PlayBook: Diversification by BlackBerry

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 3216 , Published on 23 June 2011
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First shedding the tag of catering to the corporates in the mobile segment and now diversifying into the tablet market, Research In Motion the makers of Blackberry have indeed taken a important step in their business survival strategy. A few years ago no one would have dreamt of them catering to the masses which has happened now in India. India is a unique market which makes every MNC think out of the box. And now when other tablet manufacturers are shying from launching their products in India, Blackberry has indeed taken a bold step to launch their new Blackberry Playbook in India.

 

Blackberry Playbook

 

Why is every mobile manufacturer now entering the tablet market? First it was Apple, followed by Samsung and now Blackberry. The reason could be that all these companies think that tablets are a perfect extension to their portfolio. It is like filling the void between mobiles and notebooks. World over the mobile market is stagnating except a few developing countries & emerging economies, and for them to survive innovation is the key. And as reports suggest the tablet market has indeed shown a rapid growth and this has made other manufacturers sit up and notice.

 

So what exactly is Blackberry offering through Playbook? It is been projected as a Business tablet and they are trying to strike a balance between their core target segment and the future growth segment. They want the backing of enterprise users and also want to increase their market share by entering other segments as well. Its screen size is a good 3 inches less than the other tablets which make it easy for the business users to carry. Further it provides the same secure features which its mobiles are famous for. It syncs the email when connected to the Blackberry phone through a feature named as "Blackberry Sync". It has a HDMI output which helps to render the presentations prepared on it to a HDTV. Also it provides full functionality in terms of accessing flash content and also a virtualization software to run apps from Android Market.

 

Though it was launched a few weeks back in other market, the response has not particularly lukewarm. There have been a few criticisms for the product as many felt that it is actually a Beta version which has been launched. One important drawback is that the famous Blackberry features such as email, messenger cannot be accessed independently but only in sync through Blackberry phone. Also the ecosystem surrounding the tablet has not properly evolved and the apps offered are very few and the development ecosystem is also at a nascent stage. Most of the critics are of the view that it is a good product but needs a little improvement.

 

Research In Motion is indeed facing severe problems in the mobile market and has resorted to a diversification strategy. They need to come up with innovative products and cannot just rely on their mobile segment. The question of survival which Nokia is facing today should serve as a reminder to every company to innovate and diversify in segments which would serve as a brand extension. Research In Motion has taken the first step in that direction and it is indeed a good one. So that brings us to a question whether the Playbook will be a success in India? Only time will tell and even we are waiting to know whether it is going to be only Apples or Androids in the future.


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