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It’s almost impossible to narrow down every specific reason why someone might pick one smartphone over another. Sure, we try to narrow it down to a few major things, like operating system, apps, display size or even carrier, but the truth is there could be any number of reasons why someone decides to pick that one phone over that other phone. I’m sure that we’ve all been in a situation where you’ve been talking to someone, and at one point or another you find out which phone they are using. You may ask why, or you may leave it alone. For me, though, my curiosity always gets the better of me.

Sometime last week I was standing in an AT&T retail store, chatting with one of the representatives. We were talking about the BlackBerry Z10, and how it may (or may not) stack up against the competition. The sales representative I was talking to is an Android fan, and carries a Galaxy S III as their personal device. They told me they’d probably stick with Android, at least for the foreseeable future.

What was more interesting to me, though, was the individual who walked into the store while we were talking about the Z10 and pre-ordered the device from another rep. So, I obviously had to ask why on Earth they were doing that. What had been the driving force behind the desire to pre-order a brand new device, with a brand new mobile OS, versus the competition?

Well, the most obvious answer was that they were a BlackBerry fan to begin with. They pulled out their Bold 9900, said they loved it, but that they were ready for something new. BlackBerry 10 and the Z10 provided that, without having to leave the BlackBerry brand they’ve grown to love over the years. (The Z10 is a stopgap, though, as they plan on picking up the Q10 when it launches later.)

Okay, so brand loyalty. We’ve heard suggested that might be the reason BlackBerry survives this new venture, and lives another year to fight the good fight, haven’t we? So, there’s one person attesting to that sweeping postulation. I left that retail location having a little bit more faith in BlackBerry.

The next day, I was wondering all over again if BlackBerry stands a chance.

I was in another store, which one I don’t remember, and I was having a quick chat with one of the employees talking about the iPhone. They told me that they carry an iPhone, but have an Android tablet (Galaxy Tab 2). I couldn’t help it: I asked why on Earth they have an iPhone, but chose an Android tablet. (In my head, I’d think that the “perfect” combo would be an Android phone, like the Galaxy Note II, and an iPad (even a Mini, depending on your phone’s size.)).

He told me that he just prefers having iOS on his phone, but he wanted a tablet and didn’t need “more iOS.” Okay, I can understand that. Before I could change the subject (talking about the Galaxy Tab 2 was not how I wanted to spend my time), he went on to tell me why he was using an iPhone at all, and not any other phone out there on the market.

Accessories.

He then showed me his iPhone 4S, tucked safely into one of those awesomely huge “indestructible” cases, and tossed it onto the ground behind him. I think he was trying to prove a point, but I missed it because he threw his phone on the ground. He brought me back to the page he was on (probably a few chapters ahead), and told me that he chose the iPhone because there are just more accessories out there for the phone.

That got me thinking, not so much about his poor iPhone (who does that!?), but about the devices coming down the pipe. This was before Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S 4, but they actually proved my point – they’ve got accessories. If you go to their accessories page, you can see 11 individual accessory options right now. And that’s only going to get bigger from other third party options. Just as our own Anna Scantlin pointed out, accessories like S Health are going to only help sell the Galaxy S 4, and I think it goes to show that it’s not completely about the phone itself anymore.

Personally, I don’t use accessories like cases, or screen protectors, or similar additions. Headphones are usually where my accessory options start and end. But I can understand where he was coming from. I don’t see a lot of phones outside of cases anymore, actually. Especially iPhones. And for those people who want to protect their phones, or just show off some kind of allegiance to a sports team, cases make that easier than ever.

The BlackBerry Z10 is one of those devices that I think could gain some ground from new and interesting accessories, or just options that are already available for other phones. Like wireless charging, for example. Or how about some interesting docks? Whatever the case, even a nice range of cases can make the Z10 –and the Q10 later—stand out among the competition. Accessory options mean more ways that people can show off their phones. That’s what manufacturers want, because it means that people have to buy them first.

So, tell me how important accessories are to you. Which phone are you currently using, and do you have any type of accessories clinging to it? Did you buy that particular device because of the accessory options? Or was that not even remotely one of your considerations? Let me know.


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"Do you think BlackBerry can survive in the smartphone market without a wide range of accessories?"


