This post was first published by Erica Frank on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.
Poor Research in Motion (RIM). The maker of BlackBerry, now re-branded and actually going by Blackberry instead of RIM, has had a bit of a rough go lately. Not nearly as “hip” as other smartphones, the BlackBerry was always seen as the black sheep of the smartphone family – not very sleek, efficient or cool. Although I am an iPhone user now, I actually really enjoyed my BlackBerry. I would never consider trading in my iPhone now, but I know I was one of few who felt positive about the BlackBerry a couple of years ago.
BlackBerry hopes that that all changes. In an effort to reverse its declining fortunes (according to GigaOM), the company launched its new BlackBerry 10 line of phones last week. Tech journalists, analysts and consumers alike are skeptical, as many feel BlackBerry was leaps and bounds behind on innovation. However, there have been some positive reviews, pointing to a potential comeback for the company and phone. David Pogue of the New York Times said the BlackBerry Z10 is “lovely, fast and efficient, bristling with fresh, useful ideas.” His full review can be read here, and as a very influential voice in the industry, this has to feel good for BlackBerry.
However, while David’s review is precisely the kind of response BlackBerry is looking for, many are criticizing the company for simply being too late to the party. They feel that the features BlackBerry announced are ones that the iPhone and Android have had for years. They believe that BlackBerry simply can’t dig itself out of the hole it has been in for the past several years. They believe it is ultimately doomed.
What do you think of BlackBerry’s attempt to become relevant again and compete with iPhone and Android? Does the company stand a chance, or is this a case of too little, too late?