So, if you follow the BlackBerry industry at all you might be wondering what tangent am I about to go off on because you know that RIM already offers more than one BlackBerry at a time. What RIM doesn’t do, however, is release more than one BlackBerry at a time. Oh, sure. Each BlackBerry model comes out in 3 or 4 different variants, but, at the end of the day BlackBerrys pretty much just come out one new device at a time.
This snails pace BlackBerry release strategy has worked well for RIM. They recently cracked the top ten list for global handset manufactures, however, their 1.4% global market share pales in comparison to market leader Nokia who has about 40% of the market. Not only does Nokia sell roughly 30 times as many devices as RIM they release a lot more devices each year than the just one or two that come out from RIM. It may not be 30 times more but the number is a lot closer to 30 than it is to 2.
Now, to be fair, the BlackBerry is in a subcategory of all phones,smartphones, of which it is number one. I have to ask the question, though, would the BlackBerry enjoy a bigger piece of the pie if it had more variety. There has to be a tipping point where the number of device sales and revenue increases with an increase in the number of styles and form factors that come out at a particular time.