Posted by & filed under Blackberry, business models, disruptive technology, Hardware, industry analysis.

Description: Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, who made the BlackBerry a leading business tool but then presided over its precipitous decline, said they would step down on Monday as co-chairmen and co-chief executives of Research in Motion.

Source: nytimes .com

Date: Jan 22, 2012

Stiff competition from the Apple iPhone and phones using Google’s Android software drastically eroded RIM’s share of the American smartphone market to about 9 percent in the third quarter of 2011 from nearly half the market two years earlier, according to Canalys, a market research firm based near London. The company’s stock price reflected that by dropping about 75 percent in the last year.

But while Mr. Balsillie and Mr. Lazaridis, who have become the targets of some disgruntled shareholders, are stepping aside, investors and others looking for changes in the company’s strategy may be disappointed. Read Rest of Story

Questions for discussion:

  1. Will the resignation of the co-chairman tune around the fortunes of RIM in the Tech marketplace?
  2. Why do you think that RIM has declined so rapidly in their market space?
  3. What does RIM need to do to turn this situation around and get back to being a market leader in this market space

4 Responses to “Bowing to Critics and Market Forces, RIM’s Co-Chiefs Step Aside”

  1. Morgan

    It’s a risky movie to replace Balsillie and Lazaridis with Stymiest, who has no background in electronics or consumer products. Because of her background as a former chief operating officer of the Royal Bank of Canada, Stymiest will hopefully be able to make decisions that will prevent RIM from going bankrupt. However, this replacement alone will not be enough to turn around RIM’s fortune. Many consumers are fed up with Balsille and Lazaridis’s choices and shortcomings, but their resignation as chairmen will not be enough to generate interest in the company – especially because they are still a large part of RIM.

    RIM desperately needs to rebrand their company if they want to survive in this Apple and Android driven world. They had previously marketed themselves to the business consumer when they emerged in 1999, and had a significant foothold in the market. When the iPhone was released in 2007, RIM did little to compete with Apple because they arrogantly believed the iPhone would not threaten RIM’s business consumers. However, Apple was able to market this new smartphone in such a way that it appealed to average users and business consumers alike – as well as large companies. In this day and age iPhones have become THE phone to own… a thing that RIM has never been able to claim.

  2. Kristen

    When a company is experiencing declines such as in RIM’s case, it is often important to change management to give the company a fresh start, and create optimism for shareholders and investors.
    I think the main reason RIM has seen such a rapid decline in market share in the last few years is because they have not adapted to mobile customers’ demands. Although RIM’s Blackberry line features mobile access and reliable hardware, their operating system and mobile platform is severely lacking what the majority of consumers want, and have access to with iPhone and Android. RIM’s company focus has remained stagnant within the fast-paced mobile market over the past couple years. This has included their lack of adaptation to today’s mobile market, which is seeing more people wanting access to downloadable apps/games and internet access on their handheld device. RIM also lacks the integrated platforms of their competitors and does not offer its users nearly as many apps. RIM lags far behind in technology, software, and design – while most mobile phone manufacturers are currently gearing up to release quad-core phones, Blackberry is just scheduled to release its first dual core phone this year.
    RIM’s growth strategy should be re-directed towards adapting their technology, software, and design to meet the demands of the majority of today’s mobile market, and to expand their focus on creating an integrated, user friendly platform for all mobile users. RIM should focus their time and efforts into research and development to develop an individual device that will rival its competitors instead of trying to release a variation of same phone with a new name every quarter.

  3. JX

    I think the resignation of the co-chairman will make some advantages for RIM, but not huge difference. This resignation is just a compromise or a kind of explanation to stakeholders because of too many complaints from them. Of course, the action will have good impact on RIM. In my opinion, today, the software is the first important thing for a phone. However, blackberry does not have enough number than iphone and Android phone.
    I think it is very difficult for RIM to get back to being a market leader. RIM can develop a new market such as China and India. I know there was not enough propaganda in China. Lots of Chinese want to buy a blackberry, but they do not know where they can buy. Second, RIM can give the software companies favorable policy and help. For example, if the companies make the software is for Blackberry only, the companies will receive some profit. To reduce the fee of software that can write the software of Blackberry, even make it free. It will attract more and more people such as programming enthusiasts to join in Blackberry software. Finally, RIM should keep the physical keyboard. A lot of smart phones do not have physical keyboard, but physical keyboard still has lots of market.

  4. Mike

    I feel that RIM has slacked off and watched the competition run by without a significant change in strategy. The world is always changing, especially when it comes to business, and for a once leading company to fade away while others took their spot on the top says a lot about RIM. I haven’t seen any revolutionary marketing campaigns, game changing innovations, or stylistic changes from RIM for a long time. Perhaps RIM just got so used to being on the top they got lazy and assumed they would see huge sales figures forever. What i do know is that I haven’t been impressed with RIM’s strategies for a long time. RIM needs to take charge and create something with enough innovations or features that could outdo what Android and iPhones are doing. They have focused so narrowly on selling to Businesses that they didn’t notice when the rest of the world ran by to grab their iPhones. To compete with their competition they need to either improve on what their competition has done (in every aspect or they won’t be considered the best again) or alternatively do something radically different (riskier) that could completely distract people from what iPhones and Androids are doing.

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