Once again I find myself having more hope in BlackBerry than I shouldAnna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
Here we are again. It's the end of 2013, and instead of full-on looking forward to what 2014 will bring us starting within the next few weeks, I'm sitting here dwelling on the past. I've tried not to, but I can't help it. When it comes to something that has been as influential to my being here as BlackBerry, it's hard just to live and let live, or just to let it go. It's also hard to do mostly because this entire year has been one big roller coaster on whether BlackBerry will succeed with the introduction of BlackBerry 10 or not. When it became evident that they were not, it was still pretty up in the air whether BlackBerry's ship was sinking or not. Is BlackBerry selling? Are they trucking on? What's going on here?
As it turns out, it seems that BlackBerry has essentially made the decision to keep on trucking. Just recently BlackBerry revealed the five-year deal they struck with Foxconn Group, a company that will be manufacturing BlackBerry devices and help to save the money that it has been losing so much of lately. This will help BlackBerry put focus into making more 3G BlackBerry 10 devices in other parts of the world while trying to reclaim their spot as a more business-like phone in the coporate world here in the U.S.
While it's too early to tell whether that will actually work out for them or not, I find myself in the same familiar position that I found myself in when I first heard about BlackBerry 10. I have too much hope that they'll succeed, and I know that I do, but I just can't help it. I really don't want to see any other platforms fail. I didn't like seeing webOS go, so I can only imagine that seeing BlackBerry go will be just as (if not more) saddening. It's always a sad affair when another mobile platform option is taken away.
This idea that BlackBerry has to put focus on lower-end devices in other parts of the world and try to re re-brand themselves back into the business world in the U.S. seems like it might work out for them - but I've said this how many times now? "I think BlackBerry 10 will work out," "I think BlackBerry can pick themselves up from this," "I bet BlackBerry can pull through this as long as they add more to their app store," and it's never happened. Then again, it seems like this is a better option because it's setting BlackBerry's sights low. They're not even really worried about pumping out high-end devices right now, they're just trying to get back on good terms with businesses and the government by developing newer and more secure software; they're essentially going back to the roots that made BlackBerry so popular in the first place. BlackBerry was never exceptionally known for having a great app store, but more-so for the benefit of having A.) BBM and B.) their own secure servers. But as iOS and Android started becoming more secure as well as improving on every other aspect of their platforms, the workplace no longer necessarily needed BlackBerry as their work phone of choice. In fact, iOS and Android both seemed to have advantages both for the workplace and for personal life, so instead of needing to carry around two devices for work and personal you could just mash it all into one convenient device.
It seems like a lot of people feel like BlackBerry should just give up and die already, and as easy as I would like to say the same I just can't. I really am the kind of person with too much hope. Like, every time I watch Titanic I'm still convinced (SPOILER ALERT - but the movie is like 16 years old now so...) that Jack won't die. I'm the person standing up in the stands cheering for the team losing 16-0 in the 9th inning (Go Royals!) I'm the person that still frosts the cupcakes I just severely burnt just to I can feel like I didn't waste the past hour baking them just to have it all ruined by leaving them in the oven one, two, fifteen minutes longer than I should have. It might seem impossible, but maybe one of these days there will be some strange data that overwrites the original ending to Titanic and shows some alternative ending where Jack lives; maybe one of these days we'll have some weird Angels in the Outfield type voodoo happen when the Royals once again get their behinds handed to them; and maybe one of these days I'll end up slathering enough frosting on a burnt cupcake so that I can convince myself it actually tastes kind of good. And maybe, just maybe, one day we will see BlackBerry rise again. Maybe not to its former glory, but at least amount to something significant.
Rah, rah, ree,
Kick 'em in the knee
Rah, rah, rass,
Kick 'em in the
... Other knee!
Image via GSM Arena