Blackberry Company Major Problems and Their Solutions


Blackberry is a Canadian-based company specializing in cybersecurity and endpoint protection. It makes Internet interaction safer by using machine learning and artificial intelligence. The company was initially called RIM; later, it adopted the name Blackberry and produced pagers, smartphones, and tablets. Following, under the leadership of John S. Chen, CEO, its products were used by government agencies, automakers, and other businesses to counter ransomware attacks and hacks. Blackberry was founded in 1984 by Douglas Fregin and Mike Lazaridis as a research company (Savov, 2017). In 1992, Lazaridis hired Jim Balsillie, who served as co-CEO until 2012, when Thorsten Hines took over as CEO and president. Internal decision-making forced the company to face emotional management problems, which led to internal unproductivity (Savov, 2017). It made its competitors make use of the chance to make mileage in terms of gaining customers.

In November 2013, a CEO took over the company, whose plan was to subcontract production to Foxconn and focus on software development. Currently, his plan involves the formation of partnerships that are licensed with manufacturers of devices. Blackberry 2020 entered into a new agreement with onward mobility, the United States-based Start-up Company (Savov, 2017). Primary competitors for Blackberry as a company are smartphones that use the Google Android and Apple iPhone.

Issues that Required Innovative Approach

Blackberry was the leading smartphone, especially in the U.S. but also in other markets. One of the main problems is that when the Apple iPhone and Google Android were developed, it caused Blackberry’s growth and sales declined, especially in the U.S. This caused adverse media reports and feedback from analysts who were pessimistic about the company’s ability to sustain growth and revenue (Ortega and Arellano, 2018, p. 137). An internal factor that provoked this problem was the lack of innovation on the part of Blackberry. The company was accustomed to the leading position it had already gained in the market and failed to adapt in time to the changing demands of customers. The presentation of the iPhone attracted much attention in the media; some even called it the killer of Blackberry. Although Blackberry continued to record modest sales growth, the newer iPhone had a higher growth rate, ultimately impacting Blackberry’s stock price.

The decline in share price led to the company laying off two thousand employees in 2011. Thus, the loss of many jobs is also a problem that requires an innovative solution. The service sector was not without problems either – in September 2011, there was an internet service disruption that affected millions of Blackberry users for a few days (Savov, 2017). This embarrassed the company as Apple was preparing to launch the iPhone 4s a few days later, fearing that the platform was malfunctioning. An internal factor that caused these problems could be the untimely reaction of management and the lack of a clear crisis plan. The company had nothing to offer to the customers and the employees, and there was no quick way out of the situation.

To solve this problem, the company launched BBX, a new design for Blackberry phones in the future, based on the Playbooks design to create QNX. However, this led to the company being accused of trademark infringement for the BBX name and renaming the platform blackberry 10 (Ortega and Arellano, 2018, p. 139). Due to untimely actions by management, in March 2012, Blackberry posted its first net loss in an extended period, forcing then CEO Hayne to develop a restructuring plan. This entailed laying off 5,000 employees, replacing several executives, and delaying the release of the new QNX phone platform.

Another problem, competition from other all-touchscreen phones, forced the company to release the Blackberry ten after a delay. This design was different from previous phones. The Blackberry Z10 had a dual-core processor, a picture-perfect display, and a complete touchscreen design. The company decided to focus on security for its users and getting results. Instead of using off-the-shelf operating systems, the company created its operating system (Cantona, 2021). During the launch of Blackberry 10, the company announced a brand name change to Blackberry by RIM (Ortega and Arellano, 2018, p. 138). The renaming was intended to sell the Blackberry brand because of the excellent quality of its various products. In 2013, the company announced it sought acquisitions and partnerships with Canadian securities administrators (Savov, 2017). The board created a task force to develop options to increase scale, thereby increasing value to accelerate the rollout of Blackberry 10. Among the alternatives were alliances or strategic partnerships, joint ventures, deals, or even a sale of the company.

John Chen Joins Blackberry

Blackberry appointed John as its chief executive officer to replace Hein, who had been let go. The company hoped that John, who had a good reputation, could save a troubled company. He had prior experience in managing a mobile company and had made things happen in the mobile industry. Chen’s turnaround strategy involved partnering and investing initiatives that adhere to legal standards, such as financial and legal services (Ortega and Arellano, 2018, p. 140). Blackberry’s device division and investing in emerging areas example, artificial intelligence. In 2014, he introduced Blackberry Z3 in Indonesia as it was cheap to acquire. The company had recorded good sales in the country.

Software Transition 2015- Present

As of June 2021, revenue from supporting cybersecurity accounted for 86% of first-quarter 2021 revenue. Chen reiterated that “by turning the organization around by creating two business units, Internet of Things and cybersecurity,” the company would gain revenue, gross margins, and other individual metrics. This helped create shareholder value as well as understand the business unit’s key metrics. Blackberry has not been able to evolve with new technologies such as the android operating system. Blackberry also developed a full touchscreen phone later due to competition from competitors. In addition, because the company dominated the smartphone industry until 2007, it failed to realize that innovation was necessary to maintain its place in the market (Savov, 2017). In terms of the theoretical and conceptual framework, the company took a conservative approach. The company had the innovation and resources to produce a smartphone that could compete with the iPhone and goggles android. Management showed complacency as the company had to develop a strategy to create a smartphone that would ensure its survival after the launch of the Apple iPhone.

Blackberry, by focusing on its current customers, registered significant losses. When innovation and evolution occurred on the android side, Blackberry decided to protect its market share and brand instead of expanding into emerging areas. Most government agencies and businesses use Blackberry’s robust email, practical functionality, and superior security. Wanting to appease its customers and preserve its reputation, Blackberry solved half the problem. It was still in the cell phone business but was eventually superseded by the Apple iPhone and goggles android. The company’s management believed its customers were loyal enough to put up with a limited product while waiting for a better one. The company delayed launching a competitive smartphone until it invented a powerful chip to handle the demands (Ortega and Arellano 2018). The company had the resources and advantages but refused to accept change and see the future possibilities.

