Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Berry Big Problem

The news that Blackberry, the Canadian Smartphone manufacturer will be cutting over 4000 jobs (30%) of its workforce was not a very big surprise.

Why exactly would you want to buy a BlackBerry [rather than a competitive Android/ Apple/ even Windows Smartphone?]

To me therefore the >15% share drop this last Friday is the culmination of a realisation that BlackBerry's time has been and gone.

There was a day when the security of data held on a BlackBerry because if it's encryption and inhouse location of data servers was second to none.   Indeed this led some Governments including the British, American and Indian complaining that they could not read BlackBerry emails/ SMS etc.   Remarkably BlackBerry caved, giving backdoor access to multiple governments.  At that time I lost all respect for the vendor, though with recent NSA revelations, well it was not just BlackBerry providing unfettered government access!

What are the other factors in the decline?

  • Mostly that the rest of the industry has moved on.
  • A device with a small screen is ridiculous
  • That ridiculous keyboard, I always pitied Blackberry users
  • You could not run all the cool apps the Apple and Android world enjoyed [An android v2 emulator was offered]
  • Blackberry 10 is the Operating system based on the famous but now quite old QNX micro kernel Operating System
  • QNX is a famous minimalistic UNIX like microkernel Operating system bought by Blackberry in 2010
  • Only the latest models namely the Q5, Z10 and up and coming Z30 have specs expected by users: high resolution screens, large memories, fast processors.   All the older models are well just old.

  • Even the latest Z30 is somewhat behind the hardware specs of flagship Android or [even] Apple hardware.   It is following not leading.
Trying to be Positive
Personally I would still rate BlackBerry above a Windows Smartphone,  however I think the market thinks otherwise.

For me  the only two surviving Smartphone platforms will be Android and iOS, the other guys are too far behind.

(Blackberry is sold to Fairfax Financial and others)

(New York Times Info Graphic)

BlackBerry Z10 specs
QNX 4.2.5 OS
QNX 650 Utilities PDF