It was not that long ago when more than two thirds of mobile devices sold globally offered operating systems by either Blackberry or Nokia, with approximately 70 percent of mobile devices sold in 2009 having either of these operating systems. At that time Microsoft, Apple as well as Google accounted for not even 25 percent of global smartphone sales and today, almost accounting for 99 percent of all smartphones sold.
Nokia and Blackberry have been experiencing difficulty within the smartphone industry and this has been no secret. In 2013, Microsoft, for $7.2 billion, acquired Nokia and took a risk on hardware. This was known not to be a strength of Microsoft, realising their acquisition mistake, recently decided to sell Nokia to Foxconn- Apple’s supply-chain partner.
The Finnish company- Nokia- may have the opportunity to return to the smartphone market in India. The Indian Smartphone market is densely populated, however, with a sufficient revival approach the company may still be able to revive themselves. In an interview with Senior Market Analyst (Client Devices) for the International Data Corporation (IDC), Karthik J. told the IANS that the Nokia-brand is still relatively strong in India and is especially perceived as such in lower tier Indian cities. Faisal Kawoosa, CyberMedia Research (CMR) Lead Analyst, stated that Nokia could revive, should they shift their focus to research and development; and through this the mobile world could be provided with licensed technology and patents. This means that Nokia has to go back to the beginning and start from scratch with their strategies.
As for Blackberry- Canadian mobile company- the light at the end of the tunnel may very well be a train. During the first quarter of 2016, a $670 million loss was reported by the company, making it the company’s biggest recorded loss in more than two years. Karthik is of the opinion that Blackberry is incapable of catching up with other market player offering iOS as well as Android. In a drastic revival approach, Blackberry released the Blackberry Priv Smartphone, however, based on expert’s opinions, the release of their smartphone was too late. Karthik said to the IANS that “The high-end Blackberry Priv (based on Google’s Android OS) smartphone was a drastic approach the vendor took to revive by moving away from its home-grown OS to Android but failed to create ripples in the market,”
Blackberry is known for its security and has been one of the company’s core strengths. Vishal Tripathi, Gartner’s Research Director- a global market consultancy firm- also substantiates this. “Blackberry needs to focus on feature phone market and concentrate when it comes to India, if it want to beat the Chinese and established players in the country. They always had top-of-the-line security and they can still cash on it in upcoming devices when data is the buzzword,” said Tripathi.
Whether all is lost for these two companies is yet to be determined. However- as handset legacies of current generations- it is of vital importance that Nokia and Blackberry not only understands next generation smartphone users and their ever-changing needs as well as demands; but also act on these needs and demands.