CASE SYNOPSIS Business 478
Prepared by: Aswin Kumar Candice Woods Giorgio Budolig Lucas Segars Qasim Nathoo
Prepared for: Jerry Sheppard
March 20, 2013
Blackberry, Then And Now
Research In Motion (RIM) entered the mobile communications industry in 1984. The Waterloo, Ontario, company founded by Mike Laziridis, penetrated the market with two-way paging technology; developed as a substitute product for Motorola’s SkyTel. Following a series of financing in 1998, and a Co-CEO partnership with Jim Balsillie, the firm launched its first signature Blackberry device in 1999. The year following, RIM released its first smart-phone, the Blackberry Bold. This release marked the beginning of RIM’s journey, through the tumultuous and extremely volatile high technology industry. Initially, the firm’s iconic Blackberry device was riding the crest of the telecom wave. Its proprietary and unparalleled encryption technology made their device the globally preferred Smartphone amongst corporate clients and government agencies. The brand dominance soon permeated the individual consumer market. However, the company’s fortunes took a turn for the worst, as intense rivalry and innovative technology emerged. Competitors, such as Apple and Samsung entered the market in 2007, and soon became cultural phenomena. As their market share severely eroded, so did RIM’s share price. RIM’s shareholders lost almost 80% of their wealth in 2011 (Levy, 2011). Adding salt to the wounds, their world-renowned encrypted network experienced power outages in 2011, which affected millions of users for several days. Reeling from the new competition and network debacle, shareholders demanded changes within the firm. The Co-CEO’s stepped aside and a new CEO, Thorsten Heins, took the helm with a new strategic focus and a rebranding under the name of their signature device, Blackberry. Despite its fall from grace, the firm has continued to build its subscriber base to almost 80 million (RIM, 2012)....