Research in Motion appears to be heading in the wrong direction fast. The Canadian tech firm behind the once-popular Blackberry smartphone posted worst-than-expected first-quarter results, and said it would slash 5,000 jobs and delay the launch of its new Blackberry.
It just keeps getting worse for the Blackberry maker.
It posted a loss of $518 million dollars in the quarter versus year-ago and revenue took a whopping 43-percent hit. The delay in its Blackberry 10 launch will strike particular hard, as this was supposed to be its make-or-break product. What’s the obvious hurdle? One word—iPhone. The Apple iPhone just turned 5 years old and it is dominating the market, a biting reminder of what RIM has been up against and why many believe it won’t be able to turn its business around.
Steve Jobs, Apple Founder, Macworld Conference and Expo 2007, said, "Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything."
The year is 2007. The place is San Francisco. And the revolutionary product? An iPod, a phone and a device to surf the web—three technologies combined into one product.
Steve Jobs said, "These are not 3 separate devices. This is one device and we are calling it iPhone. Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone.”
And reinvent it, Apple did. From the wide screen design to touch technology to mobile applications, Apple redefined the way we live and communicate.
Now in its fifth year, the iPhone has generated revenues of 150 billion U.S. dollars from sales, which hit 250 million units, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. That’s at a growth rate of 81 percent per year.
Alex Spektor, Analyst, Global Wireless Practice, Strategic Analytics, said, "Apple completely redefined that term smartphone and made it simple to use. It’s the brand, Apple is an incredibly powerful branding machine in terms of marketing the product and telling consumers what features they want rather than waiting for them to ask for features and its the availability, its the ubiquity of the iPhone."
To get a broad measure of how far the iPhone has taken wireless phone technology, here's a look at the early wireless phone that hit the market back in the 1980s.
Motorola promo, "Like this unique cellular portable made by Motorola which weighs only 30 ounces. Right now businessmen and women are major users of radio telephones where cellular is in service. But more people will take advantage of cellular as its benefits become apparent."
Of course, to say that’s already happening is a huge understatement.
From 30 ounces, that’s nearly 2 pounds or almost 1 kilogram—a far cry from this iPhone that I have in my hand, on which I can watch that very same video…a smaller package that packs a bigger punch.
At the rate Apple is going with the iPhone—along with other major competitors in the market—it’s a tough act for RIM to follow, and an even tougher one to get ahead of.
Strategic Analytics says Apple has a 24 percent global market share of the smartphone space, 36 percent in the U.S. and 20 percent in China, where the iPhone is already the most popular smartphone on the market and is poised to grow dramatically.