Case Study Of Blackberry – RIM

Blackberry limited which was originally known as Research in Motion Limited (RIM) is a Canadian based telecommunication software and hardware company. It is widely known for its Blackberry brand series phones and tablets. This brand was known as the pioneer for bringing the email services to handheld devices. It was also famous for its QWERTY keyboard which also became its trademark. That time is not forgotten when it was the darling of world leaders, rich, famous and corporate honchos. Not so long ago, this brand was known as a status symbol and addiction for this brand was quite obvious in many of its users. This brand could not make a long way and could not be successful and unfortunately it had to face the demise (Arthur, 2013). The rationale for selecting this company is that a brand which was so successful to be known as a status symbol cannot be failed easily and it is true that its failure must be based on such learning points which are worth exploring. Therefore, this business is selected in this report for further analysis.

Savov (2016) mentioned that in 2009, the list of Fortune’s 100 fastest growing companies gave first position to this brand RIM. In 2010, it was reported by comScore that RIM is one of those companies that have the largest market share i.e. 37.3% in the smartphone market of U.S. It was having the 36 million subscribers in the global market. But with the introduction of Apple iOS, Android and Google, period of its demise started. Though, it attempted well; but it could not make it again in the smartphones market. Such fascinating history of this business makes it interesting to study why it failed actually. Therefore, this brand is selected.

It is often said that technology based companies are based on formula of One-In and One-Out, so as Apple entered the market, the lifecycle of Blackberry started to decline. It is not proved yet was it failure was due to Apple or some other reason was at backend of this failure. So this report will examine the main reason of its failure and it will also present the strategies for its turnaround.

As there exists various methods to do the root cause analysis of business failure, this report will use the causal factor analysis for identifying the reason of failure of Blackberry (RIM). As said by Sharma and Mahajan (1980), a business can face failure due to external and internal factors. External environment conditions could not be controlled, while internal factors are somehow in control of the organization. This report will shed light on both external and internal conditions for examining what led towards the failure of this business. Richardson et al., (1994) has presented FROG typology for categorising the business failure prone organizations and it is quite useful to identify the root cause of failure. As per this typology, business could be of small or big size while organization or its leader could be boiled frog, drowned frog, bullfrog or tadpole. This report will also use this typology for examining the business failure at RIM.




Arthur, C., 2013. Why BlackBerry failed, [Online], Available at: [Accessed on: 21st May, 2017]

Richardson, B., Nwankwo, S., and Richardson, S., 1994. Understanding the Causes of Business Failure Crises: Generic Failure Types: Boiled Frogs, Drowned Frogs, Bullfrogs and Tadpoles, Management Decision, 32(4), pp. 9 – 22.

Savov, V., 2016. BlackBerry's success led to its failure, [Online], Available at: [Accessed on: 21st April, 2017]

Sharma, S., and Mahajan, V., 1980. Early warning indicators of business failure. Journal of Marketing, 44(4), pp. 80–89.






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