Posted by Jesse Braunstein

We think BlackBerry is the new Motorola…. gasp! 

If you’re over 21, that means a couple of things.  In Israel, it means you’ve probably already finished your army service, so congratulations. In America, it means that you can legally drink…congratulations once again. For the intents and purposes of this post, it means that you’re old enough to remember when Motorola was the king of mobile phones.

This also means, that you have a vivid memory of everyone you know, using one of those stylish Motorola StarTAC phones, back in 1996:

You definitely also remember the 2004 introduction of the sleek and sexy Motorola RAZR, when you just had to have one:

This being the case, a fair question is: what has happened to Motorola now?

In a word; they’ve disappeared. Although the company is still kicking and hard at work making mobile phones, compared to Motorola’s immense popularity back in its heyday, it’s quite shocking they are rarely heard from.

BlackBerry, (owned by RIM), was founded in 1984. Its mega popular devices have been lovingly and not-so-lovingly given nicknames throughout the years including BlueBerry, LackBerry and others, but none of this endangered the world’s obsession with their CrackBerry devices:

But recently, unfortunately, RIM is beginning to fade as well.

Although it is difficult to put my finger on one single cause for the downfall of both of these mobile phone giants; in the cell phone (now smart phone), industry, the name of the game is innovation.

Despite the importance for a company to have a trademark “look” and recognizable “image”, both Motorola and BlackBerry are suffering due to overly rigid adherence to traditional phone designs. For years, Motorola refused to abandon its clamshell configuration; while BlackBerry’s once revolutionary QWERTY keyboard design, is now becoming obsolete.

If BlackBerry wants to avoid becoming the next Motorola, it must quickly learn from the past. Both companies’ stock prices are characterized by a classic growth and peak pattern that reached a real high point, but has since toppled downward.

Blackberry should carefully study the two stock charts above, to reposition their course and navigate the future.

Jesse Braunstein is a Junior at NYU double majoring in Economics and Psychology. Jesse joined Madison Technology and in May 2011 as a summer intern. Jesse has been instrumental in utilizing his expanding background to come up with creative perspectives on the Marketing, Advertising and Business Development initiatives at both Madison Technology and Jesse’s outlook stems from an Economics and Psychology education and a deep understanding of the individual and how the individual acts within and interacts with the market.  Follow Jesse on Twitter and Facebook. Check out his

  • Jacob D.

    Great Post Jesse, but a decline in RIMM dominance cannot be discussed without mentioning its innovative rivals that are certainly responsible for this seemingly inevitable blackberry demise. APPLE and GOOGLE, two of the three contemporary tech monoliths, are ubiquitous in all things tech especially mobile devices. APPLE’s IPhone and Google’s Android far surpass the blackberry in just about every categorical phone ranking except for security, which is the only reason why President Obama, the president who advantageously outmaneuvered his opponent by utilizing social media tech to win his 2008 election, still uses the blackberry. Aside from security however the blackberry has its coveted BBM that I believe is responsible for keeping the blackberry name in vogue amongst non-professional cell phone consumers. But unfortunately for RIMM, APPLE and GOOGLE are both developing technology or even have come out with technology (I’m not sure) that is compatible with BBM and/or is superior to it. APPLE and GOOGLE phones respectively are faster, more intuitive, can be easily connected to their respective online services and are all around more user friendly than BlackBerrys. Furthermore, it seems that because these large multi-conglomerate tech companies have entered the cell phone market, smaller companies will find it harder to compete. The mobile phone business has become fiercely competitive and has caused mobile phone profits to fall along with their margins. Proportionally, margin reduction’s net effects on GOOGLE and APPLE are small because of their other businesses, compared to an exclusively mobile device producing company like RIMM and as a result, RIMM has suffered for it. And if you don’t believe me, just look at their latest earnings.
    RIMM, has enjoyed market dominance for a short while but I fear that we will see them slowly drift out of the market bearing no more of their Rubus fruticosus’

  • Thanks for the feedback Jacob…

    I doubt I could have said it any better myself. It’s clear as well, that in terms of software competitiveness, Apple and Google have a strong upper hand over BlackBerry devices.

    In terms of BlackBerry’s infamous and seemingly unbeatable BBM; I agree that its competitors have already developed messenger services that are at least as good, if not better than BBM. That being said, the biggest issue Google and Apple are having with BBM, in my eyes, is the added punch BBM has, due to overwhelming Network Externality on the side of BlackBerry and its current users.