On January 30th in New York, Research In Motion Limited made it clear to all - they are not to be overlooked in the smartphone market anymore. They unveiling two brand new phones, enterprise legacy support, and a surprising company rebranding. Now known as their smartphone namesake Blackberry, CEO Thorsten Heins laid out the company's strategy for the future including plans to integrate a lot of previously released hardware such as their Playbook tablet.
As market share dwindles, Blackberry is hoping to engage present enterprise customers with reasons to continue working with them. The new enterprise management software promises to allow app development, access control, and framework for a wide-ranging number of different devices and standards. It seems Blackberry recognizes the entrenchment of personal devices in the workplace used to access company resources as something to be supported rather than be fought against.
Unlike past iterations of handsets, these new products promise to be just as impressive when you are off the clock. Blackberry has a reputation for being 'all business' and they are taking steps to change that perception by bringing celebrity endorsement to our attention. Collaboration appears to be at the top of the list. Highlights of the new Z10 and Q10 include an HD touchscreen, NFC compatibility, video chatting, and an improved AppWorld. The Q10 provides a dedicated QWERTY keyboard for the 'old-school' user as well.
Blackberry is on the right track by comparing well with the other new kid on the block -- Windows Phone 8. With the NFC chip built in, Blackberry is leaving Apple's iPhone as the only standard not using the technology. Their unified approach to securing company workspace may prove to be a solid strategy considering the flak some manufacturers are taking recently. However, it remains to be seen if Blackberry can truly wrangle so many different devices under one umbrella without affecting company security.
At any rate, Blackberry is back and better than ever. A new generation of phones promises to give the company a current profile after pushing release back for so long. They are hoping their handsets are not left in the briefcase once you leave the office and are providing very compelling reasons not to.