RIM Blackberry: Porter’s Five Forces Sample Essay


RIM Blackberry: Porter’s Five Forces


The competitive force amongst the players in the mobile phone sector is strong. The market has in the meantime been divided, with smartphones being one area in the sector that has rejoiced in imperative development and productivity. A number of years ago, it was assumed that, as smartphones are a blend of diverse technologies, no single company had the capability in each of the technologies to just control the market. In this period, Research in Motion (RIM), the firm that makes the Blackberry variety of phones was turning out to be progressively key competitor in the sector. Actually, it was in numerous means the industry trailblazer. Nevertheless, things have changed with Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s variety of smartphones (including, most recently, Samsung S4 and Galaxy Note 3) controlling the sector.

In this paper, we go on to explore Blackberry’s markets projections founded on Porter’s five forces. These alludes to competitive forces in the market, what makes an industry smart when it comes to productivity; supplier strength, buyer power, threat of substitutes, barriers to entry as well as competitive rivalry.

Porter’s Five Forces

The Bargaining Power of Suppliers

Blackberry’s market share weakened with time. Therefore, the bargaining power of suppliers in this incident has improved. In contrast, its rivals (for instance Samsung and Apple), having progressively controlled the market, have obtained greater bargaining power regarding their suppliers (than the opposite). Apple and Samsung have huge commodity orders comprising of more suppliers in the market.

In feedback, the corporation is eyeing to rationalize its procedures and supply chain by working with suppliers and distributors. The point here is to focus market attempts towards the zones with huge development projections.

The Bargaining Power of Buyers

The buyer’s bargaining power is discreetly high. This is because carriers (for example Verizon and Telus) “tend to buy in massive volume to provide for their subscriber base” (Kumar et al. 4). The moment commodity demand weakens, as it the circumstance of Blackberry, the sellers rejoice in marvelous purchasing power control over the firm (RIM, in this situation). In simple terms, the market has turns out to be extremely competitive, providing clients extra preferences and as a result, the capability to demand better prices reductions. In other nations, state rule brings about competition blockades for carriers. This is the situation in the Canadian market (Palmer & Sharp 3). On the other hand, clients still have the space as well as competence to pick their favorite commodities. This stability of forces is shown in the size as well as worth of orders that a specific telecom carrier books with the market providers (Blackberry, in this case).

Rationalization procedures cited above incorporate lessening the sum of administration layers as well as workers.  This procedure of reorganizing administrative plan and also reducing in-house procedures will aid the firm turn into more regionally alert to the demands of clients. this may make Blackberry commodities as well as services more striking to a larger number of market clients and as a result get greater bargaining power over its rivals.

The Threat of New Entrants

A new entrant with the competence to make a “well-differentiated and innovative product can steal market share from existing competitors” (Kumar et al. 4). Gratefully, even though, in the mobile communication sector, threat of new entrants is restrained. Probable new entrants encounter the difficulties of having to hold vast capital. These “high capital necessities make it hard for new entrants to make profits up to wImage 2hen they build a loyal clientele base and create their brand” (Kumar et al. 4). New entrants encounter another risk, due to the short commodity life cycle in the mobile communication business. In simple terms, competitors have to grow incessantly. The corporations previously in the market have a merit in this situation. They have fairly adequate capital foundations to cater for reservations as well as new market developments. Actually, since they have by now created business as well as all they demand is to develop and enlarge market share, they can find money to invest in data mining tools to aid them comprehend clients’ buying conducts as well as get ahead with future reforms. These are essential components of competitive advantage. New entrants, yet in hunt for acknowledgement in the market, mainly find it challenging to cope with the persistent development that such a vibrant market needs. Similar to Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s android phones, Blackberry has created a just share of brand loyalty, and also “associated switching costs for consumers” (Kumar et al. 3). All these bring about blockades to the goals of probable new entrants.

Blackberry, as a competitor at present in the market, has particular merits over probable new entrants. The firm is a well-known great worldwide corporation with a huge physical asset foundation at its disposal. This incorporates 16,500 workers; an assessment 80 million subscriber base; around 10 manufacturing bases; and also “a network of 565 wireless carriers across the world that offers Blackberry services” (Standard & Poor 3). The firm provides numerous commodities as well as services; a number of generations of Tablets and Smartphones; Blackberry Enterprise Services; a range of add-on applications (which clients can buy at ease on the firm’s website; numerous generations of software; as well as customer support and many others. therefore, the corporation has a varied produce blend, which lets them to size a wide variety of client markets. The firm as well has an excellent status. It has the “ability to provide security for client’s personal information” (Kumar et al. 6).

