No Gain in Soothing the Pain, Blackberry
For several years there has been a longstanding rivalry between iPhone and Blackberry users. The question on everyone’s mind now, seems to be, could this recent outage be the trigger that will permanently tip the scale one way?
The sequence of events over the 10 days leading up to (and including) the outage went as follows: Apple launched the iPhone 4S and took a hit on their stock price (likely due to excessive speculation and expectations surrounding the iPhone 5); Steve Jobs passed away, and their stock price didn’t go down (much to many speculators’ surprise); Blackberry gets taken out for three days, and Apple’s stock valuation rises over 7.5%.. That can’t be a coincidence, can it?
It took four days for the Blackberry co-CEO’s Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis to step up and make a public statement. Fixing the problem itself may have been more important at the time... But for the tens of millions of Blackberry users affected across the globe, would it not have been infinitely better to receive some form of official communication, out of sheer respect, straight from the top of the brand they cherish(ed), than to be left in total darkness for days on end, asking oneself, when will it be over?
A public statement shouldn’t be considered a mere PR formality to be pushed aside in the heat of the moment. It’s the connection between those who most represent the brand and the consumers that allow that brand to survive and grow over the years.
I read an article on the second day of the outage with comments from Blackberry regarding how ‘business users’ were unaffected as they operate on an independent system. Personally, I find that slightly offensive. What about all the personal users that influence the purchasing decisions of corporations to opt for Blackberry over Apple or one of the many Android phones now available? How does claiming that a problem is limited to ‘personal’ users, in a time of crisis, serve as any form of justification?Continued on the next page