BlackBerry puts the razzle-dazzle into their upcoming BlackBerry 10 (BB10) release as they head for Superbowl advertisement spots, but such a prime time marketing effort only scratches the surface of all that RIM has attempted to do to make this latest BlackBerry offering the success they need it to be.
RIM has announced they’ve purchased ad time on the air for the upcoming Super Bowl XLVII in order to educate customers on the upcoming release of the BB10, which is just a few days away. RIM’s CMO Frank Boulben is quoted as saying, “BlackBerry has 30 million social media fans, and we’re looking forward to continuing to encourage them and all NFL football fans to see the power of BlackBerry 10 for themselves.”
BlackBerry has put immense effort into trying to prepare make the BB10 a success. From consumer advertising to developer relations, RIM has done all they possibly can, within what seems to be their functional budget, to try and get the BB10 off to a flying start, the day it comes out – Wed., Jan. 30, 2013. Alec Saunders, the head of the Developer Relations Team even began distributing 25,000 BlackBerry PlayBook tablets in Oct 2011 as he began traveling the globe to get developers aware of the upcoming BB10 and to begin peaking interest in app development for it. Whether it’s all going to pay off though is still all up in the air, so to speak.
Nearly everything RIM can imagine rides on the success of the BlackBerry 10. In Q3 of 2012, BlackBerry made up only a bit more than 5 percent of the mobile market. A time when Android quickly rose to more than 72%, even stripping RIM of users as release delays of the BB10 frustrated many waiting to upgrade old RIM devices. So not only is RIM in need of gaining new customers, but many of their once loyal fans have gone over to iOS and/or Android. Such previous customers may be completely lost though considering the fact that it’s much more difficult to get a satisfied customer of a new product to return to a brand they have now abandoned. In this case many to RIM product development delay. The beautiful part still rests in the work RIM has done to try and get this going though. With the combination of Saunder’s work and things such as the recent BlackBerry app development challenge, RIM is expected to have somewhere in the are of 70,000 apps that are BlackBerry 10 ready. That also happens to be a record setting number of pre-launch apps, and RIM takes pride in having gathered such a number (just for comparison sake, one source has it that Android had less than 100 apps at their initial launch).
What if all the work is too late for RIM though and doesn’t pay off enough for them to go forward? Well, when IBM saw a difficult road ahead some years back, Lenovo appeared and took over. It’s also said that Lenovo might be taking a similar in BlackBerry, if things don’t turn around as RIM would like. Although Lenovo is in the top of the ranks in PC sales, the overall PC market is hurting. Mobile is where heads are turning and Lenovo has found itself in need of a place to hang their name, in a big way, in the mobile sphere. One Lenovo spokesperson, CFO Wong Wai Ming is quoted as recently saying, “We are looking at all opportunities—RIM and many others”.