Ok, let’s for just a moment move on from the Android/BlackBerry 10 debate and consider just how well the Priv is going to do. Forget what you want for a minute, whichever side of the fence you are on, will the Priv sell?
You bet your life it will. It’s going to sell BIG. Here’s why…
1) Androidia is awash with boredom, hubris and failure. ‘WHAT? They won the smartphone wars! They’re like 80% of the market!!’ Indeed, but it’s at a tipping point. Boredom because Samsung and HTC have run out of ideas with what to do to get people to buy the next one. Hubris because Samsung thought that their brand was SO BIG (wrong!) that they could ‘pull an Apple’, remove the SD card slot and get Androidians to stump up for ever more increasing internal memory options. BAD MOVE. Failure because while Samsung missed their SG5 and SG6 targets by a country mile they’ve managed to squash HTC in the process.
2) Andoidians have very few options. There’s nothing going on. All the phones look the same. The excitement of the early days is well behind them and no one is doing ANYTHING different. If you want to stick with the Android OS it’s same slab, different day.
3) 80% of the world don’t want an iPhone. Forget what Apple trumpet. They have only made headway in the US, Australia and UK (to my eternal shame) recently. Even in these countries they are, according to Kantar, they can’t get past around 35% market share and in other countries it’s WAY lower, sometimes close to ZERO. Apple’s supposed hegemony of the smartphone world is, like their advertising claims, the same old smoke and mirrors. The vast majority DON’T want an iPhone. They want a choice.
4) Carriers are, er, carrying it. Since the Z10 carrier support has been a real issue, particularly in the aforementioned US, UK and Australia with carriers either point blank refusing to stock BlackBerry devices (funny how that correlates to Apple – I’ll leave that one with you!) or, actively putting people off. In the US, at least, it would seem carrier support is coming (in the UK I hope EE, O2, Vodafone and Three sit back in envy as Carphone Warehouse clean up with their exclusive, I really do). Strangely, of course, in countries where it was considered by local carriers that BlackBerry weren’t actually dead, such as South Africa and Indonesia BlackBerry 10 sold in buckets. The Z3 is currently the most popular phone in South Africa, of course for those of you outside SA, you’re not supposed to know that. in other words, where BlackBerry have garnered carrier support, BlackBerry devices SELL.
5) The vast majority of Androidians are ex-BlackBerrians. It’s only a few years back when BlackBerry OWNED the smartphone market. The first iPhone came out in June 2007 and BlackBerry’s market share showed no signs of the fall to come for some time after that. That’s an age in tech terms, no time at all for us humans. Yes, in the intervening 8 years the kids have been buying phones but for anyone (which is most of us) over the age of 30 BlackBerry was the original standard bearer, we had it and we loved it. Interestingly despite the huge amounts of dung thrown at the company by ex-BlackBerrians (who felt they’d been left behind by the app revolution and that the company had let them down) there’s still a latent brand loyalty out there that they’ve never replaced with the likes of Samsung/Google or HTC. The ‘if only BlackBerry made an Android device I’d be back in a heartbeat’ cry has been heard for a long time now. Well, now they have – and they’ll buy it. As I saw one tech blogger say about the Priv today ‘BlackBerry, PLEASE don’t let me down again’. Whilst I would argue all day with him about what he means by that, it shows you how much latent love there is here.
6) For all the reasons listed above there is a HUGE BUZZ about this device right now. It ticks all the boxes Androidians want to see. It’s actually got something new for them (which they haven’t seen for a couple of years now) without them having to change OS. ‘Priv’ or ‘BlackBerry Priv’ has been trending like crazy on Twitter. You wait until they actually start using it because…
7) The Priv’s BlackBerry 10 features will get the traction we always hoped for with BlackBerry 10. BlackBerrians have always said, and we all know it to be true, that get the Hub, picture password, universal search, the KEYBOARD (both physical and virtual in this case) into people’s hands and they love it and want to tell the world. You and I know this is what happens with BlackBerry 10 converts. Well now you’re going to see an absolute ton load of BlackBerry Androidians saying the same thing, just because they (think) they can stay Androidians whilst saying it!
8) Last, and by no means least, a Forum Moderator of a supposed BlackBerry fan site, called Branta, says it will fail. Yes, my friends, like night following day whenever BlackBerry seem to be on the verge of success with something you can rely on someone in an official capacity from CrackBerry to attempt to run down the whole idea:
Yup, you can safely rely on the fact that whatever he predicts the opposite will happen.
The Priv is pushing at an open door. When BlackBerry first decided to make an Android device I’m sure it was part of their cross platform software strategy (think the BlackBerry Experience) and using it as a showcase for BlackBerry 10 features on other OS’s. They couldn’t have realised in the intervening months just how badly the traditional Android OEM’s would perform. Android is crying out for the Priv and BlackBerry’s device division is crying out for a big winner to show the world BlackBerry are back. Androidians can come BackToBlack in a way that they never thought possible, they don’t have to swallow their pride and we get to embrace their love of what we know they should have loved with us in the first place.
I think we just found a match made in heaven.