BLACKBERRY FIGHTS BACK

quarterceladonMobile - Wireless

Dec 10, 2013 (3 years and 11 months ago)

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News in
Review


April 2013


Teacher Resource Guide

BLACKBERRY FIGHTS BACK

News in Review

∙ CBC Learning ∙
newsinreview.cbclearning.ca

18


MINDS
-
ON ACTIVITY

In the smartphone world, reputation is everything. Keep
this in mind as you answer the following questions:



Which smartphone has the best reputation?



Which smartphone has the worst reputation?



Where does the
BlackBerry

brand of smartphon
e fit
into this conversation?



Are
BlackBerry
s considered a good

phone or a bad
phone?

SETTING THE STAGE

When Research in Motion finally released its
much anticipated (and often delayed)
BlackBerry

10 smartphones in January 2013,
customer and industry ins
ider response could be
summarized in one concise phrase: They’re not
dead yet. The smartphones received decent
reviews with many techno
-
savvy observers
giving
BlackBerry

credit for combining security
for business applications with the playful
functionality

of a personal smartphone in one
handset.

Too
Little, Too Late
?

But is it too little, too late?
BlackBerry

once
dominated the smartphone landscape


mostly
because Research in Motion invented the
technology. However, over the years, phones
running Google’s

Android software (like the
Samsung Galaxy) and Apple’s iPhone have
taken over while
BlackBerry
’s market share has
dropped to less than five per cent. Nonetheless,
BlackBerry

is hopeful that it can be at least a
smaller player in a sector of the economy
do
minated by several giants.

Early Profits

Despite the dominance of the smartphone
market by its competitors, initial sales numbers
for the Z10 did see
BlackBerry

mount a bit of a
comeback. After reporting a quarterly loss of
almost $130 billion in the sprin
g of 2012,
BlackBerry

posted a surprising $98 billion profit
one year later. Many credit this
to

the new Z10
as well
BlackBerry
’s impressive growth in
emerging markets in Asia and Africa.

Takeover

Target?

Some worry that cutting
-
edge technology and a
retur
n to profitability might prove fatal for
BlackBerry
. The company is believed to be
worth about $7 billion while competitors like
Samsung and Apple are both worth well over
$100 billion. This leads many industry analysts
to speculate that
BlackBerry

is

ripe

for the
picking if a cash
-
rich competitor decides to buy
them. And make no mistake: despite the tough
times
BlackBerry

has experienced over the past
Did You Know?

Research in Motion (RIM) rebranded
themselves simply as BlackBerry the day
they unveiled the Z10 and Q10.

APRIL 2013



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News in Review

∙ CBC Learning ∙
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19


few years, they are still a valuable company.
A
long with over $2 billion in the bank
,
BlackBerry

holds pat
ents on

technology that
many competitors covet.

Uncertain Future

So what does this mean for Canada’s most
accomplished high
-
tech firm? The success of the
Z10, and the companion Q10, could catapult
BlackBerry

back into the smartphone mix. It
could see the c
ompany grab back some market
share and help restore
BlackBerry
’s tarnished
reputation. Success might also mean that a
company like Samsung could decide that they
would rather not compete with
BlackBerry

and
simply give them a buyout offer they can’t
refuse
. What’s at stake is the future of a made in
Canada brand that put this nation on the
high
-
tech

map.

To Consider

1.

Why is the success of the Z10 and Q10 so important to
BlackBerry
?

2.

How well did the Z10 perform after its January 2013 launch?

3.

Why is
BlackBerry

an attractive takeover target?

4.

What do you think? Will
BlackBerry

survive and continue to be relevant in the smartphone market?

APRIL 2013



BLACKBERRY FIGHTS BA
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News in Review

∙ CBC Learning ∙
newsinreview.cbclearning.ca

20


VIDEO REVIEW

Pre
-
viewing Questions

1
.

What do you think of
BlackBerry

smartphones?



2
.

What kind of reputation

do
BlackBerry

smartphones have among your friends?



3
.

Do you own or have you ever owned a
BlackBerry
? Did you ever want to own a
BlackBerry
?



4
.

Would you recommend a
BlackBerry

to a friend who is the market for a smartphone?



Viewing Questions

1
.

What product is
BlackBerry

hoping will save it from ruin?


2
.

Why is the new
BlackBerry smartphone considered a make
-
or
-
break product for the company?



3
.

Why is it surprising that
BlackBerry

allowed a CBC reporter to monitor the release of the
Blac
kBerry

10? How is this different from previous product launches by the company?



4
.

How has Research in Motion’s economic fate changed over the years?



APRIL 2013



BLACKBERRY FIGHTS BA
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News in Review

∙ CBC Learning ∙
newsinreview.cbclearning.ca

21


5
.

Why is
BlackBerry

anxious to reassert itself in the U.S. market?



6
.

If Vivek Bhardwaj’s job

is to convince businesses to buy
BlackBerry
, what is Jeff Gadway’s job?



7
.

What new features does Gadway highlight when showing off the phone?



