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When the Blackberry Storm was launched in 2008, it wasthe first competitive response to the Apple iPhone by theestablished smartphone players. Just a few weeks earlier Google and T-Mobile had launched the first Android phonewith huge fanfare. It would be months before Nokia andMotorola launched their own revised smartphones. Therewas tremendous pressure to respond with a touchscreen phone but even more pressure to make sure the user experience was on par with the iPhone. Blackberry fans andfoes alike followed this launch intently to see if RIM couldcompete with Apple on innovation and user experience. Theinitial results were not pleasant. The Storm fizzled,responsible for almost $400 million of lost revenue for RIM.
You can see, by measuring customer sentiment, that theiPhone sets the baseline experience for other smartphones to beat. The 3G started with a yawn until the market got hookedon faster data speeds. The Storm started with promise butrapidly diminished to a small shower. The Android-based G1experienced a similar drop soon after launch, but still settledhigher than the iPhone, providing an early forecast of therecent shift to Android as the smartphone OS market shareleader in North America. (With Argus Insights methods andtools, this shift could have been forecasted much earlier, byDecember 2009.) The questions facing the leadership at RIMfollowing the Storm launched were significant:
What is happening with the market (beyond sales)?Why is the market responding the way it is? How can we respond to the perceived failure of the Storm?
At Argus Insights, are rapidly evolving our market intelligence tool-set. We would like to share some interesting analyticalresults developed as a side effect of our software development and validation. In the following Blackberry Storm case, you willsee how these tools can be leveraged across the entire market intelligence workflow.
When we dig deeper into what the actual users are talking about, wesee interesting trends emerge – both what they dislike about theStorm, as well as some surprising sources of delight. The chart atleft is a ranked list of the topics that most concern users, along withthe complete distribution of positive and negative sentiment. Simplyreporting an average masks the span of the impact these attributeshave on the user experience.The top issue is the responsiveness of the operating system, cloudingevery other aspect of the phone. Interestingly, these early users of the Storm are evenly split between loving and hating the virtualkeyboard and the overall look and feel of the user interface. The realsurprise is how much love is heaped on the new screen and theindustrial design. The remaining features rate overwhelminglynegative, reflecting the overall market reaction to the Storm. So howcan Argus Insights help RIM decide whether there should be another Storm and how to improve upon their last best effort at innovation?