Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Blackberry OS 10 and RIM's Future

So if you have not heard the news that the company behind the famous Blackberry is in trouble and has just been acquired by a VC firm for almost a tenth of the value a couple of years back. So why is this happening to a once global player?

The answer is simple. Blackberry has forgotten its roots, the success of RIM came as corporate people, like myself, use the device as a means of communication in terms of emailing, although there is some BBMing as well. The main reason I like so many others use the Blackberry is for email. The unique secure nature of Push email, knowing that my email lives securely on RIM servers no matter who my provider is made the Blackberry a unique device.

So Whats Changed

More phones

Within less than 10 years there are not only a huge range of phones out there that compete with Blackberry, mostly running either Android or iOS. Which in itself is not a bad thing as these phones now not only do everything that made the Blackberry unique, but they are a lot more fun, more applications, more networks, which all means you can use your phone for work as well as play.

More Emails Less Blackberry Email

There are also lots more choices for email now than ever before, as 10 years ago you had to either run your own server or you had limited choices in terms of email, and namely push email. However most providers, even free ones like GMail, Yahoo, Live all do some form of push email now. Although none of the free services are as secure as Blackberry is, but they are free.

However, there is a catch to this Blackberry as of OS10 and with all new accounts as ceasing to run a hosted email service via your mobile phone provider, so if you have a dedicated Blackberry email with your provider, within a couple of years this will no longer work.

No Longer need a Blackberry Bundle

Plus the above as of OS10 you no longer need a dedicated Blackberry data plan to use the Blackberry services, this includes email, BBM, internet, etc

RIM are rolling out BBM for other devices such as Android, iOS

In a short while RIM will be releasing a new version of their popular messenger system BBM, this time it will be available on other devices and not just Blackberry's. This will mean that people without a Blackberry will now be able to message people with BBM by using their existing phone, they no longer need to have a Blackberry.

What Does This All Mean?

As you can see Blackberry is trying to move away from their roots as a corporate provider, they are realising that the growing sector of their market is people that just want to use the messenger service BBM and are not bothered about email.

What They are Forgetting!

By moving away from where they started Blackberry / RIM are hoping to capture more of the market that is not interested in mobile email but more interested in texting, messaging, facebook, twitter, etc. RIM are also trying to make their handsets a bit more fun, with the new OS10 you can get more apps and do more fun stuff, sort of. Also as of OS10 you now don't need a Blackberry data plan to use your Blackberry services, this may sound like a good idea, but in reality by doing away with the need for a Blackberry service plan in an attempt to attract new customers and removing the RIM hosted emails services,  means that in order to use email on your Blackberry you now need to use one of the many free accounts out their or your own personal email account.

One thing RIM are forgetting is that by diluting their offering, in terms of making software available on other operating systems, such as BBM means people are moving away from the need to have a Blackberry device. What they need to remember is that BBM is one of the reasons why people buy their Blackberry in the first place, so by making it available on other devices they are removing the need to even by a Blackberry in the first place.

So what we have learnt is that now as of OS10 all your Blackberry is, is a mobile messaging device, that is still no way as much fun as other handsets out there, plus if your a corporate user (and I don't mean a Blackberry Corporate account holder) but someone would likes have a professional looking mobile email, your out of luck. No more Blackberry hosted email, just a phone you can use to message people also known as texting ;)

The Future

So as we can now see as all you can really do on a Blackberry now is use the BBM service, which in itself is restricted to only sending messages to other BBM users, although this is changing shortly, unlike text /SMS where you can send it to any mobile phone, means that the future is bleak for RIM / Blackberry. After all there are loads of tariffs available now with unlimited text messages and loads of data, what that means is that anyone can now get a more fun handset such as an Android or iOS handset and still have the same features that once made Blackberry unique, this includes email as you no longer get a RIM hosted email with your Blackberry device, and the free email services do PUSH email now, so you would be daft to get a Blackberry.

The Solution

My advice to RIM is simple, GO BACK TO YOUR ROOTS, remember that Blackberry was once the communication device of choice for people that want to communicate, not chat! So give all Blackberry users a dedicated email address, and I love the idea of not needing a separate Blackberry plan. But one should not come at the expense of the other.

In short continue to make your handset more fun, but also aim them at the original market, people that want to communicate and not simple by BBM.

Thanks Sean J Connolly FaceBook Me - Visit AJAX Web Development Store - Online Property Sales and Letting

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