Well, RIM’s not off to a good start with the launch of the BlackBerry 10 operating system and new BlackBerry Z10 phone. Let’s be real though: did anyone actually think BlackBerry 10 was going to be RIM’s total saving grace? While it’s a definite step up from the BlackBerry models we’ve come to loathe, the problem RIM is having is that no one seems to give a damn, at least according to recent polls.
MKM Partners researched BlackBerry 10 by the numbers and found, well, some pretty bad ones. When asked the question, “Are you aware that BlackBerry 10 was launched in Canada and Europe in late January 2013?” 82.6 percent of respondents said “No.” To be fair, Americans are being asked about a Canadian and European launch, but for nearly 83 percent of them to not know anything about RIM’s new flagship product months after a pretty large debut is still pretty sad.
Additionally, The Wall Street Journal reported that over 50 percent of BlackBerry Z10 buyers ended up returning it, which would mean returns are outnumbering sales. This is a claim RIM later denied, stating that return rates are on par with other smartphones.
Another poll indicated that 71.4 percent of participants said they would never buy a BlackBerry compared to 31.3 percent saying the same about Android and 19.7 percent saying that about an iPhone.
After all this I think it’s safe to say RIM has a real problem on its hands. Even with BlackBerry 10, the platform has failed to stay relevant in the eyes of consumers. What’s next will either be imminent doom or a miraculous turnaround.