Blackberry’s final play

Re-Brand and Focus

I don’t think this will be the last Blackberry phone, but it’s certainly one of the last from this company because innovation eludes them.  I believe they had a chance to reinvent their smartphone, but it would require re-branding their name, company and products to be an entertainment-rich smartphone.  But the Z10 first strike is in the game of 3rd-party, application-rich smartphones that are available today.  70,000 apps is not near the amount of their competitors, but counting the applications and using it that count in their marketing of the smartphone is a mistake.  They need a new brand.  They don’t need to be the business email phone, or the Kardashian phone.  The need to be the entertainment phone to leap over the rest of the smartphone market.  In fact, they should have named the Z10 the Kardashian phone and had the Kardashian’s fronting this technology.  That would only work if they focused their attention on the entertainment apps out of the box.

In many ways, Blackberry was the first business smartphone when the market was full of basic miniature Nokia dumb phones.  But smartphone companies got smart, they made their phones business ready and included support and applications to integrate with business email.  To find out if that’s true, ask yourself what phone your boss uses.  Chances are, it’s either an iPhone or an Android phone.  What made Blackberry so popular?  I think it was the combination of secure business/company email access and applications, combined with a straightforward interface to type.  Simplicity and business communications functionality was a great angle for a new wave of innovation.  And the physical interface that allowed business people a way to communicate without talking on the phone was as simple as it gets.  No more 3 taps on the number key “5” to equal the letter “L”.

The article, “Ten things to know about Blackberry 10“, gives a high level perspective on the first good/bad of the Z10, including the fact that Q10 is the model with a physical keyboard that will be released in April 2013.  One wonders why Blackberry didn’t wait to release both at the same time?  But, these days, most people are making their smartphone purchasing decisions on a lot more than whether their IT department has a way to get email to their phone.  Today’s smartphone users want that work email and social/personal information with entertainment.  In fact, it will be entertainment that wins the smartphone market in the future.  Watch for gaming to play an ever increasing role in social networking and on any mobile device.  The number of applications you support will not be as important as an X-box or a PS-3 that supports their game libraries.


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