8
.

Which cycle in innovation did
BlackBerry

miss according to Jeff Gadway? Is it a good idea for him
to
publically admit this?



9
.

What security measures does
BlackBerry

take to make sure no one steals its technology?



10
.

What opportunities has
BlackBerry

missed in its quest to take back some of its share of the
smartphone market?



11
.

Why does tec
h blogger Robert Scoble think the
BlackBerry 10 is a “stop the bleeding”

product?



12
.

Why are
BlackBerry

developers
feeling
optimistic? What do they know they need to do to succeed?



13
.

How successful was the sale of
BlackBerry

10 smartphones in th
e months after its launch?



APRIL 2013



BLACKBERRY FIGHTS BA
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News in Review

∙ CBC Learning ∙
newsinreview.cbclearning.ca

22


Post
-
viewing Questions

What do you think? Based on what you saw in the documentary, does the
BlackBerry

10 have what it
takes to save Canada’s premier high
-
tech company?

Explain.






APRIL 2013



BLACKBERRY FIGHTS BA
CK


News in Review

∙ CBC Learning ∙
newsinreview.cbclearning.ca

23


READING FOR UNDERSTANDING
: Can Black
Berry 10 Save the Company?

BlackBerry
’s fortunes began to decline fairly rapidly after Apple and Google surged past them in the
development of applications and software for their phones.
BlackBerry

was seen as a company standing
still as Apple and Google
made smartphones that were both functional and fun. Meanwhile,
BlackBerry
’s
efforts to bring a little fun into their devices were seen as a little bit lame
,

with the much
-
anticipated
Playbook receiving nowhere near the response that
BlackBerry

executives h
ad hoped for. In fact,
BlackBerry

has performed so poorly over the past few years that many feel that, if the Z10 and Q10 don’t
turn a profit, the company will be as good as done. Keep this in mind as you read the following product
description of the Z10 s
martphone.

The
BlackBerry

Z10

Many of the Z10 features meet typical industry
standards for the new breed of superphones. For
instance, the Z10’s 16 gigabytes of stora
ge, eight
megapixel rear camera

and 1080 p video c
amera are
pretty much standard “must hav
es”

for superphones.
The Z10 also boasts a 4.2
-
inch touch screen display
(iPhone 5 is four inches and the Samsung Galaxy 4 is five inches) and a battery life of up to
10

hours of
talk time. However, the Z10 might be considered innovative in the following a
reas:

1.

The
BlackBerry

10 operating system allows
for true multitasking without the need to
close one application in order to run another.
There is no
“home”

button on the Z10 so the
user just moves from application to
application with the swipe of a fin
ger. This
swiping process is dubbed
BlackBerry

Flow.
A corresponding function called Peek allows
users to sneak a peek at another application
while they are working with one on the main
screen. For example, a person can check
their messages on half the scr
een while they
are watching a YouTube video on the other
half.

2.

The Z10 also has what’s called Time Shift
mode for taking pictures. Basically the
camera takes a small burst of pictures prior
to the user pressing the shutter. This allows
the user to shift

to the frame that provides
the most desirable picture. This is especially
helpful
if

a person blinks when a picture is
taken. All the user does is shift to the point
where the person isn’t blinking to create a
better photo.

3.

The Z10’s on
-
screen keyboard

in either
portrait or landscape has some innovative
features as well. It has what
BlackBerry

calls contextual auto
-
correction (guessing
the words you are typing), next
-
word
prediction (guessing the words you are
likely to type next), and a touch screen
le
arning system that adjusts to how you
type. This feature is called predictive typing
with the on
-
screen keyboard essentially
learning where your fingers or thumbs will
land when you

want to type a certain letter.

4.

BlackBerry

Hub allows the user to gather

all
of their messages (including Facebook and
Twitter) in one convenient location. It also
allows the user to gather meeting dates and
times into one information hub.

The Z10 and the qwerty keybo
ard Q10
are actually classified as superphones. A
superphone has a powerful information
processor, multi
-
tasking capabilities and a
large touch
-
screen display.

APRIL 2013



BLACKBERRY FIGHTS BA
CK


News in Review

∙ CBC Learning ∙
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24


5.

BlackBerry Balance allows the user to
separate their personal information from
their
work data. In the not too recent past,
many people found themselves carrying
around two devices: one for work and one
for fun. The Z10 allows a company to
separate personal data that may compromise
network security from protected business
data.

To Conside
r

What do you think? Does the Z10 have what it takes to save
BlackBerry
? Do the features of the phone
make you want to go out and buy one?

The
BlackBerry

Z10

s companion, the qwerty keyboard Q10, was expected to be released in the
late spring of 2013.


APRIL 2013



BLACKBERRY FIGHTS BA
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News in Review

∙ CBC Learning ∙
newsinreview.cbclearning.ca

25


RE
ADING FOR UNDERSTANDING
: Marketing BlackBerry

BlackBerry
’s troubles started when smartphone technology expanded from the business market into the
consumer market.
BlackBerry

watched their competitors morph their technology into something that was
both pra
ctical and playful



making huge profits in the process. While
BlackBerry

stayed profitable
itself, many believe it really missed the boat in terms of the consumer market. Keep this in mind as you
read the following article.

