The famous Canadian telecommunication and wireless equipment company, Research in Motion Limited (RIM) which was best known as the developer of the Blackberry brand of smartphones and tablets changed its name to Blackberry recently. The company, which had been dormant for quite some time, plans to make a comeback with its new range of smartphones to regain its value in the market.
Though RIM was a renowned name and had a smooth ride up till 2007, its audience gradually reduced after Apple announced the iPhone. Blackberry phones turned into mere alternatives in the market of cheap and faster smartphones. The only option left with Blackberry was a reinvention, which is exactly what it did by acquiring QNX systems, an embedded software specialist.
It is betting its future with the launch of the new Z10 and Q10 smartphones which will either make the company or break it. Once again the main focus of these smartphones is to cater to business professionals but this time they also aim to attract the personal user market by introducing new music and movie stores.
In most contexts, Blackberry Z10 is the best smartphone that BlackBerry ever produced. In terms of design, user experience and technology, it’s a great upgrade from any old blackberry device. As far as Q10 is concerned, it’s loaded with the same features but with a traditional Blackberry keypad interface.
It’s not the hardware or the software that makes the new range of Blackberry phones special, it’s their app store. The latest offering from Blackberry claims to have 70,000 apps, including 1000 popular ones such as Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Skype etc. but that’s still just 8.75 % of Apple’s massive list of apps on its AppStore. Even Microsoft has launched a library of about 150000 apps and still willing to get more app developers on board.
The main forte of Blackberry’s handsets is the corporate appeal but Apple and Samsung’s latest releases are giving a stiff competition in that field too. On one side Blackberry has made a good move by introducing more apps, but the main question is how many of these are exclusive.
If you see the statistics of growth of Blackberry in the smartphone market, you will realize the way it’s losing its place. In the first quarter of 2010, Blackberry had grip over the 20 percent of the global smartphone market but in 2012, it was left with just 7 percent. On the other hand, Apple’s iOS operating system has shown a hike from 15 to 23 percent while Android has grown the most from 10 to 56 percent.
For Blackberry to survive, it seriously needs to find a niche market. Some rumors say that with the launch of Blackberry 10 series, the company can be benefit more in retaining its existing subscribers than to lure the new ones.
In the present scenario, if you ask a sample of individuals if they have to choose out of iPhone, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry, then in most of the cases, it’s not going to be Blackberry. It’ll be interesting to see if this trend changes in the future.