Last week’s BlackBerry outage angered millions of the smartphone’s users when BlackBerry owners from across Asia, Europe, Africa and North America were deprived of email and chat messaging services for days. Even those who don’t own a BlackBerry were probably affected by having to listen to non-stop complaints from frazzled friends and co-workers.
The question now is, what will BlackBerry’s 70 million customers do following this mass black(berry)out? There’s no question that the brand has suffered because of the outage. After all, BlackBerry has built its image on reliability and security. But that doesn’t mean that BlackBerry’s millions of users are suddenly going to abandon the smartphone brand altogether.
Tech writer Peter Svensson believes the BlackBerry won’t become extinct just yet. “BlackBerrys, like other imperfect business technologies, are deeply entrenched in commercial settings, and getting rid of them represents time and money that companies may be reluctant to give up,” he writes in The Huffington Post.
That said, things aren’t looking so bright for Research in Motion, the company that produces the once-dominant smartphone. A Kelkoo survey of more than 1,000 BlackBerry customers found that 19 percent of users were thinking of switching over to another smartphone, while 42 per cent are considering making a switch later on.
BlackBerry users have been migrating to other smartphones long before last week’s fiasco. RIM’s smartphone holds only 20 per cent of the market in the United States, according to ComScore. One thing is for sure; the recent outage won’t do anything to help the troubled brand.