced rent and then the loss of the use of their primary mobile communications tool (The one that the rest of the company globally will still be using)? I don't know if the UAE is threatening to just get rid of all Blackberries, or just what is used in the government, which would then be an inconsequential amount, but it's still overblown. Isn't that the country where women who get raped then get sent to jail because of it?
Anyways, enough ranting about the UAE, it's not going to be that significant a loss with all of the current expansion.
Here is what people don't seem to get:
Businesses already use Blackberry, and if you've ever worked in a big corporation, god help us if they decide to change a primary piece of technology that
- Everyone relies on
- Everyone already knows how to use
How many big companies do you know of that are still using IE6 for christ's sake? If they can't upgrade something that simple and vulnerable, how can they hope to get around to changing something a 1000 times more complex?
I'm pretty sure Blackberries are much cheaper in terms of data transfer due to the encryption you get, and not to mention that Blackberry is the most secure way to go, and there are people who are fanatical about having massive security in large corporations. Triple BES, word.
I can't speak for all corporations, but I'm sure many of them have most of the cool features people like locked out anyways. The policies are just too strong to ignore with Blackberry, do those exist within consumer oriented smartphones? Can you nuke your iPhone with one command from IT no matter where they are in the world?
The majority of people at huge companies are just too tech illiterate to know how to use new features of smart phones anyways (let alone their basic personal cell phones), even the training just on how to use the iphone would be monumental, not to mention the complaints of typing woes on a touchscreen.
THE PROSUMER DEVICES AREN'T MADE FOR BIG BUSINESS.
Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman.
Sure you COULD use them, and smaller companies surely do, but you are going to have to pry the BB's out of the masses' cold dead fingers before we start seeing iPhones inside huge organizations. There is no cost justification to make the switch, and everyone is already established.
RIM may very well end up sucking at the consumer/prosumer market, but I don't think they are ever going to lose businesses in the short term, they just have way better technology and solutions to offer. They surely aren't going to go under. Journalists don't get this because they don't generally live in the environments where Blackberries thrive. They focus on the cool, on the masses, and on the hype, most of which is their own.
New York Times recently writes that RIM may be dying because 80% of the Fortune 100 is testing and deploying iPhones. What does that even mean? It probably means they are testing them because someone thought they were cool and wants to see if it's viable, but it doesn't mean they've switched or are going to. More than likely some guy high up in IT wanted a cool toy and Apple said here's a bunch for free, please test them (...so we can come up with good stats)!
Even if 80% of the Fortune 100 switches, there are more than 100 companies out there, and some have lots of employees! And having less apps? What does that have to do with anything related to a business using a Blackberry? if they need something specific they can buy or write it, 90% of the apps out there would be useless or disabled on the devices anyway! Talk about an e-peen competition when it doesn't even matter.
It just seems that there are some fundamental things that the Blackberry has going for it that the consumer/prosumer would never think about or care about, meaning they get overlooked by many people and writers, and those little things are really the deal breakers in large companies.
I want RIM to succeed, I want them to continue to bring in revenue for Canada, and I also want to see Apple crushed. I'd love to see Google do some nifty stuff too as I like them, but what they stand for doesn't exactly jive with big companies who are overly secretive to the point where they are too afraid to even use cloud services for non-confidential data.
Argue on the important points and I'll listen, but argue on the features of apples in a market that only cares about oranges is a fools game.
Ok, so lets assume for a second that everything I've spewed so far is mostly just unresearched bullshit and that Google and iPhone are both viable and have a similar or as good feature set that companies base their decisions on.
It still comes down to this: what do these other offerings provide that justifies the massive cost and disruption of re-evaluating, tearing out, integrating, training, and supporting these new phones? Make no mistake that this will be a humongous cost with lots of hurdles to jump through with unexpected difficulties. Are they going to win on cost advantage and what's the time frame for a return on investment? These new phones are not tried, tested and true, they aren't as trust worthy as the RIM brand, whether or not they are technically superior. I just can't imagine anyone in the corporate world being able to sell the benefits of this cost. It may seem small or stupid just to change over some phones, but nothing is small when it comes to big corp, everything takes months and years and way too many PMs. What about the contracts and licenses already paid for? Vendor relations?
So...am I completely full of shit too? Probably, but from my experiences it just doesn't seem to add up. Most of us reading this live in a bubble. We all have our own lens of perception, but it really comes down to money and risk, and in the backwards mixed up world of big corporations, that's all that truly seems to matter.