BlackBerry, an industry leader due to the popularity of its first generation of smartphones, has recently been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. First, despite being an early leader in smartphone technology, Research in Motion (RIM), the firm responsible for developing and marketing Blackberries, failed to see the market opportunity presented by the rise of the Smartphone. Furthermore, the firm misunderstood consumer preferences, allowing Apple and Samsung to steal market share (Hempel, 2010). Because of this, the firm was almost to close down, and, despite many shifts in leadership, it has yet to attain an effective competitive edge. Research in Motion’s decision to recruit a new CEO and take a fresh injection of money after rejecting a buyout offer and rescinding a selling option has caused the company to gain attention (Firtman, 2013). This paper uses the case study of BlackBerry company to help study and understand its industry context using the SWOT analysis tool in the first section. The second section examines the areas in which BlackBerry company has earned excellence in terms of performance. The third part analyses critical areas that need further improvement for BlackBerry to compete effectively with its rivals. The fourth part evaluates BlackBerry’s strategic marketing, such as pricing strategies, competition, and geographic segmentation with its major rivals, such as Apple, Google, and Samsung. Finally, the paper ends with a logical conclusion of the research findings.
Comparing SWOT analysis between BlackBerry and Apple Company
SWOT Analysis of BlackBerry Company
- Blackberry’s exclusive technology gives them a leg up on the competition, particularly among business customers, and has helped the company gain widespread recognition and a positive image.
- Blackberry’s global compatibility with all major mobile networks is a significant asset that helps the corporation stay mobile and adaptable as it expands its operations. BlackBerry is typical among business professionals; connecting to and integrating with virtual private networks is easy (Gurl, 2017).
- Blackberry’s biggest flaw is its focus on catering to business customers by emphasizing security. This has led to rivals such as Samsung and Apple introducing their own Smartphones for regular people, making security a central selling point (Sarsby, 2016).
- BlackBerry lost popularity among rivals when it required costly corporate software upgrades, prompting many to move to other brands. The firm also declined because its rivals, Samsung and Apple, employed proprietary operating systems more advantageous to Blackberry’s target audience (Gurl, 2017).
- Recently, the firm has taken some bold steps, including turning down a sale and purchase offer and accepting new funding from a group of angel investors. BlackBerry has shown its dedication to its reinvention by replacing its CEO and reorganizing its management team and infrastructure (Teoli, Sanvictores & An, 2019).
- The corporation may profit significantly by capitalizing on its current user base of more than 100 million individuals. The corporation has a huge window of potential to capitalize on by targeting this market with its future offerings (Benzaghta, Elwalda, Mousa, Erkan & Rahman, 2021, p. 61).
- Although Blackberries were the first Mobile phones, both Apple and Samsung surpassed them to the future Smartphones by providing the adaptability and user-friendliness that Blackberries lacked, allowing them to gain a dominant market position (Phadermrod, Crowder & Wills, 2019).
- BlackBerry faces challenges from rivals and within, with poor morale and a lack of direction. It must rescue itself from its workers’ fading momentum and enthusiasm and renew and reinvent itself to stay competitive.
SWOT analysis of Apple Company
- Prominent Name Recognition and Devoted Clientele
Apple has built a dedicated fan following due to its cutting-edge products, high-quality designs, and pleasant user experiences. It also features an App Store, which has led to more revenue for software creators (Berry, 2018).
- Innovative Items and Services
Apple’s iPod and iPhones enabled people to utilize streaming media sites like Spotify, and the company has a reputation for developing ground-breaking technologies that transform whole markets. This made it possible for individuals to access media on their mobile devices at any time (Sarsby, 2016).
- Expensive goods and services
Apple Inc.’s goods are known for their excellent quality, yet they are more expensive than those of its rivals. The high cost of their technology and services puts them out of reach for numerous individuals (Khan, Alam & Alam, 2015).
- Lack of new creative products Apple’s inability to consistently release ground-breaking goods has made it harder for the company to attract new customers in recent years.
- Leveraging its robust brand image to enter rising markets
The company’s size and reach have allowed it to break into the Chinese, Indian, and Russian markets with relative ease (Syer, Adams, Zou & Hassan, 2011).
