So BlackBerry is going out with one last hurrah. At least that’s the tagline for half a dozen news outlets since John Chen announced plans for a keyboard based phone code-named Mercury. A story we also covered here.
Waking up to my news feed after a big weekend on stage (That’s right! I’m more than just an average looking, balding Chaplain.) I notice that reporters have come out in their droves in reaction to the announcement as if media outlets haven’t been the ones driving BlackBerry to abandon their handset division in the first place.
Why on earth would you describe this device as one last hurrah? When the phrase is used, it’s often an attempt to show that the move is one which is a last chance to make a success of something. The world knows that BlackBerry isn’t trying to revive their handset division with this move. They have moved successfully into the software business. The cross platform software offering for business is now BlackBerry’s bread and butter. Far from being a last hurrah, BlackBerry are fulfilling a promise to their fan base to bring out another physical keyboard device.
Hurrah is a word which indicates joy and delight. While I’m sure the media are delighting in BlackBerry’s exit from the handset business, BlackBerry are also bringing out the mercury in order to show the media consuming world, that this move is not a good one. It’s the right move by BlackBerry in order to keep their unique expertise in a society which surely needs it, but it’s a backward step in the future of handsets.
It’s obvious that while BlackBerry as a company have transitioned well and will be a presence in the mobile space for years to come, there are those detractors who couldn’t help but take a last swing at the company. We have said many times that the mobile space is about far more than hardware, but it seems that our consuming society is unable to see beyond their hands.
BlackBerry One Last Hurrah or BlackBerry Showing the Way?
John Chen knows the importance of BlackBerry’s presence in the marketplace. If it’s consumers, he is ensuring that they remember the importance of good security in their application rich ecosystems. If it’s enterprise, he is ensuring that they remember the importance of secure productivity on the move.
Whilst BlackBerry has had the most unique and exciting designs over the years (admittedly some designs have left glass slab enthusiasts somewhat puzzled) they also know the importance of ensuring connectedness and integration of their software.
BlackBerry still have a good set of devices available which is always going to be the best way of running BlackBerry software, but we are seeing a new paradigm. BlackBerry are now giving the chance for other OEM’s to create hardware which can run it’s unique and needed software systems.
The mercury or DTEK70 represents BlackBerry’s declaration to those who would licence their software. They are saying to the world “this is the best way to do it.” BlackBerry users are a great witness that BlackBerry design and BlackBerry software will always be the best combination.
BlackBerry One Last Hurrah – So What?
The big question I always ask about anything I say or write is ‘so what?’ So what if BlackBerry is putting out another phone. So what if this is the last in house BlackBerry we ever see? These are questions which everyone will answer differently. What we need to keep in perspective is that unlike many of the ‘device makers’ out there, BlackBerry has a plan. They have a strategy to ensure that mobile users are productive and that data is safe.
As someone who works with organisations on a strategic level, one of the things I always remind them is that your vision and philosophy should broaden what you can do, not tie you to a specific plan. BlackBerry have had the opportunity to change what they do because their vision is so crystal clear. If you’re simply about getting your hardware into as many hands as possible, you don’t have much creative vision or scope. If you have a goal which is person oriented and doesn’t tie you down to how you make your revenue, then you can conduct business in creative ways.
Keep your eyes on BlackBerry folks. Take up what they give because it’s going to be the best solution you’ll find out there. BlackBerry’s here to stay. One last hurrah? You keep using that word, but I don’t think it means what you think it means.