BlackBerry was very firm when it came to their mobile path back when the iPhone and Android devices started gaining steam. The company held firm to their enterprise solutions (with emphasis on security) stance and never really developed a serious app store. Both Apple and Google continued to grow and foster their development community which resulted in a vibrant apps ecosystem which BlackBerry eventually couldn’t compete with. Now the company is calling their next play a Hail Mary pass that they hope will score some points to keep them in the game.
This isn’t the first Hail Mary pass BlackBerry has flung. The company jumped on the Android bandwagon (a bit late) to release The Priv and the DTEK 50, both haven’t seen much movement and have fallen a bit flat (despite decent reviews). After the DTEK 50 the company said they would bow out of making hardware but allow other OEM’s to use the BlackBerry name to make phones. Now CEO John Chen says that a BlackBerry phone with a physical keyboard is going to launch, but no dates were given. It’s also not clear if BlackBerry will be making the device itself or outsource the hardware like it did with the DTEK 50.
This new BlackBerry phone will once again try and lure in physical keyboard loyalists but is this Hail Mary enough? Traditional BlackBerry loyalists had a hard time moving to the Android operating system and many are either using older BlackBerry’s or moved to iOS, other Androids, or Windows Phone. Also, what about Android users? The mere mention of BlackBerry doesn’t resonate Android so that generally keeps Android users away.
It’s unclear what space this phone is looking to fill other than to keep the BlackBerry name out on the marketplace. Yes, there are still physical keyboard lovers but most have gotten used to on-screen keyboards. Yes, BlackBerry probably still does security really well, but so do many others now. Finally, if the manufacturing of the new BlackBerry phone is outsourced. Is it going to be a premium build or just another budget to mid-range device? We shall see what BlackBerry has up its sleeve.
What do you think of BlackBerry? Do they still have some game left in them? Or should they hang it up and call it a day? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.Source: CNET