BlackBerry Losing Business Grip

by Jordan Richardson on November 8, 2010

It’s no secret that Research in Motion’s BlackBerry has targeted business users since day one. The Waterloo-based company has dedicated most of its advertising dollars to zeroing in on the corporate sector, but it looks like that dedication is being threatened by a number of consumer-oriented smart phones.

BlackBerry’s fragility in terms of the market was starkly realized on Friday morning after a Thursday announcement from Dell that stated the latter company would be switching its employees from BlackBerry units to their own in-house Venue Pro units. Shares in RIM slipped over 3% on Friday, as investors began to worry that BlackBerry’s hold over corporate clients was beginning to wane.

The Dell switch is far from the only reason to consider this as a valid point, as many recent threats to RIM’s dominance in the corporate sector have been registered.

According to Bloomberg, banks are testing security software on Apple’s iPhone to see if those units will be able to carry company messages. The Globe and Mail’s Bank of America source confirmed the report.

BlackBerry has long held dominance in banking and corporate sectors because of the security of the product, but with Apple and other companies catching up to the demands of these business sectors it looks like RIM could be in for a fight over its most precious resource. Many companies supply BlackBerry units due to the higher security credentials, but if these sorts of consumer-oriented products can offer comparable (or better) security, it may be time for companies to switch and allow employees to use their personal devices on the job.

If this were possible, corporations could save money on providing BlackBerry devices for staffers. And they could do this without risking any sensitive security issues, so it’s a win-win.

For RIM, though, it means that they may finally be up against the wall. They’ve long relied in the security of the BlackBerry to save the day, but if companies start allowing employees the right to use their own phones for job applications, all bets are off. With most employees selecting phones other than BlackBerry devices as their primary units, there’s no question that we could start to see a switch of significant proportions.

Putting all of their eggs in one basket has never sounded like a good idea for RIM, but it’s starting to look rather serious with news like this. The company can handle rumours and potential problems, but hemorrhaging their most vital customer group can’t be so easily dismissed.

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{ 2 trackbacks }

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