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Fall of The Blackberry Market

http://www.ubergizmo.com/2011/05/google-android-overtakes-blackberry-in-operating-system-market-share/

The article sited above and the main focus of this blog center on the rise of Android and the fall of Blackberry. It gives a quota of the market share of each of the major cellular operating systems, which are Android (Google), iOS (Apple), and Blackberry OS (RIM). Before the iPhone premiered, Blackberry once had a fairly large market share, along with Symbian, Palm, and Windows Phone (Microsoft). When the iPhone along with iOS premiered, it took a large share the cellular market that was held by the other operating systems, and then some. Now that Android is arising and taking what is left of the market, Blackberry’s market share is falling and it looks as if it will eventually become obsolete. Even though Microsoft Phone, Palm, and Symbian still possess shares of the market, they are relatively small when compared to the ones mentioned in this blog and won’t be mentioned any further.

The current state of the smartphone market is a good example of Network Effects. With the individual smartphone platforms, users can share and communicate through apps available for their system. Android and Apple both are very strong with apps, which is a big draw for potential customers because they can communicate with their friends. A lot of apps are cross-platform for Apple and iOS, so it makes sense that many people would either want to have one of those two platforms. The fact that many apps available for iPhone are also availablle for Android no doubt played a signifigant part of their success. Blackberry’s form is very weak with apps when compared to all Android and iOS, and this also plays a part in leading to their current struggles now.

I myself have had the chance to own cellphones running on each of Blackberry, Android, and the iOS platforms, and I must say that the use and integration of apps on Android and iOS make them much more versatile.

I switched from an iPhone to Blackberry since I was very interested in having a phone with a reliable keyboard for texting. After using Blackberry for a while, I realized I really missed apps from my iPhone. Since many of my friends used Android and recommended over iPhone since it is not locked down as heavily as Apple’s platform is. Since I knew my friends had Android, I decided to purchase it as well. I myself fit the trend of network effects, and many other smartphone purchasers do as well.

Beyond users, the way the market is changing for smartphones is very interesting because it is being controlled by network effects. The stability Apple has is of particular interest. It looks as if Apple is at a z’’ level for their market of users. This is a very large and stable share of the market, and the relatively large share Apple was mentioned as possessing in the article supports this. This makes even more sense when one realizes that Apple’s market share does not change by a large amount for the quarters mentioned in the article, even with the rise of Android taking effect on the market. This fits the characteristics of z”.

 

Blackberry on the other hand, is not so lucky. It only has (or had) what is known as a z’ share of the market, which is unstable and spirals out of control with a change to the market. Depending on whether or not the market change is positive or negative, then the market share held either spirals to the zero share where it will become obsolete, or spirals to success and a larger market share. Blackberry’s market share spiraled to zero, since Android has a negative effect on its market. While it is impossible to guess exactly where Blackberry shares are going to be in the future, from the looks of things now it is safe to assume that there is a very strong chance it will eventually become 0, and Blackberry will become obsolete.

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