Blackberry Phone Analysis

Blackberry Phone

Background

Living in a global world, we are mainly ruled by gadgets of all kinds. Starting from a street sweeper all the way up to the CEO of a multinational corporation, we all are beguiled by the charm and charisma that technology brings to our lives. This reality has turned luxuries into necessities. Still man is not satisfied with this technological awareness, always driven by the desire for more convenience, speed, and efficiency to make life easier. To satisfy this desire we bring to you a new Blackberry, with conferencing capabilities and GPS features.

The young executives of today and the senior officers at work find it extremely frustrating not to be able to contact multiple business partners simultaneously and with limited fanfare and complications. Our new product solves this problem by allowing users to engage in a conference call by selecting a distribution group, contact group, or by multi-selecting users in the Contact List. Users engaged in a one-to-one call can invite other participants to join the conversation thereby creating a multi-party conference.

Introduction

The product is not only targeted for business executives who are always running short on time, and have the burden of numerous responsibilities, but also will appeal to the technologically inclined. The real goal here was to build a high-end device that was the ultimate Blackberry to date. It is marketed both the business executives and the gadgetholics who just have to have the best gadget in the market. (Positioning a New Product in an Uncertain Market)

Other vendors clearly have their sights set on the same market, hoping the BlackBerry situation creates new opportunities. Nokia, for instance, recently purchased wireless e-mail management firm IntelliSync to target customers who want continuous access to their messages.

“What we find in the marketplace is increasing awareness of the further potential beyond e-mail of the BlackBerry and other hand-held devices, said Al Smith, president and co-founder of Apresta. “Many of our customers are using the device to check inventory, to put in orders from the road. They’re starting to become very dependent on it and used to using it for that as well.” (Blackberry Competition)

These same services can be used on other devices as well but our corporate users are loyal to the blackberry since it was the first device to introduce this new wave of technology. Blackberry Classic is definitely a major smart phone enhancement that provides its users with a myriad of tempting features.

Features

‘Tri-band 3G support extends support to GPRS/EDGE/HDSPA networks.

Push button” WiFI setup to readily access “protected” WiFi access points.

Significantly improved multimedia support – overall (streaming) video performance, iTunes synchronization, new media player, improved display and, while they’re still working on it prior to the Blackberry Bold’s summer release, a new web browser.

Faster processor (@ 624 MHz, the fastest Blackberry)

128MB internal Flash memory but also 1GB on-board storage memory expandable to 16GB via MicroSD/SDHC slot.

4.2 megapixel camera

GPS with Blackberry MapsBlackberry MediaSync to transfer media from iTunes half-VGA “ultra-bright” display (480 x 320)

Higher capacity battery that translates into 30% extra standby time and 20% more on-air talk-time.’ (Technical Specifications of a Blackberry)

Of particular note; the new Blackberry maintains the traditional QWERTY keyboard with ergonomic improvements – a key Blackberry defining feature relative to iPhone. Its high performance browser and resolution along with ahe bright display allows for on-the-go web browsing where attachments can also be downloaded from within the browser.

Competition

‘No product can ever exist in the market without facing fierce competition and the new Blackberry is no exception. The rivals include Nokia, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, PalmOne, Good Technology, Seven Networks, and yes, Microsoft. The choice between Blackberry and Nokia (or iPhone for that matter) got even more difficult today, with the appearance of two cutting edge smart phones.’

The choice for smart phone buyers is increasing each day. On the one hand you’ve got iPhone, in the other, the reigning champion Blackberry, and then there’s Palm, Nokia, Samsung and the rest. Lately iPhone has gotten all the press, with its sleek design and ability for home users and (here’s the killer) business users to get push-email on the road. But the Apple-fest isn’t going unchallenged. Blackberry hasn’t lagged behind either in the face of such competition so it introduced mobile mail along with other appealing features for the phone. There’s no doubting the compelling nature of mobile e-mail. No one likes returning to an office with screens full of unread messages in their inbox.