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Dave Bourque @Charlie I believe they may one day be able to get ahead of Apple in the mobile market. Assuming Apple keeps the same trend.
Dave Bourque @Rich you are talking to Android fanboys and phonedog is apparently a site for those android fanboys lol. They think bigger size screens = better. Well lets just go the whole way then? 10 inch phone why not?
Rich Field For my z10 I have a holster and a screen protector I don't need any more but they have a flip case, transformer and charger bundles. They also have a bluetooth speaker and other things what else do you need? Hello kitty charms? What a stupid premise for an article. Do people really care more about the accessories available versus the phone itself? I think they care about the OS/UI design and features. Having accessories is a bonus. The phone speaks for itself and its great. Anybody saying the company won't survive is an idiot. The company has 2 billion cash and no debt before the z10 launch of which they've had successful launches in India, UK, Canada, UAE etc. they just had a 1 million phone order, 5-40k order form the German government and are testing out in the UK with over 1000 businesses as we speak. They still haven't even launched in the states. http://ca.blackberry.com/smartphones/blackberry-z10/accessories.html
Charlie Ebner Yes. Blackberry caters to a specific market and so they'll survive. They may never be on top like they once were, but they aren't going to disappear.
Jason Vargas No. The only thing that keeps me form getting a BB is they're sucky App World. If every OS had the same App Store I'd be a loyal BB user. I've always liked the BB experience but hated they're app world so I had to make the switch
Dave Bourque netflix although isn't released can be sideloaded off android.
David Moreno Accessories are great of course but app support is also important too. At least the most popular and used apps would be nice. I think blackberry will get it taken care of and do well in the future
Dave Bourque I think its hilarious that phonedog experts think iphone 5 is superior to the Z10.
Krishna Karthik I'm not a blackberry fan.....but I think it can still survive
Brain Roopull Over 9000 accessories listed for it on Ebay. More will come. This isn't the thing for BB to worry about.
Hugo Garcia All you need is a car charger, a case, and a bluetooth headset for people in business
Jerimiah Reece I just need a charger and a decent case/belt clip. Not too worried about keyboards and all that crud.
James Norwood Function is.
Hugo Garcia I am buying it without a contract so its a big purchase lol
Hugo Garcia I love blackberry because of BBM because I have friends overseas that I can stay in contact with at no extra charge, in addition to thiss hopefully the z10 will allow me to have a bigger and better selection of apps and games
Anthony Lasam Accessories b4 phones is even out in the USA --- nice one! Eff the alicia keys concert & more lame intro parties. GET PHONES OUT ALREADY!
Dave Bourque @Ben Z10 can use netflix (unofficial version off a android sideload)
Dave Bourque @George the world is bigger than just the US...
Dave Bourque @Stantiago this is what i hope for blackberry they deserve a 3rd place spot, maybe second place eventually
George Millhouse I love when people say they have a large fan base...really? Where? That's a good laugh.
Karl Funk i like blackberry cause there different,i hope they stsy that way. . . and they will have accessories
Dave Bourque Accessories will release overtime... its stupid to expect equal or more accessories...
Santiago Alexander Cruz Yes, with BBM blackberry has a big fanbase. Now with a backbone of apps and good marketing strategy they should at least with a contender for the 3rd spot in the OS war. (1)Android (2)iOs (3)BlackBerry (4)Windows
Ben Pierce Apps are far more important than accessories. Not having popular apps like Netflix and others is worse than something like wireless charging or docking stations IMO
Dave Bourque @Jonathan the accessories i have for my Z10, iSkin,external battery charger + extra battery for swaping , leather pouch with auto sleep.
Dave Bourque "Well, the most obvious answer was that they were a BlackBerry fan to begin with."(Article) Wrong I wasn't much of a blackberry fan to begin with , coming from Apple.
Jonathan Coffey Young people like to have fun accessories cases are big business.
Lamont Henderson I personally have changed from GalaxyS3 to blackberry because I wanted a smartphone with buttons.Blackberry honestly don't need to keep up with the Jones and stick with there craft.I like blackberry alo
Anthony V Cannata Nope I think BB going to fail
Lona Bremer yes because Blackberry will always have a worthwhile OS. Secure!
Luis Robles Figueroa I think yes but is a matter of people buying the phone. The new OS is up to day standards.




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