Blackberry – Set for a Turnaround?

Blackberry – Set for a Turnaround?
Case Code: BSTR479
Case Length: 16 Pages
Period: 1984-2015
Pub Date: 2017
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.500
Organization: Blackberry Ltd.
Industry: Mobile Phone Industry
Countries: Global
Themes: Business Strategy
Blackberry – Set for a Turnaround?
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts

Background Note

In 1984, Mike Lazaridis (Lazaridis) and Douglas Fregin, engineering students at the University of Waterloo, established a company called Research in Motion (RIM). The company worked on small engineering projects and made a few electronic devices to order. In 1988, RIM became the first North American wireless data technology developer, when it came out with connectivity products for wireless packet-switched data communications networks of Mobitex.

In 1990, the company introduced a digital-barcode reader called the 'Digisync', which drastically reduced the editing time for a film editor. Over the next decade, RIM introduced several Mobitex products including the Mobitex protocol converter (MPC), Mobitex point-of-sale solution, the first general purpose Mobitex X.25 gateway – RIMGate, the first Mobitex mobile point-of-sale terminal (MPT), and the first Type II PCMCIA radio modem – Freedom.

In 1992, Jim Balsillie (Balsillie) joined RIM and went on to invest US$ 160,000 of his own money in the company. RIM then implemented a unique corporate culture with two CEOs – Lazaridis and Balsillie. While Lazaridis was in charge of the engineering, product management, and supply chain aspects at RIM, Balsillie managed sales, finance, and other corporate functions....

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