Does Blackberry still have Juice?

In 2003, BlackBerry introduced the first modern smart phone. This was a breakthrough device in the market that not only functioned as a telephone, but also allowed users to send and receive email and text messages. The need for mobile email access was clear, as email was a popular and vital means of communication in the business realm. People who frequently traveled needed a more efficient way to access their email without having to find a computer. Due to its early success, BlackBerry was widely referred to as “CrackBerry” in the United States, which alluded to its excessive use and obsession by its owners. Use of the term CrackBerry became so widespread, that in November 2006 Urban Dictionary, named “crackberry” the “Urban Word of the Day.” Although BlackBerry was the pioneer for the Smartphone industry, their future today is in jeopardy due to the recent success over the past few years of the iPhone, Windows and Android phones.

Blackberry is set to launch their new Blackberry Q5 handset on August 13th. The new device targets a more affordable audience than the high-end Z10 and Q10, and targets the legions of BlackBerry Curve owners who are approaching the end of their respective contracts. Blackberry plans to heavily target these consumers during the all-important back-to-school season.

Despite the emphasis on hardware, Blackberry’s future does not rely solely on the success of their new devices. Blackberry’s business model is changing with the launch of the Blackberry 10 platform. They are trying to be portrayed as a software company, and not just a device manufacturer. The company is focused on expanding the BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 deployments — including support for iOS and Android devices. In addition, Blackberry plans to extend its BBM social messaging service across multiple platforms and leverage its secure BlackBerry Global Data Network. The goal is allow Blackberry to be successful in the enterprise world regardless of which device a consumer has.

As of August 6, Samsung has announced their partnership with BlackBerry Messenger, BBM and is spreading the word quickly. They announced that BBM for Android will be available in Google Play and Samsung app store free of charge.

It has been 10 years since the BlackBerry Boom from the first Smartphones. In the beginning, BlackBerry was the hot commodity that everyone wanted to get their hands on. Now, 10 years later, BlackBerry is finding itself trying to reinvent their brand image as more than just a device maker by signing Blackberry 10 deals with the other device manufacturers.

Blackberry should continue to maintain some market share in the smartphone device segment, but they have lost a large portion of their users to other major platforms. Thus, Blackberry will need to continue to evolve as a software solution to stay relevant.

Last week, BGR shared the first picture of BBM for Android running on a handset and the app has reportedly been made available to early beta testers ahead of its public release. With group chat applications such as GroupMe and WhatsApp dominating the cross-platform group chat market, Blackberry is in desperate need for a successful launch of BBM. Time will tell what the future holds for Blackberry.

Posted in Apple, Gadgets, iPhone, Microsoft, Mobile trends, technology, Text messages, Uncategorized, Updates

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