Every company has their ups and downs. And when I say every company, I mean every company - every single one. This isn't just limited to the smartphone industry, either. People make mistakes all the time, and this can in turn have a huge effect on companies both small and on a corporate level. Whether the company chooses to acknowledge their mistakes and correct it, however, is what will determine whether the company will recover or meet its demise. While stumbling into irrelevance is something all companies risk when it comes to decision-making, it's something that our own industry experiences quite often as technology evolves and decisions have to be made.
Throughout these past 6 years with the birth and the rise of the smartphone empire, things hardly ever stayed the same. Rapidly changing between what company and what platform is most popular, we're no strangers to the ups and downs of the mobile industry. Where Apple's iPhone was once undoubtedly the king of all smartphones, in just a few years' time we've seen Android take over the popular vote by storm. Motorola and HTC used to be the biggest and baddest when it came to selling Android devices, but nowadays everything seems overwhelmingly Samsung. BlackBerry, or RIM, which was once the backbone of the office, has now been replaced by a mixture of Android and iOS devices. Nothing ever stays the same, yet, even when things are looking bleak for companies, all hope is not lost.
Take BlackBerry for example. 2013 has been one awful year for them, and that's putting it lightly. They tried, but as hard as they tried the general consensus when it comes to what people truly think of BlackBerry 10 comes down to two words: Too late. The Z10 and the Q10 are revolutionary, but only in BlackBerry's world. To the rest of the world, it's the same song and dance. Are there people interested in either of these devices? Sure! They do have potential, but BlackBerry needed more than just potential in order to climb out of the grave they ended up digging for themselves. They needed something revolutionary, something so great that people flocked to their devices. That didn't happen, though. So now they're still slowly sinking farther in. Well, at least that's how it seemed.
BlackBerry hit their lowest point since 2003 this past Tuesday and dropped 4% in shares. However, in that same day, they miraculously raised 4% in shares again. So perhaps all is not lost with BlackBerry. The point here is that although BlackBerry might not be doing well, they're still not completely dead. They do have some time to turn around. Not a whole lot of time, but there is still a little bit of life left in them at least.
And what about Motorola? They took Android to a whole new level of "popular" with the Droid line, and then didn't seem to come up with anything that could match up against it. People lost interest in Motorola as other manufacturers came out with better Android phones, and Motorola just kind of mummed in the background. Google purchases Motorola, keeps it as a separate branch, and a couple of years later boom. Moto X, Moto G, and working on that Project Ara concept at the same time. I mean, Motorola wasn't near death or anything, but if they kept heading down that road they were traveling I wouldn't have been surprised to see them in a similar position as, say, our friends at HTC.
HTC was doing pretty phenomenal things for Android at the start as well, especially since the HTC G1 was the first Android smartphone to be available to the public. HTC was also the manufacturer that produced the Google Nexus One, the first Nexus phone. And, since we're following the string of firsts, HTC also made the first 4G phone, the HTC EVO 4G. But just because you're first doesn't mean you'll always be the best, at least in this industry, simply because this is a race that never ends. Really, HTC was the first to hit checkpoints. After 2010, 2011 and 2012 seemed to be pretty abysmal years for HTC following a string of not-so-great decisions. However, this year HTC certainly picked back up some speed with the release of the HTC One. Although it's only one device, it's mighty. Here's to hoping that HTC can make just as big (or hopefully bigger) of an impression with next year's flagship.
Unless a company is truly, deeply dead, then there's still some hope for a comeback. We like to parade around say that BlackBerry is dead, HTC is dead, Windows Phone is dead, but in reality they're not. They may not the most popular, but they're still hanging on. It's kind of like a video game. You might have half a heart left in a final boss battle, but as long as you play your cards right with good strategy you can stay in the game and eventually come upon some good fortune that restores your health.
Image via Berryflow