Left in the dust

BlackBerry
’s
reputation began to take a serious
beating shortly after Apple released its first
iPhone. The iPhone changed the smartphone
landscape by creating a functional phone with
easy
internet

browsing and entertaining apps.
Soon other smartphone makers moved in as

the
lucrative consumer market replaced the business
market as the profit hotspot of the
high
-
tech

device industry. Meanwhile, Research in
Motion, the makers of the
BlackBerry
, clung to
the notion that they owned the loyalty of some
the world’s biggest bus
inesses.

What soon began to emerge was a two
-
device
culture with people carrying a business phone
(the
BlackBerry
) and a personal phone (the
iPhone or a smartphone running Google’s
Android software). It didn’t take long for people
to start to complain to t
heir employers that
carrying two devices was cumbersome and a bit
silly. Information Technology (IT) departments
needed to adapt so that people could use a single
device, like an iPhone, for both business and
pleasure



and this is precisely what happened.

BlackBerry

began to fade in popularity and
iPhones and Android phones took over the
smartphone mar
ket even in the business arena.

In time, IT departments were compelled to
figure out ways to blend business applications
with personal applications in one de
vice.

Resurrecting
BlackBerry

After a prolonged period of declining market
share and plummeting stock prices,
BlackBerry

knew it needed to try something new. They fired
their two founding CEOs and promoted
Thorsten Heins to lead the company. Heins
vowed t
o make the marketing of
BlackBerry

devices his first priority. While the new CEO
spent more of his first year defending
BlackBerry

than promoting its products, the
release of the Z10 and Q10 allowed Heins and
his marketing team to make
BlackBerry

seem
rele
vant again. Adopting the motto

Keep
Moving,


BlackBerry

was able to use the Z10
and Q10 to demonstrate that they were the
company to trust when it came to the creation of
a device that blends business and pleasure. The
BlackBerry

10 smartphones managed to

create
the

two phones in one


solution people were
looking for with a secure business side and a
completely separate (and private) personal side.

BlackBerry

promoted their new smartphones
with a glitzy Super Bowl ad and hired singer
-
songwriter Alicia Key
s as the company’s new
global creative director. Keys, along with
fantasy
-
horror writer Neil Gaiman and movie
director/screenwriter Robert Rodriguez, were
hired to create original content with the help of
their
BlackBerry

smartphones. The company
laid out
a plan to document this process and role
it out as part of its marketing campaign.

APRIL 2013



BLACKBERRY FIGHTS BA
CK


News in Review

∙ CBC Learning ∙
newsinreview.cbclearning.ca

26


To Consider

1.

Why did
BlackBerry

lose its market share to its competitors?

2.

How might the Z10 and Q10 make
BlackBerry

competitive in the smartphone market again?

3.

Does

BlackBerry
’s new marketing campaign have what it takes to grab people’s interest?

4.

What could
BlackBerry

do differently to win back customers?

5

a).

How effective are Apple’s efforts to promote the iPhone? Why are these efforts so effective?
How do peop
le respond when a new iPhone comes to market?

b)

Could
BlackBerry

learn a thing or two from Apple? If so, what could they learn?


APRIL 2013



BLACKBERRY FIGHTS BA
CK


News in Review

∙ CBC Learning ∙
newsinreview.cbclearning.ca

27


ACTIVITY: Smartphone Comparis
on

Questions before the activity

1.

How much do you like your smartphone?

2.

What do you dislike

about your smartphone?

3.

If you

could own any smartphone on the

market, which one would it be?

Activity

Form a group of five. Choose one group member to moderate the discussion, moving through the points
below in a timely fashion (perhaps 3
-
5 minutes per

point).

Take out your cellphone/smartphone/

superphone and place on the desk in front o
f
you (if you don’t have a phone

or you forgot it
at home, partner up with someone who has
their phone with them).


Compare your smartphones. How different
does each p
hone look? How heavy is each
phone? Do you share a common phone brand
with someone else in the group? What have
you and the people in your group done to
protect your phones from damage?


How is each smartphone a reflection of its
owner? How have you person
alized your
phone? How have others personalized theirs?


What features does your smartphone have that
you really enjoy? Describe these features to the
members of your group.


What features of the smartphone do you really
dislike? Describe the inadequacies
of your
phone to the members of your group
.


How do all the smartphones compare? Who has
the best phone? Explain why the phone you
selected is the best.


Make a list of the best features of
all your

smartphone
s
. How great would a phone with all
of these fe
atures be?


Work with your group members and come up
with ideas that you think would create the
ultimate smartphone. Name your phone and be
prepared to present your ultimate smartphone
idea to the rest of your class.

Followu
p

Your teacher might want to l
ead a class discussion to see what conclusions you and your classmates were
a
ble to glean from the activity, or
to hear about your ultimate smartphone.