- Incorporation of brand-new product lines like online reality and augmented reality electronics
Apple is looking at methods to integrate virtual and augmented reality into its range of goods to tap into a new market and attract new customers (Li, 2021).
- Battle Against Counterfeit Goods
Goods that are knockoffs of Apple’s are frequently of poorer quality since they are made using cheaper materials.
- Rising levels of rivalry within their respective markets
Apple’s rivals include Google, Samsung, and Spotify, offering lower and more feature-rich alternatives (Chen, Li & Huang, 2023).
Comparing the business level strategy, the corporate level strategy, and the international level strategy between Blackberry and Apple companies.
- Business level strategy
Value and competitive edge for a specific business unit inside an organization are the primary goals of a business-level strategy. The goal is to stand out from the competition by providing superior value to your clients in a difficult way for your rivals to replicate. It is the bedrock of a firm’s overall strategy and is designed to benefit a specific division or divisions. Blackberry should apply this strategy for various service offerings, product lines, and internal departments. Each company unit will need a plan to compare its costs and advantages and allocate its resources (Shtal et al., 2018, p.32). To better concentrate on what matters most for implementing the business strategy, Blackberry may need to sell or divest part of the business units based on the firm’s state and the market.
Examining how the firm will do in the market in light of its new strategic initiatives is essential. The business says it will cease making handsets and instead focus on creating software tailored to Blackberry users’ needs (Singh, 2022). Management thinks the Blackberry Smart-in-Phone concept, which will include outsourcing handset production to other companies, would provide more consumer value than traditional smartphone platforms. Industry data suggests that the BlackBerry operating system’s multi-platform rigidity is a significant reason why the iPhone brand lost its dominant position in the mobile phone sector to Android, a platform championed by Apple. Blackberry’s software is dependable and secure, but its scope is so limited that it cannot meet all of the requirements of a consumer (Verbeke, 2013). For example, the BBM platform enables immediate communication between users only if both users are equipped with a Blackberry. For instance, an Apple user may communicate with any other Apple user so long as both users have access to and install programs from the AppStore or the PlayStore, starkly contrasting to the Blackberry platform’s chatting capabilities.
When formulating a company-wide strategy, however, executives must think about how to differentiate the company in the markets where it now operates and which markets the company should enter. Creating a successful company portfolio involves picking the right enterprises and figuring out how they should fit together (Cardoso, 2017). Top-level executives often make choices on making significant investments or selling off assets here. Corporate strategy often includes mergers and acquisitions (M&A). For a firm like Blackberry, which intends to create new subsidiaries, each of which has its own plan at the divisional level, a corporate-level strategy is needed to ensure that all of its operations are in line with one another.
The corporate-level strategy will describe the company’s overall resource allocation and portfolio management approach. The corporate strategy will address issues, including which markets to join, which ones to leave, and how to distribute resources between departments (Bergvall-Kåreborn & Howcroft, 2013). The corporate level is the highest and, hence, the most all-encompassing level of company strategy. The primary goal of the BlackBerry company has to be articulated in its corporate strategy. All of its subsequent choices should be informed by it as well. The goals established here should serve as a straight path from the objectives (e.g., high-level goals) to the levels below them (Drnevich & Croson, 2013). Companies with various product lines should take extra care in developing and articulating their corporate strategy. If Blackberry Company has two distinct divisions—manufacturing and sales—it will need to develop distinct business unit strategies for each and a unified corporate strategy that explains the value of both and how they contribute to the whole (Battistella, Biotto & De, 2012).
3. International strategy
When a company wants to break into new markets worldwide, they need a global plan. A global strategy’s end goal is an increase in sales in all markets. “Global strategy” encompasses standardized practices and international and multinational approaches. Creating a global strategy will help the Blackberry corporation in many ways. For example, it can help it expand into new markets, raise the popularity of its brand throughout the world, and more (Grippi, 2013). The other end of the spectrum from being globally integrated and locally responsive is adopting a global strategy. This method seeks to standardize the business in as many aspects as possible across all international markets, including brand colors, messages, goods, and procedures. The company must unify its brand, product line, and message from a single location to do this.
