The Rise of BlackBerry

BlackBerry Passport
BlackBerry Passport

Everyone likes products with the letter “Z” in the title, even BlackBerry smart phones. Z30, Z10, Z3, and there was a Z20 but it has been renamed BlackBerry Classic. Will phones with a “Z” cause BlackBerry to rise or will BlackBerry just continue to see consumers go “zzzzz….”? So far it looks like good management decisions will make a big difference for this company in the near future. Take a look at their devices Here.

BlackBerry still has a large user base, still has a very good product line, and is still a preferred handheld for many outside the United States for reasons which should be more valuable to us. In other countries security seems to be important but in the U.S. it tends be overlooked for features and entertainment. The difference in America vs. the world is interesting, and blinding to the consumer base which has dumped BlackBerry for the likes of iPhone and Samsung. In the process consumers have also dumped productivity.

A BlackBerry is still much more productive than either the iPhone or the Android devices; oh yes, and the Windows phones which are easily overlooked. Of course, if you consider watching a video on YouTube to be a productive use of your time you may not understand why a BlackBerry is more productive and if you rarely communicate business ideas, sales ideas, and social leadership ideas, you may not need a smart phone at all.

So, how will BlackBerry rise from here? There are a variety of reasons why BlackBerry should be able to rise, reclaim market-share, and capture its old position in business. This is not to say they will reach their past dominance but will likely gain their share of the modern market.

Understanding their past success is key; remember when anyone who was serious about business carried, or at least kept one of these devices on their desk? It was amazing when representatives from different corporations could send documents on the fly, respond to email in minutes, and maintain a complex schedule, all outside of the office while traveling. At some point this hard-working, fast-paced environment will make a strong comeback and the productivity of the device will make a difference. Ever used an older, slower computer and become frustrated just trying to keep up and get your work finished on time? How about incompatible software? Many of my friends who have iPhones seem to struggle to keep up, Android and Windows can slow productivity in ways too.

New software development is something which BlackBerry needs to emphasize like they used to. In the past you could count on deep software development in these devices. The keyboard shortcuts, menus, and access to communication features were amazing. The latest Z devices have dropped some of the deep design features in order to create more of a consumer level device. This seems to be changing with the new Passport and Classic being launched soon under the new leadership of John Chen.  Once again, BlackBerry products are being designed for business and productivity rather than consumer entertainment. This should be a major step forward since neither Apple nor Samsung try to make their products relevant to business. Blackberry has been known and well respected for creating devices which are key to business productivity. By following this path BlackBerry can fill the void in a segment which has been sucked dry by consumer level products and offerings which have damaged business productivity. As an example of the new trend, LinkedIn seems to have updated their applications for future use on the Passport and Classic. These types of partnerships will help drive upgrades from current customers as well as bring back some who gave up and left for other brands.

There is no doubt the BlackBerry Operating system is very fast, has many great qualities, and has room to grow with application development. It is designed for robust security, a more seamless application and software deployment, division of personal and business data, and advanced control. In the long run, if applied correctly, this operating system has strong legs to run with and gain market share.

Many Android apps are now supported or can be side-loaded to the BlackBerry 10 devices. The old problem of not having enough apps to play with is really in the past now. App happy people may be missing out anyway since regardless of which brand of phone you use, most apps are useless and many web sites can easily out-perform their app versions. I tend to save space by not using apps while saving important web site addresses to my phone’s browser. The new Z3 phone launched in Indonesia is designed with the Android app store installed and offering 200,000 apps.

A small duplication of iPhone sales, the keeping up with the Jones’ buyer, is another way BlackBerry will gain some revenue. Most fans will want a new Passport or Classic with the latest features and larger size screens. In the U.S. the Passport has the ability to gain ‘Status Symbol’ sales. The unique square screen and full QWERTY keyboard are obvious, and they imply productivity and seriousness for business.

Ultimately, a trusted business name can win and BlackBerry already has this. Now they just need enhanced software, newer business solutions,  continued security, business customizations, and more good devices. They seem to be on their way up, and I for one hope they do well. I prefer to use a business device rather than a consumer entertainment device.

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