BlackBerry Limited, formerly known as Research In Motion Limited (RIM), is a Canadian telecommunication and wireless equipment company best known to the general public as the developer of the BlackBerry brand of smartphones and tablets, but also well known worldwide as a provider of secure & high reliability software for industrial applications and Mobile Device Management (MDM). BlackBerry’s software and hardware products are used worldwide by various government’s agencies and by car makers and industrial plants throughout the world, much of this activity being unseen by the public. The company is headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. It was founded by Mike Lazaridis, who served as its co-CEO along withJim Balsillie until January 22, 2012; as of November 2013, Saad assumes the new title of “Lead Director and Chair of Compensation”.
In November 2013, John S. Chen took over as CEO. His strategy is to subcontract manufacturing to Foxconn, and to focus on software technology. Originally a dominant innovative company in the smartphone market for business and government usage, with 43% US market share in 2010, the company’s dominance in the US smartphone market has in recent years declined precipitously, in part because of intense competition mainly from the current high US market share of Google’s Android brands and also from the lower share that Apple’s iPhone has of the market.
Due to such competition, the company’s share in the US personal consumer market was reduced to 3.8% in 2013. In markets other than the US personal comsumer market BlackBerry’s products have fared better. On September 23, 2013 the company signed a letter of intent to be acquired for US$4.7 billion, or US$9 per share, by a consortium led by Fairfax Financial which has announced its intentions to take the company private. On November 4, 2013 the deal was scrapped in favor of a US$1 billion cash injection which, according to one analyst, represented the level of confidence BlackBerry’s largest shareholder has in the company. The majority of BlackBerry’s remaining value lies in innovation, one aspect being its patent portfolio, which has been valued at between US$2 billion and $3 billion. Research In Motion Limited was founded in 1984 by Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin. At the time, Lazaridis was an engineering student at the University of Waterloo while Fregin was an engineering student at the University of Windsor. RIM’s early development was financed by Canadian institutional and venture capital investors in 1995 through a private placement in the privately held company.
Working Ventures Canadian Fund Inc. led the first venture round with a C$5,000,000 investment with the proceeds being used to complete the development of RIM’s two-way paging system hardware and software. A total of C$30,000,000 in pre-IPO financing was raised by the company prior to its initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange in January 1998 under the symbol RIM. The company worked with RAM Mobile Data and Ericsson to turn the Ericsson-developed Mobitex wireless data network into a two-way paging and wireless e-mail network. Pivotal in this development was the release of the [email protected] Pager 950, which started shipping in August 1998. About the size of a bar of soap, this device competed against the SkyTel two-way paging network developed by Motorola. In 1999, RIM introduced the BlackBerry 850 pager. Named in reference to the resemblance of its keyboard’s keys to the druplets of the blackberry fruit, the device could receive push email from a Microsoft Exchange Server using its complementary server software, BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES).
The introduction of the BlackBerry set the stage for future enterprise-oriented products from the company, such as the BlackBerry 957 in April 2000, the first BlackBerry smartphone. The BlackBerry OS platform and BES continued to increase in functionality—while the incorporation of encryption and S/MIME support helped BlackBerry devices gain increased usage by governments and businesses. BlackBerry Limited, formerly Research In Motion Limited, incorporated on March 7, 1984, is a designer, manufacturer and marketer of wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. Through the development of integrated hardware, software and services, it provides platforms and solutions for seamless access to information, including e-mail, voice, instant messaging, short message service (SMS), Internet and intranet-based applications and browsing.
The Company’s technology also enables an array of third party developers and manufacturers to enhance their products and services through software development kits, wireless connectivity to data and third-party support programs. Its portfolio of products, services and embedded technologies are used by thousands of organizations and millions of consumers around the world and include the BlackBerry wireless solution, the RIM Wireless Handheld product line, the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, software development tools and other software and hardware. Effective May 31, 2013, BlackBerry Ltd acquired Scroon SA. On March 25, 2011, the Company purchased 100% of the shares of a company whose technology is being incorporated into the Company’s developer tools. On April 26, 2011, the Company purchased certain assets of a company whose acquired technologies will be incorporated into the Company’s products. In June 2011, the Company acquired Scoreloop. On March 8, 2012, the Company acquired Paratek Microwave Inc.
During the fiscal year ended March 3, 2012 (fiscal 2012), the Company purchased 100% interests of a company, whose technology will be incorporated into its technology; whose technology offers cloud-based services for storing, sharing, accessing and organizing digital content on mobile devices; whose technology is being incorporated into an application on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet; whose technology offers a customizable and cross-platform social mobile gaming developer tool kit, and whose technology will provide a multi-platform BlackBerry Enterprise Solution for managing and securing mobile devices for enterprises and government organizations. On April 24, 2012, the Company launched BlackBerry 7 smartphone, the BlackBerry Curve 9220, for customers in Indonesia. April 18, 2012, it launched BlackBerry 7 smartphone, the BlackBerry Curve 9220, for customers in India. On April 17, 2012, it announced availability of the BlackBerry Bold 9790 smartphone in Spain.
