The other day I came across an article that immediately caught my attention. The article discussed the fact that RIM’s BlackBerry product line has begun to fall behind in the business mobile sector. While I’ve been pretty critical of BlackBerry devices in the past, this article has definitely given me a bit of a new perspective on things. The article focuses around the concept that BlackBerry’s market share in corporate and business environments has fallen below both iOS and Android combined.
What this means is that even though iOS and Android are (slowly) catching up to and beginning to threaten BlackBerry’s presence in businesses neither mobile operating system has been able to beat BlackBerry’s presence as of yet. And with the productivity and functionality of employees being ever so important to businesses, I honestly think that it’s somewhat shameful that neither Apple nor Google have been able to, despite all of their innovations and shiny new bells and whistles, become a real challenger to RIM’s BlackBerry platform in the enterprise world.
I mean, with all the marketing that we see Apple and Google doing to push their mobile operating systems into the hands of consumers, it really did surprise me to hear that RIM was still doing so well when it came to handling the needs of business users.
Now, I understand that iOS and Android have been marketed primarily to end-users like you and I and that the majority of the changes, improvements, new features, and innovations in said operating systems have been designed almost exclusively to make better and easier to use products for consumers. Despite the fact that Apple and Google have both made progress in the enterprise mobile sector with business apps and “business class” handsets like the Droid Pro – RIM has essentially had free reign over the mobile industry.
As a business-thinking individual myself, I simply cannot contemplate why this is. With business being such a huge target, I really do not see why business users haven’t been a bigger target for companies that seem to be focusing on consumer smartphones. After all, who in their right mind wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to potentially dominate a market with little existing competition as it is?
But as much as I blame Apple and Google for not stepping up their game on business users, I must admit that even if they did jump in the game they would have a rather hard sell to make. After all, the sheer amount of consumer-focused advertising that both companies have done have painted a picture in the eyes of business users that iPhone and Android devices are toys and not business tools. And as much as technology followers such as myself may know that’s not true and as much as we know both platforms are incredibly powerful I can honestly see why businesses would be hesitant to put consumer-driven devices into the hands of their employees.
And really, many long-time business smartphone users (the employees themselves and not the companies that they work for) have been using BlackBerry devices since before smartphones had gone mainstream. With that, I feel that there are a lot of users out there that simply do not want to use anything else besides their trusted BlackBerries.
Nonetheless, in life you simply cannot win if you do not try. So really, I think that both Apple and Google should be vesting more effort into making their products as attractive to businesses as possible; something that they don’t seem to be doing now.