The Process of Innovation Blackberry Should Use

The company already has a brand name with global recognition; hence, its internal departments should implement a strategy aimed at innovation. Since it still has sales in the smartphone market, Blackberry should release phones that compete well outside of America and Europe. The demand for blackberry phones in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia is still there. This is because of access price and technology. Blackberry’s low data usage has made it user-friendly, where 3 and 4G have not been reached yet. In addition, cyber security and the internet of things expand beyond the American continent by looking at markets such as Africa and China. Blackberry has survived its darkest years due to geographic and technological peculiarity. Albeit sales have dwindled in the western world, the company continues to record sales in sub-Saharan Africa and Indonesia. In addition, regions such as the Middle East, South Africa, and Nigeria account for most blackberry sales. However, the company seized smartphones directly, shifting its focus on the design and licensing of its output.

The company should continue to make strategic acquisitions aimed at diversifying its revenue streams. An example is the acquisition of Cylance, which is synergetic for the company as Blackberry used Rylance to diversify into the cyber security space (Ortega and Arellano, 2018, p. 140). Blackberry did much business with the government by providing cyber security services and internet of things services; hence, the company should rebuild its brand name to do more business with government agencies. Government departments and agencies constantly face threats from hackers; therefore, the government will continue to seek solutions to cyber-attacks.

The penetration of 3G and 4G in developing countries is still low; hence, the company should create products that do not require a good internet connection; therefore, its effects will be accessed at a low cost. Blackberry products are still in demand in developing countries because of the low purchase cost and ease of use, as a 2G connection will suffice. Equally, the company can focus on producing gadgets that can transition between 2G and 3G subsequently.

Type of Innovation Required

The company should focus on shareholder and investor confidence to drive up the company’s share price, which seems to recover but always goes back down despite positive earnings reports. So far, the company has used an excellent strategy for recovery, which focuses on understanding the client base (Ortega and Arellano, 2018, p. 137). The future of internet security is bright; hence, these are the strengths of Blackberry. The company should focus on offering tailor-made solutions to all its clients and government agencies. With cyber-attacks increasing as the world becomes more digitized, many solutions exist in the ransomware space. The focus should be on understanding what future hackers will be using to hack a system and innovating solutions to thwart such attacks. Cyber-attack frequency and threat are increasing as hackers have developed more hacking and ransomware deployment on unsuspecting end users. Blackberry should focus on offering solutions that are impenetrable and time responsive hence ensuring system safety.

Ways of Protecting the Innovations

Blackberry is a big company; hence keeping up with every department and small managerial changes at the department level can be difficult. The company should build a friendly corporate culture where ethics and employees are valued (Ortega and Arellano, 2018, p. 138). This would ensure the company employees work towards the good and benefit of the company. Robust legal systems through the legal and HR departments would ensure compliance with company rules and regulations.

The company should also use trade rights to register all innovations, products, and solutions that the company develops. If the company, through its legal department, identifies a trade rights infringement, it can sue, hence protecting its assets (Cantona, 2021). The employees working for the company should sign non-disclosure agreements before beginning work; therefore, all company secrets and trade agreements are protected. The non-disclosure agreements can form a basis for instilling employee loyalty.


The company should continue to focus on its client base as it has done in the past hence building on its strengths. As the world becomes more digitized, the need for cyber security services or the internet of things will continue to increase; thus, the company’s client base should expand. The company’s leadership should be well-coordinated and ready to respond to clientele with changing demands and tastes. Ultimately, the company’s success is a long-term goal; hence, short-term goals and targets should not cloud the bigger picture. The uptake of technology is set to increase this decade, presenting both challenges and opportunities for the company. The future of Blackberry is excellent as the company has the resources and technology to innovate and develop products that meet required standards and client needs. When the company strategically incorporates advanced technology and its leadership focuses on gaining public trust, it will attract new clients and compete with other companies. It takes the best marketing strategies and a goal-oriented workforce to realize profitability. The company has a future because it proved its worth when they were at its best metrical operations.

Reference List

Cantona, E. (2021) ‘Pengaruh Dari Brand Image Dan Product Quality Melalui Customer Satisfaction Sebagai Variabel Mediator Terhadap Customer Loyalty’, Jurnal Manajemen Bisnis Dan Kewirausahaan, 5(5), pp. 488-463. Web.

Ortega, O., Delfín, V, and Arellano Y. M. (2018) ‘International Competitiveness of Agricultural Export Firms: A Study of Export Companies of Blackberries in Los Reyes, Michoacán, Mexico and Huelva, Spain’, Competition Forum, 16(1), pp. 136-141.

Savov, V. (2017) ‘BlackBerry’s success led to its failure,’ The Verge, 30(9), pp. 217-221.

Cite this paper

Select style


BusinessEssay. (2023, January 3). Blackberry Company Major Problems and Their Solutions. Retrieved from


BusinessEssay. (2023, January 3). Blackberry Company Major Problems and Their Solutions.

Work Cited

"Blackberry Company Major Problems and Their Solutions." BusinessEssay, 3 Jan. 2023,


BusinessEssay. (2023) 'Blackberry Company Major Problems and Their Solutions'. 3 January.


BusinessEssay. 2023. "Blackberry Company Major Problems and Their Solutions." January 3, 2023.

1. BusinessEssay. "Blackberry Company Major Problems and Their Solutions." January 3, 2023.


BusinessEssay. "Blackberry Company Major Problems and Their Solutions." January 3, 2023.