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BlackBerry Outage Hits Home

David Murphy

BlackBerry’s recent outage has had a severe effect on consumers perception of the brand, and perception to buy, according to the latest findings from YouGov.

In September, wave 8 of SMIX, YouGov’s Smartphone, Mobile Internet eXperience study, found that two thirds of BlackBerry users rated BlackBerry 8, 9 or 10 for overall quality on a 10-point scale. Results from YouGov’s most recent study, however, reveal that quality rates have declined by nine percentage points. The brand has also suffered an 8-point reduction in overall satisfaction scores. Recommendation in the form of the Net Promoter Score (NPS) further demonstrates BlackBerry’s decline, with scores dropping from +15 in wave 8, to -6. The study was carried out online between 13 and 16 October, among 1,136 BlackBerry owners.

Consideration and expectation rates further highlight the damage caused by the outage - only 57 per cent of BlackBerry users would consider getting a BlackBerry again, compared to 69 per cent from the SMIX wave 8 study. Perhaps more worrying is the number of consumers expecting to buy a BlackBerry again – down 11 percentage points to 42 per cent.

There may still be some light at the end of the tunnel, however, as the brand has a large number of loyal, forgiving followers. In the October study, 69 per cent of BlackBerry users said that they think the handsets are “good” and 52 per cent disagreed that “BlackBerry phones are no longer reliable”.

Russell Feldman, the consultant who led the research, says: “Whilst BlackBerry may have a loyal following, their handling of the blackout has severely undermined confidence amongst consumers, and while they may be forgiving once, if it happens again, the brand could find itself in serious trouble.

“The emergence and popularity of Android devices is seriously starting to challenge BlackBerry’s share of the market, and with the iPhone starting to focus in on the business market, BlackBerry could soon lose out. One only has to look at Nokia’s case study to see what happens when a company fails to invest, and gets left behind the technology curve.”

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