I know, I know, I said that about Windows Phone too and Microsoft has yet to prove itself as far as the market is concerned. True, but at the risk of portraying myself as the guy who always roots for the underdog, I still believe both Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry 10 have a good chance of making their way back to relevancy. Let me explain.
Putting Windows Phone aside, since we have talked about that enough, lets talk about RIM and their chances of making a much needed comeback with BlackBerry 10.
The OS is expected to be announced in a matter of days and I happen to have some friends on the inside (wow, that sounds um… more hardcore than it is.) and I can tell you, I am cautiously optimistic.
I have yet to try the BB10 operating system so my opinion is based on two things: the previews I have seen online and the strategic moves RIM has made so far to push this platform.
So in the spirit of blog writing, here is a list of five reasons why I think BlackBerry 10 has a very good chance of making a dent in iOS and Android’s mobile dominance:
1: Ever Meet a BlackBerry User? Exactly.
Here is the thing with the world of tech. It moves way too fast. What that causes is a lack of customer loyalty. What I mean is that every day millions of people switch from iOS to Android, Android to iOS, iOS to Windows Phone, BlackBerry to iOS, etc etc. People have very little loyalty to the operating system they use or any tech for that matter.
The most loyal type of mobile consumer I can think of is the BlackBerry user. While Apple is busy releasing fancy iPhones, Android is announcing astoundingly large flashy phones, many BlackBerry users stick to their phones, even though they can’t even play Angry Birds on it! (can you imagine?!)
Why do they do it? Because as they will tell you “I need my BlackBerry email and I NEED my keyboard”. How true are those statements? Not very true at all. Email on the iPhone and Android devices, especially if you are a Gmail user, are just as good, if not better than on BlackBerry. Keyboard? I mean, really? Yes, it takes 30 seconds to get used to virtual keyboards, but come ON!
Except, logic does not play a part here. BlackBerry users love their phones and find it very difficult to switch. That loyalty, found almost nowhere else in the industry will work to RIM’s advantage when BlackBerry 10 is released.
RIM has around 79 million subscribers and you can expect a whole lot of them to upgrade to BlackBerry 10.
2: Enterprise is the new Consumer.
Whether you are an entrepreneur, investor, or just someone who dabbles in tech, you must have noticed the “new” trend, or some might say the “old trend making a comeback” of enterprise becoming the new hot thing.
Yes, Facebook bought Instagram for a whole lot of money and yes, there is still a lot of money to be made from consumer apps, but the market is moving toward enterprise where, you know, it is possible to make some real money.
Who is BlackBerry’s primary target again? Oh, yes. Enterprise. Now, this is not just a conceptual thing. BlackBerry 10 is actually designed from the bottom up for this audience. Take the two tabs users can easily switch between in BlackBerry 10. Come to work? Activate your work environment. Want to go home and tweet, read, and watch content? Boom, there is a tab for that.
And I didn’t even mention security, but there is that too…
3: How did Ballmer put it? Developers, Developers, Developers.
Another ridiculous element of the mobile industry is the obsession with apps. Don’t get me wrong, apps are great, but no one needs 700,000 apps. People actually decide which phone to buy based on the number of apps it supports. Ridiculous.
I consider myself a heavy user (no, not a fat joke.) and I use 10 apps daily. If those apps are supported by a platform, I am good to go. So what is RIM doing about this? They are doing what any mobile platform struggling to make it does. Paying developers to port their apps over from iOS and Android to BlackBerry 10. Is it working? Um, yes. Big time.
4: How do I put this nicely?
Listen, I have a special place in my heart for RIM, I really do. I loved my BlackBerry Bold 9000. But let’s face it, the company has not done so well for itself lately. And no one at RIM is denying this. So, putting it mildly, this IS their last chance to make a comeback. Now, that might sound like a bad thing but in reality, you know what they say about desperate times, right? RIM knows there is no option here to fail and it will do everything to ensure success. For that reason alone, I believe it has a good chance here.
5: Have you taken a good look at the competition lately?
Finally, this is the most important reason I think BlackBerry 10 has a good chance of success. People say RIM is too late. Too late? Really? Was Google too late to search with Yahoo? Facebook too late to social with MySpace? Apple too late to mobile with Nokia/Microsoft/RIM? More importantly though, take a look at iOS and Android…
iOS has not evolved since 2007! Boring. The iPhone 5 was the first Apple product that I fell asleep unboxing. Android? My head hurts even thinking about it. Obviously, I am slightly exaggerating but there is definite room for innovation here and RIM is actually coming at a perfect time, assuming of course the OS is indeed exciting and not fragmented.
From what I have seen, BlackBerry 10 is fast, includes real multitasking, awesome text input, and assuming the apps are there, which RIM is working on as we speak, there is no reason the market should not have another solid competitor.
Time will tell, but from where I am sitting, BlackBerry 10 has all the elements needed for the success of a mobile platform.
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