Blackberry’s issues have this week caused outrage amongst their users. It will have cost businesses many thousands (if not millions) of pounds and hundreds of hours in lost productivity through the communication outage. Of course, the other audience to be without their main source of communication is the devoted teenage population who will have struggled to message each other for free.
It is certainly true that 2011 hasn't been the year for the small blue fruit mobile. If you've read my articles in the past, you'll know some of their other issues from this year. While the problem appears to be now fixed, it affected users across the world.
On Thursday, RIM’s co-founder, Mike Laziridis, released a YouTube statement wholeheartedly apologising for the outages and promising that they are working to remedy the situation. For many, this regretful message came too late for businesses that rely on BlackBerry's. There was no real suggestion of when normal service will be resumed (it was finally restored later that day, after nearly three days without service for some users), and for many industry observers, the feeling is that this time RIM may have been caught very short.
Blackberry’s other large market – the organisations and businesses which utilise Blackberry technology to work and communicate on the move, have been some of the most vocal figures this week, with bosses complaining about dips in productivity and hours lost trying to communicate. There is even talk of some organisations attempting to claim damages from RIM in order to cover the productive hours lost during this week, something would affect RIM financially as well as publicly.
Blackberry hasn’t been a tasty fruit this year - if anything, the crops seem to be failing. The launch of the iPhone 4S last week meant that RIM’s target audience all have a new ‘most-wanted’ device. iMessage has dealt a further blow, meaning that Blackberry’s only truly distinguishing feature has been nullified. Further to this, with new security solutions for Android devices in the enterprise and exciting Windows Phone Mango devices coming out, the time of BlackBerry as the darling of enterprise is sinking faster than the Titanic.
First it was the developers to abandon Blackberry and now the trend can only be expected to continue across its other target markets. In case you were wondering, we don't expect much demand looking forward.