Tuesday 21 November 2017

BlackBerry ‘severely undermined’ by recent outages

Matt Warman

NEW research shows that consumers are turning their back on BlackBerry after the firm’s recent difficulties.

Nearly half of all BlackBerry users say they will get a different device when they change handsets, according to new research.

The YouGov study comes in the wake of the Canada-based BlackBerry maker struggling to provide email, internet and instant messaging services after a data server in Slough crashed during an upgrade. Customers in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and America were all affected, and the company has subsequently offered users a suite of free apps as compensation. Some operators have gone further and offered additional airtime.

YouGov’s survey, the Smartphone, Mobile Internet Experience study, found that overall satisfaction with the brand declined by 8 per cent in just a month, while customers’ assessment of overall quality declined 9 per cent.

The survey also uses a “Promoter Score”; it fell to -6 in October, from +15 in September. Overall, only 57pc of BlackBerry users would consider getting a BlackBerry again, compared to 69pc in September; the number of people who would get a BlackBerry again fell 11pc to 42pc.

YouGov suggested, however, that “there may still be some light at the end of the tunnel as the brand has a large number of loyal, forgiving followers – 69pc of BlackBerry users think the handsets are “good” and over half (52pc) disagree that “BlackBerry phones are no longer reliable”.

Russell Feldman, the consultant that led the research said “While BlackBerry may have a loyal following, their handling of the blackout has severely undermined confidence amongst consumers and while they may be forgiving once, if it happens again the brand could find itself in serious trouble.”

He added, “The emergence and popularity of Android devices is seriously starting to challenge BlackBerry’s share of the market, and with the iPhone starting to focus in on the business market, BlackBerry could soon lose out. One only has to look at Nokia’s case study to see what happens when a company fails to invest and gets left behind the technology curve.”


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