- December 5th, 2013
- Darren Kingman
When Blackberry first hit the shelves back in 1999, millions of users were wowed by the fact that there was a mobile handset that could send email in addition to making calls and text.
As well as consumers buying it, it proved to be a big hit with business users. After all, this was the only really viable way of sending e-
mails while on the move, a factor that significantly impacted phone sales. Add to this BBM and the QWERTY keyboard, and you had a very appealing handset.
While many companies still make use of the Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES), power has most definitely shifted in recent times and the question that is often raised is does Blackberry have any relevance anymore? Is there any reason why a consumer or business users should choose a Blackberry over another device?
There was a time when the Blackberry was renowned for its security and for business users looking to protect their information, this would have been a major selling point. However, in recent years, any advantage they had is long gone.
Developers for both Android and iOS have been far more innovative in the app department with programs that can keep your work files separate, there’s the Find My iPhone app, as well as countless other options to keep your information and device safe.
App developers just aren’t interested
Blackberry’s arrogance and refusal to evolve in the early smartphone years has led to a slump in sales and while they are clearly trying to get back in the game with the release of the Blackberry 10, confidence has gone. As such, far fewer app developers are interested and with the wealth of great apps that are coming through on Android and iOS, there is yet another reason not to rush out and buy the latest Blackberry.
While at one time the famous QWERTY keyboard that made Blackberry immediately recognisable was one of its best features, it’s no longer a factor that attracts buyers, something that has been proven with the non-event that was the release of the Q10.
The fact of the matter is that more and more users are opting for touch screens. Add to that the fact that devices come in a range of sizes, and you are left with many far more appealing devices for business users than the QWERTY keyboard.
Networks aren’t interested
If you want further evidence that Blackberry is on the wane you only have to look at US telecom giants AT&T and Verizon. Since the launch of the Blackberry Z10, which was hoped would help bring about a revival for the company, the price of a handset has plummeted.
While it would have cost around $200 when it was first released, within months it was available on contract for under $50. Whilst Blackberry may have acted like it wasn’t a big deal, it’s a sign that the major carriers are losing any remnants of faith that they still had.
You won’t find either an Apple or Samsung product reduced by so much so quickly.
It’s not just the US either. Major UK resellers such as Carphone Warehouse now offer the Z10 at under £150 and that is on pay-as-you go
Blackberry may be clinging on for its life, but its days are almost certainly numbered. As such, there is no logical reason that any business user or consumer would choose their latest Z10 touchscreen or Q10 over the vast array of quality devices on offer from the likes of Samsung, HTC, Sony and Apple.
Unless a miracle happens sometime very soon, Blackberry could very easily be out of business within a matter of months. Their only saving grace coming in the form of Mark Zuckerberg who may well have his eye on a possible purchase to add to his ever growing list of acquisitions.
About the author: Kerry Butters is writing on behalf of the broadband, mobile broadband and smartphone comparison site BroadbandGenie.co.uk.