Pursuing this approach can make Blackberry an established brand worldwide and pave the way for a more gradual expansion into other markets. By adopting this approach, the company may reap the benefits of scale, including streamlined procedures and operations, a single product line, and minimal adjustments based on the market (Olson, 2018). The difficulty of global strategy, however, is in determining the appropriate level of standardization to pursue. Although they do so at the expense of their global size and efficiency, even the most well-known global businesses spend on localization and market adaptation. Consumers will be more likely to use Blackberry’s website, mobile app, packaging, and other mediums if they can do it in their native language (Johnson et al., 2022). This approach is often the final goal for multinational firms that have progressed through the previous models to become truly multinational brands. The corporation is taking a risk that the product will sell well in any market, irrespective of consumer preferences.
- Business level strategy
This corporation has a stellar reputation as a leading manufacturer of high-end computers, mobile devices, and accessories. The Apple Corporation was started by S. R. Wayne Jobs and S. By Wozniak in 1976 (Tian, Wang & Wang, 2022). Apple Inc. launched a line of goods distinguished by radical advances in product design. The firm aimed at clients with high disposable income and a penchant for high-end goods. Brand devotion and a risk appetite inspired the Company to launch a luxury goods enterprise. Product differentiation is Apple’s services’ most effective business strategy (Green, 2015). A corporation may increase its market share via the product differentiation strategy by emphasizing ease of use, internationalization, functional improvement, and aesthetics. This is accomplished by charging premium pricing in the intended consumer market. This strategy is fundamental to Apple’s continued success. Apple mostly markets to other technological enterprises and the rich. They have tried to ensure that their items are readily available to buyers. It is vital to recognize the numerous successful electronic and IT companies operating in the industry right now (David, Yo & Kimi, 2010).
However, one of the biggest competitors is Samsung, which offers similar technological and information technologies. However, Samsung offers its lead panels, phones, TVs, digital cameras, and laptops at prices that are quite close to those offered by Apple Inc. Apple’s product diversification strategy has worked quite well, especially when compared to the company’s rivals. Apple has provided its consumers with a wide range of options for purchasing items, including innovative and aesthetically pleasing designs (Doole & Lowe, 2012). Apple Corporation would do well to maintain its use of this strategy. One sector of the economy that will never be polished is the electrical and IT sector. One potential problem with the product diversification strategy is that rival companies may eventually catch up and provide even more distinctive and high-quality offerings. Whether or whether you decide to price your items more than the competition depends heavily on the innovation and marketing behind them (Doole & Lowe, 2012). However, Apple’s long-term and constant success may be primarily attributed to the fact that its high-end customers can purchase high-quality products that meet their demands thanks to this strategy.
2. Apple’s Corporate-Level Strategy
Apple has been a technological powerhouse for years, and the latest iterations of the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook have further solidified the company’s position. Apple’s success in the computer, mobile phone, multimedia player, and online music store markets may be largely attributed to its ability to successfully differentiate its products from those of its competitors (Daniels, Radebaugh, Sullivan & Click, 2014). Here, Apple’s plan is to work with a single vendor for both software and hardware. The organization may then put more effort into producing high-quality designs. In addition, the firm has established a presence in the luxury sector due to its track record of producing in-demand goods.
Apple has also chosen a strategy of distinction in regard to the shipping of its goods by opening retail shops all over the globe (Berthon, Pitt, Plangger & Shapiro, 2012). In addition, the firm offers a novel and improved service delivery model by providing free product samples to potential buyers and setting a cutting-edge standard for technical assistance. These methods have helped the firm achieve its financial goals by ensuring that it provides goods that are superior to those of its competitors in terms of quality, design, technological sophistication, and ease of use. The corporate-level methods used by Apple encompass the moderate and high-level diversity of its goods, which include desktop computers, laptops, mobile phones, online music retailers, and software.
