When someone tells you something is going to be one way from here on out, or predominantly feature something, you'd expect that it would probably . . . be that way, right? A company can only launch so many phones in a calendar year, so having one that goes against the grain, so to speak, might throw a damper on that whole "predominantly" thing. Then again, if you launch three devices and only one of them doesn't really fit the bill, I guess you've still got that majority met.
I'm speaking about BlackBerry, and the company's future plans. The company has a new CEO, and he's got quite a good vision for what he believes his company can achieve in a few years. While some folks thought that they'd drop out of the smartphone race completely, and that the death of BlackBerry would happen this year, maybe 2015 if you really wanted to stretch it.
CEO John Chen didn't want CES to come and go without anyone talking about BlackBerry, so he had a chat with Bloomberg Businessweek, and he teased what will be coming down the pipe. Honestly, I'm excited that BlackBerry isn't giving up -- so to speak. I'm glad that the company isn't going to just toss out the idea of making smartphones, even if they have to know that they aren't going to shoot to the top of the charts anytime soon.
At this point, I just have to chalk it up to doing what you love. And that has to count for something.
Back to the point, though. Chen confirmed that the lineup for BlackBerry handsets will "predominantly" boast a physical keyboard. Just like the BlackBerry of old, we're going to see a series of devices that feature the keyboard so many people have grown to love over the years. That's good news. At this point, feeding the flock -- or the BlackBerry faithful -- is just about the best strategy to take. And, as I mentioned, I think this is the company continuing to do what they love, and hopefully that means they can see some kind of turnaround from it.
We aren't going to see a big one, mind you -- not anytime soon. I think everyone knows that. Everyone in BlackBerry knows that. So, sticking with what they know, and building from that just makes the most sense. Seeing more BlackBerry devices, with a big focus on enterprise and physical keyboards, isn't a bad thing at all. Even if you, personally, don't plan on ever buying a BlackBerry handset, there are plenty of people out there that will.
And BlackBerry can take a page from Microsoft's book, too, simply by keeping on with what they're doing. If they can outlast everyone's expectations, and just keep trucking along, and keep making their BlackBerry OS better (especially with more apps), then things will fall into place. Eventually. It isn't a sprint we're dealing with here, it's a marathon, and BlackBerry's CEO acknowledgement of this is a good sign for the company.
First, we're going to see the Jakarta, a touchscreen device that's meant for emerging markets. A 3G-only handset to boot. But, that's just a small bump on the long road that BlackBerry is sure to be following for quite some time. We'll just have to hope that the new, physical keyboard-clad handsets are worth plenty of attention when they see the light of day later this year.
What do you think? Does BlackBerry have any chance? Even if they don't try to steal the first or second spots anymore, do you think they should keep doing what they love to do? Or should they give up and move on? Let me know what you think!