Despite increased work hours, it somehow feels we’re more in control if messages can be read and dealt with throughout the day in real time. Compared with many mobile applications, it’s an easier sell internally to senior management and the financial controllers as they can personally see the benefit. (Marketing a Blackberry)

Description of target market

The Blackberry is a phone targeted towards a particular segment of the market. This target market is defined by the following demographics:

Age: Anything above 18. Business executives today are not necessarily above 30 or 40 as it used to be the case a couple of decades ago. Today the Blackberry is a very useful device for managers and business executives to keep in touch on the go and manage their business affairs. Nowadays, these business executives are generally young. However, the older adults may also be targeted for this device. Our aim will be to target executives of any age or seniority: the bottom line is, since this variable has become irrelevant to authority in the modern entrepreneurial world.
Sex: Executives are nowadays not limited to any particular gender. The modern business world has an equal number of male and female executives who would require a Blackberry. Hence, the marketing strategy should be geared towards appealing to both genders.

Profession: as has been repeatedly stressed again and again, the Blackberry is no ordinary handset. It is targeted towards business users and executives to give them a freehand in managing their business affairs.
Income Level: Generally, the income level that would be targeted for the Blackberry would be above the $50,000 mark per year. This is due in part by the fact that executives and business workers earning hefty salaries would be more likely to invest in such business supportive tools and gadgets than other lower paid managers.

Educational Level: people who want to manage their affairs up to the minute, or connect with other executives would need the primary users of a Blackberry. Thus, generally this segment of the population would be highly, if not fairly, educated. We would expect this segment of people to be college graduates and would definitely expect a large proportion of them to be holder of a Masters degree. (Target Marketing for Blackberry)

Description of Competitors

“There are alternatives, but I think it’s a case of market penetration,” Al Smith, president and co-founder of Apresta said. “The BlackBerry was the first mobile device out there with the ability to do e-mail and a large section of corporate world is addicted to it.” As the Blackberry barge continues to take on water during RIM’s (Research In Motion) ongoing patent battle with NTP, more and more sharks are drawn to the surrounding swells in hopes of salvaging whatever they may of the company’s loyal user base. (Blackberry Competition)

It’s true, the majority of analyst and competitors alike don’t see a Blackberry blackout happening any time soon, but the patent battle has spotlighted a number of alternatives to RIM’s popular handheld. Just one year ago there were barely any products on the market that compared with RIM’s Blackberry. This is no longer the case. According to Clyde Foster, COO at Intellisync, a wireless e-mail firm that was recently purchased by Nokia, the rest of the handheld market is not only catching up with RIM, these companies are offering better prices on a wider array of products. (The competition begins)

“That general change in the market has had a lot of people thinking about alternatives. On top of that, you have the scrutiny over the court case. For us, it’s a benefit that it’s happening now,” said Foster. He noted that inquires about the companies products and services have skyrocketed over the past two months. Sales at Good Technology, RIM’s biggest competitor in the software space, have also been booming. (Blackberry vs. Smartphone)

Competition has caught up with ‘Research In Motion’ and it’s long market leader product, the BlackBerry. The rapid enhancement in Nokia and Motorola handset can prove to be a threat to Blackberry, and could have knocked this product of the shelves in the market, but Blackberry has bounced back with it blackberry classic. This can mean an exit for many new players in the market.

“Our business in general has been growing, but the litigation has certainly helped,” said Danny Shader, CEO of Good Technology. “It’s changed the profile of some accounts that were previously absolutely committed to RIM, who now seem absolutely committed to replacing them, or at least not relying on them.” Regardless, RIM is still the king of the hill in the wireless e-mail market with about 4.3 million Blackberry subscribers in aspace of roughly 6 million. We provide quality as well as unmatched features thereby are do not compromise on price. We are currently not involved in any price competition since we believe that what is offer has unparalleled characteristics. (Blackberry vs. Smartphone)

Marketing Considerations

Advertising can really make the difference between success and failure. Intelligent marketing through the appropriate channels will project the Blackberry strongly towards the target market and will quicken the take-off into the market, in terms of sales.

