I previously covered the Hardware and Software specifics of the new BlackBerry device ecosystem. This post serves to summarize what was announced, as well as give my personal view on the state of things.
So to summarize, the Canadian dinosaur of a company released an innovative new OS as well as a whole line of devices and a reinvented brand, as an attempt to charge head first in to the mobile arena, guns blazing. Slate phones, Messaging phones, and tablets are all covered in this line up. As an additional surprise, the company threw out it’s old company name, RIM, and is henceforth just known as Blackberry. This is how everyone else knew the company, and is now the official name.
The Z10 device will be available in the UK tomorrow, Canada on February 5th, and the United States supposedly later February or March. The device will be launched in black colors, with the white color being a Verizon exclusive. The device will cost $199 at launch. The Q10 QWERTY model will not launch until April at the earliest. The company also stated that existing BlackBerry PlayBook devices will receive an update to Blackberry10 soon.
So it’s no secret that this is BlackBerry’s last stand. This is all or nothing and they aren’t holding anything back with their global assault. Time will only tell if it will be enough. I personally think they’re in for a bumpy ride. While they secured many big names for their app world, they are still lacking the quality found in the other major ecosystems. One of their biggest selling points, the QWERTY phone, is being delayed for some reason, and the OS is still a bit buggy. They may have the momentum to take a chunk out of Windows Phone for the moment, but it won’t last long. Windows Phone is more established and growing rapidly. Blackberry just underwent a huge rebirth, and is for all intents and purposes starting over.
I think if they play their cards right and all the stars align, they might be able to compete with Windows Phone this year. The problem is that everything feels so ordinary. They don’t have a killer app or feature, the phones are mundane, and the pricing and specs are average at best. There is NOTHING to persuade people to go back to a smaller app ecosystem and a less developed platform. The QWERTY model would have been the exception, but it’s MIA.
It’s good, and a novel attempt. I don’t hate it. I just fail to see where they can challenge 90% of the market. I could be wrong though. For BlackBerry’s sake, I hope I am.
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