As much as I would miss BlackBerry, I think they've missed their chanceAnna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
I've written a lot of articles regarding BlackBerry this past year. And why not? There is a lot to talk about. Even as early as late 2012, we knew that BlackBerry 10 was on its way. BlackBerry 10 was what many thought would be the once top smartphone OS's ticket back to success since its descent below not one, not two, but three different mobile platforms. However, as it turns out that's just now how the cookie crumbled when it came to BlackBerry 10.
I remember being excited about it at first - very excited. I loved BlackBerry phones back when they were the cool thing to have. They were cool because if you didn't use BBM, you were pretty much a square. But when Apple released the iPhone and Google unveiled Android, the game had changed against BlackBerry's favor. Gone were the days where smartphones just meant you had an efficient way of sending e-mails and messages, along with a few productive applications. With iOS and Android came a more leisurely approach to applications as well as apps designated for productivity. Without BlackBerry getting with the times it was just a matter of time before things would come to a bittersweet end.
But then things started looking up. After a couple of years of quickly dropping in sales and profits, it seemed that BlackBerry also realized that it was time for a change. The game plan for BlackBerry 10 seemed solid; not only did they plan to continue using their traditional candy bar QWERTY keyboard design for at least one of their BlackBerry 10 devices, but they were also going to go with a more modern full touchscreen device. BlackBerry seemed to be making moves for the better.
However, just because an idea sounds good in theory doesn't mean that it's always a good idea in the long run. Leaving out minor details can turn a blissful ride into a trainwreck. If I tell you that I'm going to have a lot of money coming my way next week, that sounds good. Who doesn't need more money? But when you find out that I'm obtaining all of that money through a bank robbery, you can probably assume that it's going to be a trainwreck.
BlackBerry trainwrecked. Just a little bit.
They had a good start. At least, it seemed like they had a good start. I remember the promotions they were having in order to spark developer interest in making applications for them, offering more money than they had been previously - pretty decent money, which was nice for developers looking to expand. And when they got over 100,000 applications for the BlackBerry 10 store, it seemed that all was going right for the release of the revamped software. It was only later that we learned that again, not was all as it seemed. As it turns out, a single devleoper was responsible for over 40,000 applications. And I don't know about you guys, but I'd probably be finished after about 10 or 15 different applications, let alone over 40,000. I can't even wrap my head around it. Also, most of the applications weren't mainstream, which is a struggle that Windows Phone also seems to struggle with. And many developers for mainstream applications weren't at all interested in BlackBerry 10.
So here we are now. We have the new OS, we have the updated hardware, and we're missing apps that don't look like they're ever going to come to BlackBerry. Sure, you can sideload Android applications, but to the average user that's not going to sound like much of a convenience when you can just, you know, buy another phone that already has that stuff loaded onto it. Heck, that's what I do and I'm reading up on the mobile industry on a daily basis. It just makes sense.
So when I hear that BlackBerry received a $1 billion cash injection into the company, I can't help but think that it might already be too little too late. I mean, that is a fair amount of money, and I'm sure they can put it to good use if they wanted to... but I think I'm mostly worried that most people have already given up hope with BlackBerry and have moved on to bigger, better, and let's face it - more supported platforms. BlackBerry would have to come up with some pretty impressive stuff to win people over again, and at this point I'm not sure that they could do it. But, you know what they say - third time is a charm?
Readers, what are your thoughts about BlackBerry? Do you still have hopes for the company's survival as it currently stands, or do you think that they've missed the last train to Clarksville? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!