I couldn’t resist I just had to jump on the bandwagon and have a blog post about the Blackberry vs iPhone debate, especially after the news of the iPhone 3G release news. I am however, going to look at it from a business side of things, because I am all about the business.
Firstly let me pass my condolences to Nokia, Motorola (Goodbye Moto), Samsung, LG & Siemens and the rest of the mobile phone handset “original” manufacturers. You have just experienced a wonderful lesson in Disruptive Intellectual Property 101 and Product Life Cycle for Dummies. I can remember when I had my first “brick mobile phone”, it was actually my moms, but I used it like is was mine, I was only 15 at the time. Then when I turned 18 I got my own mobile (Yep at that time you really had to be at least 16 to have your own mobile phone, now even 10 year olds have mobiles). Back to my Disruptive Intellectual Property and Product Life Cycle lesson - you see all these manufacturers thought they had conquered the world, little did they know they were really just the opening act.
When Blackberry stepped on the scene a good few years ago things got a little interesting. Originally a device for the Wall Street & City (London term for Investment Bankers) boys & girls, they really become popular with them because companies soon realised that they increased productivity from their employees, they started dishing them out as part of your remuneration package. You can picture the scenario right, Bankers / Executives on the golf course entertaining and the office needing you to proof some figures, presto, your pocket vibrated or you heard that bleep and there you had it, CAPM.xls. Quick glance the click confirmation to your PA that you are happy with the figures and you just made your company another £10 million.
Then pop culture took over and everyone had to have a Blackberry from Paris Hilton to Prince Harry. Terms like “crackberry” were coined just to indicate how addictive the device is (I am testament to that, I swear I need therapy). Then just like the PC vs Mac wars, Apple thought they would step into the mobile phone market, and with much hype, catchy advertising and those classic Steve Jobs presentations we saw the birth of the iPhone.
The features were amazing and Apple fanatics (which I am not, by the way) formed an orderly queue (some even 24 hours before) to get their hands on one. There were great reviews of the device and while Nokia, Motorola (Goodbye Moto) and the rest were K.O’d, RIM, who make Blackberry’s, were only knocked against the ropes. They regained their momentum with updated model designs, the good ol’ trackerball navigation, media player, camera and a host of other applications (Visit Handago for more information). Then Apple came through and connected with a left hook (ouch!!!), with the news of the iPhone 3G.
Lets exam the The Business Principles here folks for our dearly departed ”original manufacturers”:
No. 1 – This one is simple, the “original” mobile device manufacturers dropped the ball, they should have seen the Blackberry & iPhones coming.
No. 2 - You have to innovate to keep things viable in business, basic Product Life Cycle math.
No. 3 - If you are not first to market you can still come and blow the market away with your product -Congratulations Steve Jobs & Apple.
No. 4 – Oh, lets not forget number 4, this is the most important one (Bill Gates and Microsoft pioneered this one) - Get version one out as soon as possible (bugs, warts and all), then release a “super duper” version two shortly thereafter and people will throw out their current version and “upgrade”. Just Brilliant looks like your Profit & Loss account is showing more profit than loss now
So folks there are a lot of business principles to be learnt from the mobile phone device industry and some we should take on board regardless of our business. As I grow my empire and become a billionaire, these are lessons I will truly take on board, because in business you have to have the EDGE.
I wish you wealth, good health, peace and happiness