$100 million in corporate compensation? Pah, that’s peanuts compared to the monetary loss which will result from the disappearance of RIM’s customers.
The most recent BlackBerry outage lasted three days and encapsulated four continents. In other words it was a doozy. Talk has turned to how much compensation Research In Motion will have to pay to the carriers and their customers, with $100 million the figure being touted. But I can’t help feeling the outage is going to cost RIM a lot more than that. Most of its customer base, for starters.
This outage really couldn’t have come at a worse time for RIM. It happened at the start of the same week the new iPhone 4S was being released. How many BlackBerry owners who would normally have shrugged off the latest launch from Apple this time spent the week pondering how long they had left on their contract before they could upgrade.
It isn’t only iPhone either, as there are some cracking Android handsets out there – the Samsung Galaxy S2 being the current cream of the crop – and even Windows Phone 7 is gaining some momentum. So while BlackBerry owners may have once stayed loyal to the brand due to a lack of alternatives that is clearly no longer the case.
There are some great BlackBerry handsets available, but they start to look less appealing in light of the outage. RIM has already lost a large chunk of its customers to the aforementioned rival platforms, but even its corporate customers are starting to look elsewhere. RIM is starting to resemble a sinking ship which everyone is trying to jump from before they get left behind.
So while $100 million is a huge sum of money, I fear the BlackBerry outage is going to lead to billions of dollars in lost revenue as customers move on to pastures new.