Innovation is Killing the ‘Crackberry’

BlackBerry Torch | BCBusiness
Canada’s Research In Motion Ltd. has a dismal outlook, partially due to a lack of new products and innovation.

Innovation is the name of the game, and creative competitors have benched BlackBerry maker Research In Motion.

Canadian BlackBerry manufacturer Research In Motion Ltd. hit rock bottom on Friday. Stocks plunged 11 per cent to the lowest price in eight years (less than $15 a share).
The plunge comes in conjunction with a worldwide outage infuriating BlackBerry customers in October, an embarrassing incident involving two inebriated RIM vice-presidents who were forcibly removed from an Air Canada flight and massive job cuts.
So, what is ailing RIM, once hailed as Canada’s signature company?
Consumers want new, different, innovative. RIM has been sluggish at best with product releases and updates over the last few years. And consumers, especially in the U.S., have noticed.
Down south, the Android holds the largest market share at 44.8 per cent, the iPhone sits comfortable at 27.4 per cent and RIM is down to 18.9 per cent, as of September.
RIM’s last big phone release was its Torch in late 2010. The PlayBook, RIM’s answer to the iPad, has seen sales so weak RIM was forced to discount the tablets lower than the cost to produce them. Weak sales can partially be attributed to the PlayBook’s lack of embedded support for email or BlackBerry Messenger.
Thursday, RIM announced it would delay shipments of new phones using the new QNX system. And anecdotal evidence tells us BlackBerry systems aren’t developer friendly, which means creating new software and applications is slow and difficult.
Seems that 2011 is the year of Murphy’s law for RIM.
There’s no quick fix for RIM, but frequent, on-time releases would help. And delivering new, user-friendly, reliable products might boost consumer confidence in the brand.
In the meantime, let’s hope the floundering RIM doesn’t drown.