Last week’s BlackBerry outage was an immensely embarrassing episode for the veteran handset maker. As a results thousands of existing BlackBerry users are planning to switch to Android and iOS enabled devices, which will undoubtedly do a lot more harm to BlackBerry’s global operations, having already recorded a disappointing quarter. The reality is that while security is BlackBerry’s greatest strength, it is also its greatest weakness because the firm has structured itself to be the middleman between the carriers and the phones. This structure is not what you see over at Apple or Android and therefore these platforms are by design, immune to the type of shortage suffered by BlackBerry.
Unlike its rivals, BlackBerry has set up vast server farms that process emails and other data in order to encrypt them and make it more secure. Thus, when an email is sent via BlackBerry, it first goes through RIM’s servers and then is sent to the phone’s carrier. iOS and Android devices, on the other hand, do not play the part of middle man. In this case, the data is sent directly to the phone carrier. In addition to security, another advantage that BlackBerry has is the limited amount of strain imposed on the device’s battery. Since all the encryption is handled by the RIM servers, the phone itself does not have to spend a lot of energy on security. This double advantage is what makes it so appealing to business users.
Apple may already have a lot to gain by BlackBerry’s stumble because as it is, major financial firms such as RBS are planning to test iOS enabled devices to check if they are indeed meet the requirements set by these institutions. While the test results are not yet clear, it must be noted that Apple and Android are both introducing a variety of security features that is making their devices more attractive to business users all around the world. Right now, Apple seems to have the lead but it would take awhile to see if its efforts have not been in vain.