Following is the SWOT analysis of the blackberry which would provide a better understanding about its position in the marketplace.
The biggest strength of Blackberry is its push system for emails where there is no need to download emails as they are delivered directly to the phone. The Blackberry gained popularity among business associates and corporate people just because of this unique offering. The brand image of Blackberry is another one of its strengths as it is one of the market leaders in the smart phone industry.
Blackberry is coming up with increasingly new models as the competition is growing in this sector. In order to cater to the consumer market it has come up with the touch screen models which are gaining in popularity day by day after the launch of Apple’s iphone. Companies, in order to cut costs, have started to use Blackberry as the medium of communication organization wide therefore it has a lot of demand in the corporate sector. Its applications such as Microsoft office is very valuable for the working population as they can easy view and edit documents.
Its capability of receiving emails on the go is the most important factor that persuades people to buy the Blackberry. The blackberry has a very sophisticated image as compared to its biggest rival iphone and is gaining popularity among the consumer segment as well after the launch of Blackberry Pearl. Blackberry Messenger is the latest buzz word among the younger generation entering the workforce as it enables instant connectivity with friends and colleagues worldwide. Blackberry can be used in any part of the world easily which is a big advantage as some smartphones are not able to work in various countries.
Its global reach has enabled it to capture a large market share which growing as people are becoming aware of the features it offers and their benefits.
Blackberry’s weakness is that it is a bit slow in catching up to the latest technology that is being offered by other smartphones. The software being used by Blackberry is considered slow when faster operating softwares are installed by competitors. Also Blackberry is not considered very innovative when it comes to applications . The mobile applications demand is on the rise among consumers and iphone is the leader when it comes to mobile applications.
If Blackberry wants to cater to the general population as well it will have to make technology changes in its phone. Another weakness with the Blackberry is its design. It’s design although looks good with the male population but the females need a model with a feminine touch. Blackberry should keep in mind that more and more women are joining the workforce and a large number are already working. So they need to come up with a variety of colors and a design that is tasteful to the feminine palate. Blackberry is a high end brand and therefore its prices are also high .
This creates a barrier when targeting the consumer market where the purchasing power is lower than the working population. Other smartphones offer more features, better applications at lower rates and this causes the Blackberry to be confined largely to the corporate users. Another factor that works against the Blackberry is that it relies on the local connections for its internet connectivity. This means that the quality of connection will vary depending on the service provider and geographical location. People often attribute this poor quality to the phone instead of the service provider and this is where the brand gets hurt.
Countries which have low quality service providers have lower demand for these phones as they are not willing to invest money when they know their needs wont be completely satisfied.
The biggest opportunity for Blackberry is to increase its share in the consumer market. Mobile phone usage is on the rise as people are now replacing their landlines with mobile phones. Brand awareness of Blackberry has also increased among the general population. People want to stay connected with others all the time, be it through email or chat and these features are provided by Blackberry.
Another major opportunity in terms of increasing market share would be to target the female population specifically by coming up with designs and colors that would appeal to women. Women have the same need for connectivity as men do, in fact more than men as they have to stay updated with the latest gossip, fashion and for women it also helps in conducting their professional work. Blackberry also has the opportunity to tap into the application frenzy that has spread lately. By developing applications that are compatible with other phones that enables sharing among people would make the phone popular with the younger generation.
Another opportunity that it can tap on is increasing its presence in the developing countries. There is a huge increase in the number of mobile phone users in these countries such as India which has one of the largest population bases in the world. If branded and marketed with the right target in mind it will be a huge success. As Blackberry is a high end product people in these countries would consider it as an accessory that will make them popular among their peers and would be considered as a status symbol.
Also the unavailability of its major rival iphone in these countries would give it a head start in capturing the market.
The threat that Blackberry would have to deal with is that of the growing competition in this product market. All the major mobile phone manufactures are now coming up with their own version of a smartphone. And the factor to take into consideration is that these phones have a similar design with smarter applications, better operating systems and cheaper rates. Another threat is that of the after effects of the recession that a lot of countries are experiencing.
Its high price would deter consumers from spending too much on a phone when they can get the same thing by a competitor at a lower price. Conclusion The need for communication is never going to end. Blackberry is a phone that has an immense brand value and will continue to do so as it comes up with better and smarter phones. With the success it has had with corporate users it is felt that it would take the consumer market by storm as well.
References http://uk. blackberry. com/newsroom/media/company. jsp