There have been many images of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton holding on ever so tightly to her BlackBerry smartphone. As well as there have been claims that President Obama loved his so much that they had to engineer the one he owned to make it more secure, because he didn’t want to part ways with it. But for a device that was well loved that it –earned the moniker CrackBerry, how did it go from having a market value of over $80 billion in 2008, to only $4.3 billion in 2013?
According to many industry insiders the failure occurred because the company went after the consumers that were being well serviced by iOS and Android. Sadly, it couldn’t compete in a market where consumers wanted to access the Internet with speed all the while downloading their favorite apps and games. The BlackBerry app store was scant of things consumers wanted to download the camera was subpar and BBM wasn’t enough to entice or keep customers but it did have good battery life. Mark Lee, CEO and founder of Splashtop summarized the overall sentiment of many when he was quoted as saying that the “features were inferior, from the touch screen, size, browser and the weak app ecosystem.”
BlackBerry’s base and strength had been with business and government types because of their secure systems. For the average person when they compared the touch screen from an Apple iPhone to that of the Blackberry it fell horribly short. Then when bigger competition came along with products like the Samsung Note, which offered a larger screen and apps for days, BlackBerry fell even further to the bottom of the barrel. There was no way a Phablet lover was going to sacrifice reading their favorite magazine on screen to dealing with the then glitch filled brand. But what if Blackberry decided to take the core of what it does well and join it with the ever-expanding Android market? Well they did and called it the PRIV.
Now while not all the reviews of the newly introduced PRIV Blackberry have not been stellar; the product is solid. The screen weighs in at 5.4 inches, the camera 18MP, battery-life 22.5 hours, expandable memory via SD card, and the Android 5.1 operating system. All good things while keeping the QWERTY keyboard, they have added a touch-screen keyboard as well. Best of all users are now able to monitor their security. Consumers are alerted when an app, microphone, location, camera and other personal info have been accessed. Something that is really important because so many put banking and other sensitive information on their devices that can be easily stolen. Let’s face it the free Wi-Fi at your local coffee shop is not secured.
There is no way to know if this newly launched product will be able to put the company back on the map, only time can tell that. But the CEO of T-Mobile has given it a positive endorsement by stating recently that he felt that Blackberry was on a comeback. Plus, AT&T must feel that is true as well because they are the first carrier in the US currently selling the PRIV by Blackberry. The phone is great and for those who love the classic version but wanted more, the brand has delivered. For those who currently have an Android and want security too this is the device they need. Not sure we can call it a comeback just yet. Though the brand, which has been here for so long, deserves another look and the PRIV was a genius way to get us talking about a smartphone that is smart.