BlackBerry maker plays catch up

The Blackberry, then and now. The addictive little device has connected the financial industry, but also plagued it with high costs and compulsive behavior.

Steve Chiotakis: The deflated maker of BlackBerry smartphones, Research in Motion, reports earnings later today. Used to be, the BlackBerry was a status symbol. Nowadays, more business users are reaching for iPhones.

Sally Herships tells us why BlackBerry's share of the pie is shrinking.


Sally Herships: Poor BlackBerry. The phone used to be so popular it was called the "CrackBerry."

Kartik  Hosanager teaches at Wharton.  He says customers are just not thinking about the devices as much as they used to.

Kartik Hosanagar:When they do they think of a boring product that is not for them,  that is for business users who might use it for work.

But even executives are kicking the BlackBerry habit. It used to be that IT departments insisted on BlackBerry because of its secure network for email. Then came BlackBerry’s October outage.  RIM has also been late with touch-screen technology and hot features like apps. Meanwhile, business users have been snapping up iPhones and Androids.

Anil Doradla is a tech analyst with William Blair.

Anil Doradla: So at the hardware level, at the operating system level, and at the application storefront level, they’re caught between a rock and a hard place.

If only smartphones were RIM’s only problem. Earlier this the year the company wrote off half a billion dollars because its new tablet, the Playbook, didn’t play well with consumers.

In New York, I’m Sally Herships for Marketplace.

About the author

Sally Herships is a regular contributor to Marketplace.

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