On April 3, 2012, it launched BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, and launched four BlackBerry smartphones powered by the BlackBerry 7 operating system (OS) in Cambodia, which included BlackBerry Bold 9900, BlackBerry Bold 9790, BlackBerry Curve 9360 and BlackBerry Curve 9380. On April 2, 2012, it announced the availability of BlackBerry App World, the official application store for BlackBerry smartphones in Brunei, and it announced availability of the BlackBerry Bold 9790 and BlackBerry Curve 9380 smartphones for Cell C customers in South Africa. On March 27, 2012, it launched of the BlackBerry solution in Benin Republic. On March 15, 2012, it launched of BlackBerry services in China. On March 7, 2012, it launched the BlackBerry service in Angola.
The Company’s primary revenue stream is generated by the BlackBerry wireless solution, consists of smartphones and tablets, service and software. BlackBerry service is provided through a combination of its global BlackBerry Infrastructure and the wireless networks of its carrier partners. On February 21, 2012, it released the BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 software. It generates hardware revenues from sales, primarily to carriers and distributors. During fiscal 2012, the Company launched the wireless fidelity (WiFi)-enabled BlackBerry PlayBook tablet in 44 markets around the world. On July 21, 2011, the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet received Federal Information Processing Standard 140-2 certification. BlackBerry Smartphones and Tablets
BlackBerry smartphones uses wireless, push-based technology that delivers data to mobile users’ business and consumer applications. BlackBerry smartphones integrate messaging including instant messaging, email and SMS; voice calling; Webkit browser; multimedia capabilities; calendar, and other applications. During fiscal 2012, it introduced 10 new smartphones and launched software updates to both its smartphone and tablet platforms. BlackBerry smartphones are available from hundreds of carriers and indirect channels, through a range of distribution partners, and are designed to operate on a variety of carrier networks, including HSPA/HSPA+/UMTS, GSM/GPRS/EDGE, CDMA/Ev-DO, and iDEN.
During fiscal 2012, its BlackBerry smartphone and tablet portfolio included BlackBerry Bold series, BlackBerry Torch series, BlackBerry Curve series and The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. Its BlackBerry Bold series includes BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 and BlackBerry Bold 9790. The Company’s BlackBerry Torch series include BlackBerry Torch 9810 and All-Touch BlackBerry Torch 9850 and 9860. The Company’s BlackBerry Curve series include BlackBerry Curve 9350/9360/9370 and All-Touch BlackBerry Curve 9380 Smartphone. The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet features the BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0. The BlackBerry PlayBook offers a seven-inch high definition display, a dual core one gigahertz processor, dual high definition cameras, multitasking and a Web browsing. History of the PEST Analysis written by: Sidharth Thakur • edited by: Linda Richter • updated: 12/30/2010 PEST analysis has been in use as an external environment scanning tool for more than three decades. Still, there isn’t much information on how this technique has evolved. Here is an article that explores the history and evolution of this technique. slide 1 of 3
One of the popular environmental scanning tools used by businesses to analyze the macro-environment in which they operate is the PEST analysis. History of this strategic planning tool is somewhat imprecise; although it may have evolved earlier, the first traceable mention of this tool goes back to 1967, by Francis Aguilar. Let’s take a look at how this tool was introduced and how it has evolved ever since 1967. slide 2 of 3
The First Trace of PEST Analysis
As mentioned earlier, it is Francis Aguilar who can be credited with the origin of this strategic analytical technique. At that time, Aguilar talked about ETPS – Economic, Technological, Political, and Social environment — as the four environments that must be scanned when looking for analytical grounds to judge the strategic plans. Even in its current form, PEST revolves around these same four factors; however the term PEST came in much later. A few years later Arnold Brown emphasized these same four environmental factors with the only difference that he labeled it as STEP. This acronym, in addition to referring to each of the four environmental factors, stands for Strategic Trend Evaluation Process as well. There is no clear evidence about when PEST emerged from STEP or ETPS, but as of today the commonly used name for this external environment scanning technique is PEST. Apart from PEST, analysis history shows it is also popular in its extended form as PESTLE.
PEST analysis (‘Political, Economic, Social and Technological analysis”’) describes a framework of macro-environmental factors used in the environmental scanning component of strategic management. Some analysts added Legal and rearranged the mnemonic to SLEPT; inserting Environmental factors expanded it to PESTEL or PESTLE, which is popular in the United Kingdom. The model has recently been further extended to STEEPLE and STEEPLED, adding Ethics and Demographic factors. It is a part of the external analysis when conducting a strategic analysis or doing market research, and gives an overview of the different macro-environmental factors that the company has to take into consideration. It is a useful strategic tool for understanding market growth or decline, business position, potential and direction for operations.
The growing importance of environmental or ecological factors in the first decade of the 21st century have given rise to green business and encouraged widespread use of an updated version of the PEST framework. STEER analysis systematically considers Socio-cultural, Technological, Economic, Ecological, and Regulatory factors. Political factors are basically to what degree the government intervenes in the economy. Specifically, political factors include areas such as tax policy, labor law, environmental law, trade restrictions, tariffs, and political stability. Political factors may also include goods and services which the government wants to provide or be provided (merit goods) and those that the government does not want to be provided (demerit goods or merit bads). Furthermore, governments have great influence on the health, education, and infrastructure of a nation.