RIM has a fairly steady capital foundation for development as well as new commodity growth. Over the past few years, Blackberry has gone through a reduction in profits. In addition, plans show this development is expected to stay the same. Gratefully, even though the company has become stable as well as sustained its market capitalization at $7.74 billion because of a flat-line share value. In 2012, the corporation accrued net revenue of about $1.16 billion. This implies that Blackberry still has adequate resources, and also enhanced backing from capital market groups (S&P 2).

The Threat of Substitutes

Different the question of new entrants, the threat of substitutes deals with the competitors existing in the market. In simple words, the question here is about the prospects of a competitor with a fairly competitive market share entering to control the market. In the mobile communications field, the threats of substitutes are extraordinary. In the current times, for instances, we have witnessed Samsung surpass Apple in the smart phone sector. Numerous fields can offer an escape route for an individual firm to substitute the other from its position. For instance, as stated by Kumar et al. (5), Motorola is at this time creating wristwatch with that same capabilities as smartphone. This has the ability to put out of place handheld smartphones in the market.  Besides substitutes, there are probable unruly other technologies in the mobile market. Competitors in the market can face reduced working margins.  In relation to Research (2012), the regular price of a tablet in 2011 was $423. Predictions indicate that prices will reduce to around $300 by end of 2013. When a market turns out to be flooded with substitutes (as is the case in the tablet market), it limits revenue margins and restricts the accessible capital necessary for development and improvement of new commodities.

The high threat of substitutes in the mobile communication business is made up of both probable dangers as well as merits to Blackberry. It all relies on how the corporation opts to react to the vibrant market. For instance, blackberry was one of the topmost smartphone in the market, with the brand’s control saturating the private client market. Nevertheless, Apple and Samsung joining the market in 2007 have in the meantime replaced it. These two turned into speedy traditional occurrences. Therefore, RIM’s market share as well as share cost weakened, with its stakeholders going through great losses (Levi 1-5).

On the other hand, there are numerous extents of competition. Blackberry still has certain authority in which it holds significant merit over its rivals. The Blackberry smartphones, for instance has a distinctive keypad. In addition, it has a BBM messaging system. The PIN encryption technology that the Blackberry smartphone messaging system utilizes makes it hard for an individual to capture the consumer’s messages. It has an unmatched security technology that has been challenging for the rivals to copy. As a result, Blackberry is the favorite Smartphone for corporate experts as well as government officials. Having impact over these two market sections offers Blackberry a great certification. This technological resource is chief to Blackberry’s smartphone competitive advantage. Nevertheless, the rivals might just come with improved security.

The Rivalry among Competitors

The competitiveness between market players in the mobile communication sector is as well intense. For instance, Apple and Samsung alone have over 50% of the smartphone market. In the same way, other competitors (incorporating Blackberry) are focusing on how to increase their market share. Owing to huge prices of production at the first phases of the life-cycle of a mobile produce, “competitors fiercely pursue speed-to-market production” (Kumar et al. 4) with the goal to make most of their products’ sales (before they become outdate, because of a dynamic mobile/smart phone market) and so, improve revenue margins. In addition, the more competitors pile up, the more market share thin, interpreting into lessened profits and few monetary assets for new product improvement.


In this paper, we have briefly explored the RIM/Blackberry’s market projections founded on Porter’s five forces of competition; buyer bargaining power, supplier bargaining power, threat of new entrants, the threat of substitutes as well as competitive rivalry. Similar to several other corporations, RIM/Blackberry fairs below par in some of these areas (suppliers and bargaining power) and impartially in others. For instance, it is factual that Apple and Samsung have from this time surpassed Blackberry in smartphone market. Consequently, Blackberry has lost certain power in case of buyers as well as suppliers bargaining power. Nevertheless, the firm still has the prospective to substitute the market players (Apple and Samsung), if not in the market hence in other means (such as technology). Blackberry’s status private data protection has aided the firm sustain significant consumer loyalty. At this moment, RIM/Blackberry ought not to be surpassed by new entrants like Apple and Samsung did. It ought to utilize its assets as well as capital base and also market exposure inventively to rise to top ranks in the market.

Works Cited

Kumar, Aswin, Woods, Candice, Budolig, Girgio, Segars, Lucas & Nathoo, Qasim.

BlackBerry, RIM: Case Synopsis, Jerry Sheppard, March 20, 2013. Web 15 November 2013

Levi, Carmi. The Year RIM Fell To Earth, December 29, 2011. Web, 15 November 2013

Palmer, Randall & Sharp, Alastair. Canada steps in to stimulate wireless competition,

Yahoo News, March 7, 2013. Web, 15 November 2013

Standard & Poor’s. Research in Motion, Net Advantage,2013. Web, 15 November 2013