Irrespective of whether you sided with the people who said that the BB10 constitutes the salvation of RIM or, on the contrary, the ones who argued that this model is the last nail in the coffin of the manufacturer, one thing was certain: the Blackberry 10 would have a monumental impact on the future of the company.
The prolonged delays coupled with the numerous employee layoffs and the grim statistics challenged the patience of even the most diehard fans of BB devices, not to mention the investor boards, who were all anxiously expecting a miracle. Let’s take a quick trip back in time.
A few days before the launch…
Tech blogs and news sites were virtually flooded with opinions on the BB10, the technology behind the smartphone model, the impression created by RIM, its inability to capture the interest of the mobile crowd, so on and so forth. To put it simply, almost everybody thought that the Blackberry 10 had a snowball’s chance in hell to compete with Androids and iPhones, the alpha males of the mobile industry. Even the Windows phone was ranked better! Several days before the launch the stocks of the company were dropping seriously, as numerous investors were cashing in on the profit generated by the rise. But then came the announcement(s).
The day of the launch
RIM was no longer Research In Motion. Instead, it had adopted a new moniker, just like the very flagship devices they were about to release: “Blackberry”. Shocker, but that is definitely not the biggest piece of news. In response to the “accusation” that the BB smartphones are not sufficiently oriented towards entertainment features and that they stand to lose a great deal if RIM continues to focus exclusively on “serious stuff”, the new Blackberry corporation appointed none other than the famous artist Alicia Keys in the position of Creative Director. And slowly but surely, this kind of decisions combined with the astounding amount of feature integrated on the 10 and Z10 BBs began elevating the ranking of the company stocks.
Promising preliminary statistics
The good news for Blackberry won’t stop pouring in since the launch of their newest mobile series on the 5th of February, 2013. In the United States alone there have been approximately 150 carriers that expressed an interest in listing the BB10 among their smartphone options, which is safe to say that it constitutes an awesome start for any manufacturer.
Furthermore, at the moment when the Z10 model is already on the market the number of applications available for its operating system is expected to surpass 100,000 (according to CIBC’s analyst, Todd Coupland). Take that iTunes and Google Play! But the United States – surprisingly – is not the hottest market for the BB10, Coupland says.
…Blackberry’s home and, well, not native but surely a great place for sales. National anthems aside, it turns out that over half of the Canadians who preregistered for a Blackberry 10 with their current carrier networks aren’t currently utilizing RIM products. Although the data needs a bit more thorough fact check, this is indeed a pleasant surprise for the Blackberry corporation.
What this essentially means is that BB10 has managed to sway Apple/Android fan-boys into trading in their iOS/Android phones for a Blackberry. And these customers represent an addition to the already established BB fan base. Needless to say that in order for Blackberry to rise up from the ashes, swiping a significant audience from underneath the nose of Apple and Google had to be done.
Numbers, we want numbers!
As several market analysts have pointed out, Blackberry management shouldn’t count their chicken before they are hatched. In other words, all predictions are speculative, as they’re all based on variables and clusters of factors that are more or less understood or controlled. The BB10 is without a doubt an excellent phone, the advertisement team is doing a bang-up job promoting its features, they hired a young artist with fresh new ideas as Creative Director – though some voices didn’t support Alicia Keys – and they seem to be on the road to recovery. Nevertheless, before a lot of those BB10 and Z10 models fly off the shelves of the carriers and into the pockets of hopefully satisfied customers, Blackberry is not out of the woods yet.