BlackBerry launched its new BlackBerry 10 handsets just a matter of weeks ago and the Canadian manufacturer has all its hopes pinned on the success of these devices. The BlackBerry Z10 has been flying off shelves across the UK, and it seems to be a prosperous time for the manufacturer.
However, things haven’t always been this joyous and BlackBerry has had a bit of a tough time over the last two years. The question now is has BlackBerry done enough to turn its fortunes around?
BlackBerry potted history
BlackBerry (or Research In Motion as it was formerly known) was created by Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin in 1984, and the company initially produced pagers and hand-held email machines before mobile phones were commonplace. It was in 1999 that the duo eventually released the BlackBerry Handheld – the first BlackBerry device.
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Then along came BlackBerry’s Enterprise Server, which offers BlackBerry users push email and synchronises contacts and calendar information across desktop and mobile devices. Later on in 2006, the BlackBerry Messenger instant messaging service arrived and went on to become one of the main selling points of the devices. BlackBerry was growing fast, and in 2003 there were half a million people toting BlackBerrys. By 2008 this number had grown to 14 million, and by 2012 they clocked in at an amazing 80 million users. But, although figures hit an all-time high in 2012, things were far from hunky-dory in Camp BlackBerry.
Where did it all go wrong?
So, with such a high number of users, what turned the tide for BlackBerry? The arrival of Apple’s iPhone and the many mobiles featuring Google’s Android operating system meant BlackBerry had more competition. And at the same time, iOS and Android devices were evolving in terms of hardware, software and apps, whereas BlackBerry’s evolution was a lot slower.
These shiny new smartphones were catching the eyes of people who wanted more than just a QWERTY keyboard and BBM. BlackBerry sales and shipment figures took a nosedive and reports of job cuts meant the future looked less than rosy for the Canadian company.
Come the beginning of 2012, BlackBerry had hit hard times, and Lazaridis and Fregin stepped aside to make way for new CEO Thorsten Heins. Armed with the BlackBerry 10 operating system up his sleeve, Heins believed he could put BlackBerry back on top, but it wasn’t going to be easy.
BlackBerry 10 launch
Thorsten and co were aware that BlackBerry 10 was probably the company’s last chance of survival, but it has to be said that they made a bit of a pig’s ear of the operating system’s launch. After teasing fans for the first few months of 2012, BlackBerry finally unveiled BlackBerry 10 in May. However, the manufacturer made it clear that what was seen at the launch was only a snippet of the software, and that we would have to wait to see the new BlackBerry 10 devices fully functioning.
Then followed months of fits and starts, and BlackBerry began setting dates for a full BlackBerry 10 launch, only to postpone them numerous times. Thorsten said he wanted the operating system to be completely spot-on before it was released, but the delays meant rivals had enough time to copy the functionality BlackBerry had unveiled and pass it off as their own. Finally, after months of setbacks, BlackBerry 10 launched on 30 January 2013, and received a welcoming reception. But after a shaky 2012 people were left wondering whether the manufacturer had left it too late to save itself.
The future of BlackBerry
Early signs point to sales of the BlackBerry Z10 being good, with distributors feeding back news of low stock issues. However, this isn’t concrete evidence that BlackBerry can make a comeback, but it does indicate things are on the up for the company.
Only time will tell whether the Canadian manufacturer can resurrect itself, but at the moment, BlackBerry’s sales and reputation seem to be getting better.
This guest blog was written by Abbi Cox of Phones 4u, which is the first retailer to offer the BlackBerry Z10 white variant.
This article is contributed by Abbi Cox and posted by Rizwan Ahmad Author and founder of cyberockk.com, He is a tech blogger from India and he loves to share his thoughts by writing articles on this site to the different topics related to technology world,