Where now for Blackberry?

Since I left Microsoft earlier this year, I’ve been having an on-going debate with an ex-colleague and friend of mine Lyndon. At Cisco we believe in providing a ubiquitous service across multiple devices, whether it be MAC, PC, iPhone, Android or Blackberry. Microsoft are talking about using their Skype acquisition to reach their Lync offering into iPhone and Android; but not Blackberry. Lyndon rightly said that Android was killing Blackberry and there was no reason to support it; another reason Microsoft is mainly focusing on Android is probably because due to their percentage share of sales due to patent agreements.

I first had a Blackberry about 8years ago, I loved the phone with his roller navigation. I have two mobile phones now, a Blackberry for business and my iPhone for personal. To be fair to Blackberry, I bought the iPhone when I was at Microsoft as my work Windows Mobile was awful and my Windows Phone 7  felt a bit Fisher Price. At Cisco, they allow you a choice of Phones to have, unfortunately my boss signed me up for Blackberry….it’s awful

So Blackberry used to be good, but is now falling way short of what Businesses and Consumers want. The employees love the company but feel that the Management are leading them down the wrong path; open letters have been written to the Board that seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Is there a way out to save the company?

I used to think yes! Blackberry’s strong support with Youth Culture due to the brand loyalty of Urban music artists like Jay-Z and Beyonce was where the brand should focus. Understand what these multi-million pound artists loved about the Blackberry and market the brand to be cool and aspirational again. However as we have seen in the London, Birmingham and Manchester riots over the last few nights, it’s the low end aspect of Blackberry that really makes it popular. The free Blackberry Messaging service (BBM). The rioters tool of choice could be the final nail in the coffin for RIM, the makers of Blackberry in the UK. The device as it stands now is far behind its rivals, including Microsoft in terms of user experience and functionality. To make this worse, it’s now tarnished as being a yob phone. Would you want one?

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