It’s been a year since I made my “What to expect from Mobile year 2013” post. I said it then that year 2013 will be year of newcomer OS’es. However I did also mention BlackBerry OS and I feel it could be a good point to check what has happened to it.
Blackberry 10 OS was “the thing” for me to follow in 2013 due to three things:
- Nokia and BlackBerry (former RIM )have very similar history what comes to inability to answer the radical change of market that was initiated by Apple and iPhone.
- BlackBerry has been doing practically all the things Nokia could have done (but chose not to do) in 2011:
BlackBerry kept their own in-house OS, created a new version of it, kept making and selling physical QWERTY keyboard phones in the lineup,… all that.
- I did not mention this originally, but it was pointed to me that one more analogy exists:
BlackBerry by definition was to have loyal enterprise sector that guarantees their sales so they can stay profitable and switch to their new OS.
Nokia was supposed to switch to MeeGo via their loyal Nokia customer base.
I said it then and want to emphasize it now: RIM gets there 2 years later and is therefore in even worse situation than Nokia was. Therefore if RIM would get back to game with BB10 OS, then Nokia by all judgement should have been able to do that 2 years ago with MeeGo. However, it does not work the other way round due to those 2 years Nokia would have had as an advantage. No matter how bad BlackBerry does, we can say that Nokia should have done better.
How did BlackBerry do?
Their unit shipments for fourth calendar quarter (actually Sep-Nov 2013) are down to surprisingly low 1.9 million units. Last year at this time they shipped 6.9 million devices. Operational loss (without one-time expenses and gains) was 354 million dollars. New BB10 OS did not change the direction and company has been trying to find a buyer, so far unsuccessfully.
BlackBerry tried to get itself sold and failed. Ouch.
So in my original idea to use BlackBerry as a showcase on how Nokia could have recovered, we have no proof to that direction. I don’t want to rub too much salt to wounds but here’s Startegy analytics report on 4th quarter of 2013 smartphone OS market shares. BlackBerry (both BB7 and BB10 versions) are included to “others” that combines to 0.7%!!!
Yes, MeeGo could have done better.