The BlackBerry has been “Re-designed. Re-engineered. Re-invented,” RIM has said. The makers are leaving no stone unturned to ensure a “Re-turn” too, so much so that the RIM name has been retired in favor of the stronger brand—BlackBerry.
For the last few years, RIM committed the same mistake that Nokia did—of wishfully thinking that an old OS horse could be trained to run on a turf of new rules written by Apple’s iPhone. And so for more than five years—ever after the iPhone was first introduced in 2007—RIM continued to live in a make-believe world. It finally seems to have come to terms with market realities about a year ago.
BB10 is a fairly convincing proof of the pudding. Now that BB10 is launched and reviews of the first new-OS device Z10 have poured in from the testers, it is clear that it’s not yet another case of old-wine-in-a-new-bottle. If the positivity of these reviews is to be a measure, BB would stand a fair chance ahead.
The biggest thing that could work to its advantage is the brand value, which remains quite strong. And with the channels still in place it won’t be too hard for BB to make a comeback, unless they goof up badly mid-way, which now looks remote. Equally important is the fact that they are a cash-rich company, unlike Nokia that was led to putting its headquarters up for sale. It is worth noting that RIM (now BlackBerry) is among the few mobile device companies that have been good at making money after selling the device; the other notable ones being Apple and Amazon.
The first thought that comes to mind after reading—and viewing—several testers’ reviews on BB Z10 is that it seems to have been designed as a device to appeal to both BB-addicts and first-timers. A video showed that predictive texting is indeed a one-up thing with the device, along with a special feature that helps letters glide onto the screen with the guide of a finger. I would go to the extent of saying that the BB10 programming makes even the otherwise archaic email functionality look so ‘cool’ that it could make the new berrys a big draw with the newer generation of users too.
Yes, BB seems to have succeeded in creating a cool factor, which could prove critically useful when it comes to winning new customers while serving the die-hard texting needs of old loyalists in a much better way.
The other smartphone features are quite comparable with the likes of iPhone 5, Galaxy SIII and Lumia 920. The camera is as good or better and so is the screen resolution or even the specs—2GB RAM instead of 1GB with comparable models from most of the other makers. Only the screen size seems to be a tad smaller, but not significantly so, at 4.2 inches.
Put simply, BlackBerry’s recipe for a success looks like this: offer all the contemporary smartphone features to draw new users but also make the email feature—it’s core strength—better than the rest. All, powered by a new-generation OS!
A comeback for BlackBerry looks likely, for the first time in the past so many years!
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