In addition, the firm’s high degree of integration across its personal computer and entertainment divisions enables it to produce and distribute goods at competitive rates while still generating profits (Chen, Yang & Lin, 2013). Apple’s business strategy includes diversification, which it seeks both in terms of products and geographic reach. Given what we know about Apple’s commitment to focusing on its strengths, it is not unexpected that the business pursues related diversification, in which each product line is connected to the others in some manner. Apple stands to reap several rewards from adopting this technique. Apple sticks to goods that it experiences it is truly excellent at, and Steve Jobs provided the same advice to Google’s Larry Page. This enables Apple to capitalize on sustained core skills. As an additional perk, the market for Apple’s new goods is well-established; thus, customers welcome them warmly (Mazzei & Noble, 2017). Apple’s new goods help the company attract and retain more customers, and they also boost the likelihood that Apple’s new customers will buy further items to improve their user experience. This is why Apple’s software store and its music and video offerings have been so successful.
Because it allows Apple to excel at what it does best and attract and retain a large portion of the typical customer, who often buys numerous items from Apple, diversifying may be Apple’s most essential corporate-level approach. Apple’s customer base is safer and less likely to defect to rivals thanks to its efforts to diversify its revenue streams (Josephs, 2012). Apple stays ahead of competitors by doing what it does best. At the same time, its rivals spread themselves too thin by trying to be good at too many things. As a result, Apple can safeguard its market share and revenue margins even when the product life cycle shortens, and the competition heats up. Apple’s diversification approach protects the corporation against a significant drop in sales and revenue in any one product line, despite the fact that Apple manufactures multiple goods that enjoy multi-billion dollar revenues (Roma & Vasi, 2019).
3. Apple’s international-level strategy
Apple has set up its manufacturing facility in China to internationalize its production to take advantage of its low labor costs, easy access to raw materials, large potential market, and comparatively stable economy. In this respect, Apple is ahead of the competition by delivering globally standardized goods thanks to the centralization of engineering design and manufacture. Since the sole variation between Apple devices sold in different countries is the power supply, brand recognition is not an issue (Johnson, Li, Phan, Singer & Trinh, 2012). Apple Inc. engages in the international trade of products by exporting and importing. The company is responsible for paying a variety of customs and charges. Goods that are needed in one nation may be purchased in another via exporting and importing. It also engages in licensing activities overseas to help distribute its goods to new markets with little exposure. Apple abides by all local and national rules and regulations and any applicable international laws. However, to be successful, the company must also have worldwide plans and a business model. It also licenses patents, trademarks, trade secrets, and other intellectual assets for use in overseas markets (Reimann, Schilke & Thomas, 2010).
Apple Inc. primarily employs a differentiation approach worldwide to provide superior value to its customers via its novel brands. Thanks to this approach, The company has grown significantly in its international market share. In this way, Apple can differentiate its products and services globally. Differentiation as an international approach is appealing for a number of reasons (Roma & Vasi, 2019). Apple’s use of a differentiation approach as a primary worldwide tactic is shown in the widespread acclaim that their goods have received in their target markets worldwide. Apple Inc.’s differentiation approach helps strengthen its brand by helping it establish a more dominant position in international markets than its competitors. Apple, Inc.’s differentiation approach also provides a competitive edge. Apple Inc. benefits from this competitive edge when competing against companies like Dell Computers, Google, Research in Motion, Microsoft, etc., in international markets (Namugenyi, Nimmagadda, & Reiners, 2019). Adopting a differentiating approach leads to few imitations from other businesses. This is because Apple Inc. relies on the ingenuity and expertise of its own staff to create groundbreaking products that are difficult for rivals to replicate in international markets.
Business strategies are the most prevalent kind of strategy, and they often operate inside strategic business units with the end objective of increasing the company’s position as a market leader. If a business has more than one SBU, the SBUs must be coordinated under a single corporate strategy implemented through a corporate structure. Here, upper management must choose where to invest and where to sell off assets. The international strategies enable the company to enter foreign markets and create new stores.
The current discussion has shown why BlackBerry and its management must take immediate action to save the firm. The firm’s recent strategic initiatives should be understood in the context of its decline from its former position as a market leader and source of profitable growth. Furthermore, BlackBerry and its management must do their best to compete with Apple and Samsung in the smartphone market. Therefore, it has emphasized satisfying all the needs of individuals right now and working towards making BlackBerry the most advanced, feature-packed smartphone option available.
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