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Blackberry 10: It's Alive! But Will It Thrive?

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A few people have asked me about Blackbery, formerly RIM, and the launch of their new operating system, Blackberry 10. People are curious because the Blackberry stayed in the collective conscious of smartphone users for years. For may younger users, it was their first smart phone and for more "mature" users it was their go to business device. The question I've been asked of late is, "will Blackberry live or die?" Here's the short answer… it likely won't do either.

 

The Zombie Smartphone?

Somewhere between alive and thriving is probably where the device will land. They still have a large enterprise user base and they'll probably end up in third place, competing with Windows Phone. Android and iOS have 92% of the smartphone market so RIM, now called Blackberry, will be ice skating uphill trying to get the needle to move on that kind of market saturation.

Blackberry needs to create an ecosystem (supporting products and services) around the handsets because a great device and great apps are no longer enough. Case in point: when you buy an iPhone, you get iTunes, iCloud and online storage. You get a browser (Safari) that will allow you to move seamlessly from your laptop to your cellphone with your searches, open tabs and website logins available to you. Same thing with Android. Google docs, Google Drive (online storage), Gmail and Google Chrome which is even better than Safari because it works across more devices. Let's not forget that movies, music and magazines are also available from both of their app stores. Blackberry has a lot of ground to cover! Sure, they launched Tuesday morning with BBM Music -their social musica sharing app, and Dropbox and Angry Birds in their app store, but major entertainment apps like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify and Pandroa aren't available.

Fortunately for Blackberry, iPhone may be peaking so that may, and that's a huge "may," leave an opening if they can bring consumers a compelling ecosystem that could replace all of the previously mentioned supporting services like iTunes and Google docs. I remember someone saying in a movie once that the first rule to surviving in a zombie apocalypse is "cardio" and that's exactly what Blackberry is going to need if they are going to be around long enough to gain any market share. They'll have to run hard and fast, running what really is a marathon, like a sprinter. This isn't the time for them to run at a comfortable pace.

 

My Thoughts So Far

Blackberry 10 looks VERY ATTRACTIVE! Can't wait to get my hands on a review unit!! From all I've seen in all of the videos they've released, it looks like they've answered many of the complaints of their aging OS. The true test will be seeing if the device bogs down after it has a few thousand messages, contacts and more on it like the previous Blackberries were doing.

They're in it to win it! Blackberry has been courting loyal blogs and wooing app developers for a year or more now. They're really working their ground game, flying staff all over the world to meet with anyone who is an "influencer" (even small influencers) and have been practically giving away devices to anyone who can prove they've half way completed an app for the new OS.

They needed to have done this years ago as I STILL THINK Blackberry is one of the top devices ever with regard to messaging capabilities- the other being the 2nd & 3rd generation T-Mobile Sidekick. It delivered, received and composed messages better than even today's crop of phones, in my humble opinion. The keyboard is still one of the best on any device and Blackberry Messenger was so good it kept people from switching to other devices, even though they were tired of the device being so dated overall.

Stay tuned here and on Good Day LA for my review of forthcoming Blackberry 10 devices!

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