Published on July 20th, 2013 | by Shashwat Pradhan0
The Dark Knight- BlackBerry
BlackBerry has had a real active year so far. From the launch of the Z10, Q10, BlackBerry Live, 10.1, Q5, 10.2, wall street reacting bad to not so great quarter earning call, no BB10 for the Playbook, new BB OS7 device, leaks on the A10 and Thorsten Heins action plan for the next few months. That pretty much sums up the year so far for BlackBerry.
But that list misses the biggest launch for BlackBerry this year. Multi-platform BBM. Just last week on July 14th BlackBerry Messenger turned 8 years old! BBM was invented by Gary Klassen, who tweeted an image of the social graph of BBM which explains how BBM went viral internally in RIM at that time. Speaking of Gary, he’s moving out to Sweden to work closely with The Astonishing Tribe/BlackBerry Sweden to work out some more magic for BB10.
So the question is where does BlackBerry stand right now?
With the earning call, quite a few things have cleared up. BES 10.1 is doing well and now is available for iOS and Android as well. Around 2.7 million BlackBerry 10 phones shipped in the 3 months of its launch which is a not so great number. Wall street didn’t react very well with unit share prices dropping from around 15$ to 10$. But BlackBerry still has over 3 billion dollars which is a good sign.
In terms of hardware the Q5 is really important to get the upgrades from BBOS 7 devices in developing countries. The BlackBerry app scene seems to be growing well with increasing number of Built For BlackBerry apps and games being seen in the BlackBerry World. OS 10.2 looks great coming out with great new UI features, NFC abilities, Android 4.2 Jellybean runtime and other software upgrades.
Multi-platform BBM in the tech world is currently like a Joker(not the one in Batman) card, everyone has their own varying opinion on it. There is a huge scope of improvement in Whatsapp, a gap which BBM can easily fill. To prove my point, a fake BBM app on the Google Play store got over 100,000 downloads in just hours before getting pulled of. There’s a great amount of anticipation for this launch!
Personally I want to see BlackBerry succeed because rather than taking the easy path of using Android, they built a revolutionary new OS with an entire new gesture interface which was a real risky but thoughtful move. There needs to be place for a 3rd and 4th (and maybe even 5th and 6th) mobile platform in the market, else the evolution & innovation will definitely stagnate, since it is a highly competitive game. BlackBerry has their own niche which is not small in any terms. They have lots of new and unique propositions to offer compared to iOS and Android. Just hoping they can advertise better and grab their rightful spot. BlackBerry is not only the phone the market deserves but also the phone we need to keep the competition and innovation running.