Marketing a Blackberry

I would suggest that the New Blackberry be marketed using a robust marketing budget that would increase our market share. It is essential to understand the basic fundamentals of marketing a differentiated product towards the appropriate target market so that they can focus on the actual prospects. I recommend that advertisements be placed in business journals, widely read newspapers, magazines catering to fashion and business news and news channels. The advertisements should be as brief as possible and should deliver in a nutshell the features of the Blackberry. It is important to understand that the cost of the Blackberry should not be included in the ads or else it will give the viewer a decision-making point: can I afford it or not? Thus, the consumer will not try to learn about its features and its potential enhancement to their business. The advertisements should all bear a standard theme that is eloquent, graceful and appealing. Advertisements that are too cheap or complex should be avoided. Some good examples of advertisements portraying classics are ads of watches, designer brands and jewelry. Focusing on the primary objective – the Blackberry is exclusively for the business user’s assistance – will enable the target market to be approached more closely and effectively.

Pricing Strategy

The pricing for a Blackberry is perhaps one of the most delicate issues. Business executives will not be willing to pay more of a premium without a clear impression of how this device will enhance their business objectives. Thus, careful consideration and costing mechanisms should be used to determine the market price of the Blackberry. I would recommend cost plus pricing to be the best option available. Since, the Blackberry is a differentiated product with no exact substitute, I am confident that the Blackberry will be able to sell at prices slightly above the competition.

While this can merely be a risk as well, the price of a Blackberry includes the technical, labor and other overhead costs. Thus, the Blackberry will probably be better off priced above the market competitors. At least it will provide the consumer with the perception that this gadget is differentiated from the rest and has something unique to offer, for which a premium price is being charged. (Positioning a New Product in an Uncertain Market)

Description of Location

Locating a product requires a great deal of understanding of the lifestyle and habits of our target market. Placement of the Blackberry is a really important aspect for sales to skyrocket. The most appropriate location for placing the Blackberry would be near designer stores and lifestyle outlets such as designer brand outlets and boutiques (predominantly for women). These places are almost accessed by all the people in our target because of the requirements of their work. Another option would be to target upscale stores and neighborhoods housing exclusive jewelry outlets and local clubs. These places are actually visited heavily by our target market because of their lifestyles. (Location Considerations for the Blackberry)

References

  • Blackberry competition. (n.d.). Retrieved August 26, 2008, from CIO: http://www.cio.com/article/17332/BlackBerry_Battle_Opens_Doors_for_Competitors
  • Blackberry vs. smartphone. (n.d.). Retrieved August 26, 2008, from PCA Authority: http://www.pcauthority.com.au/News/118166,smartphone-faceoff-blackberry-bold-takes-on-the-competition.aspx
  • Location considerations for the Blackberry. (n.d.). Retrieved August 24, 2008, from Tech News World: http://www.technewsworld.com/story/48815.html?wlc=1219722994
  • Market competition for Blackberry. (n.d.). Retrieved August 25, 2008, from http://www.fiercecio.com/story/competition-heats-up-for-blackberry-maker/2006-10-02
  • Marketing a Blackberry. (n.d.). Retrieved August 26, 2008, from Business Week: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/04_49/b3911084_mz063.html
  • Positioning a new product in an uncertain market. (n.d.). Retrieved August 24, 2008, from Tech Target: http://searchmobilecomputing.techtarget.com/news/article/0,289142,sid40_gci960532,00.
  • Target marketing for blackberry. (n.d.). Retrieved August 24, 2008, from Tech News World: http://www.technewsworld.com/story/48815.html?wlc=1219722994
  • Technical specifications of a Blackberry. (n.d.). Retrieved August 24, 2008, from Microsoft TechNet: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb963930.aspx
  • The competition begins. (n.d.). Retrieved August 26, 2008, from PCA Authority: http://www.pcauthority.com.au/News/118166,smartphone-faceoff-blackberry-bold-takes-on-the-competition.aspx
  • The future of Blackberry. (n.d.). Retrieved August 26, 2008, from Skype Journal: http://skypejournal.com/blog/2008/05/a_new_era_coming_for_blackberry.html

Bill Carlson

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