Support the vision. Support the brand.
It’s easy for BlackBerry fans, users, supporters to see where BlackBerry is now and think that they’ve reached a dead end. The new devices on the horizon are Android-powered, and BlackBerry purists might take offense to that. In fact, most of them certainly have. This has resulted in many of the “fan sites” switching gears, turning their backs, and even trying to destroy the community from within, all because they cannot understand the company’s vision.
The reality is: BlackBerry is stronger than ever. They have successfully redesigned their entire business plan from one of a device-centric world to the world of software and IoT. You know… where the future is going. So, why is there this disconnect between what the supporters see BlackBerry doing and what the fans believe to be a dead company? To understand the future, we must look at the past.
Take a look back at BlackBerry.
- 1999 – RIM releases the first “BlackBerry” device, a pager that supports emails. Showing a dedication and focus to the business consumer.
- 2003 – Convergent technology led RIM to release the first smartphone. This BlackBerry device offered email, internet browsing, telephone, and messaging.
- BlackBerry messaging software used in other hardware.
- Models like the Curve and Storm helped BlackBerry take their place as the leader in the smartphone industry.
- 2008 – BlackBerry Bold launched, still largely recognized as the most iconic form factor.
- With the invent of the slab phones, and the app library brought by competitors, BlackBerry was unable to push aside the consumer-driven devices in favor of their more elegant business models.
- 2010 – BlackBerry acquires QNX to use as a foundation for its new OS.
- Early 2013 – RIM simultaneously rebranded itself as BlackBerry, dropping the Research in Motion moniker, and launched BlackBerry 10 OS with its flagship devices, including the first slab form factor for the phone company, the Z10.
- Mid 2013 – BlackBerry faces a possible sale due to the years of financial and administrative struggles.
- Late 2013 – John Chen named CEO of BlackBerry with the promise to turn the company around. In his first CEO blog post, he stated, “We are committed to reclaiming our success.” Take a second and reread that. Everything that has taken place, holds up to that first post three years ago: vision.
- Since Chen took over, BlackBerry has reinforced its software acquisitions with AtHoc, Movirtu, Secusmart, WatchDox, and Good Technologies.
- 2015 – BlackBerry released its first Android-powered smartphone: the Priv.
- 2016 – BlackBerry redesigned its business structure to focus more on software solutions, with the promise of more devices on the horizon.
BlackBerry has a vision for the future.
The truth is, BlackBerry completely revamped its business model. A company that was once focused on offering innovative devices now looks at the future world where devices have become secondary, and the possibility to innovate further has plateaued. Not because of their ability, but rather because the technology is simply not ready for mass consumption. Instead, BlackBerry has scaled down their device offerings, keeping just enough on the market to satisfy their niche consumers, and has narrowed their laser focus onto enterprise and business solutions at a software level. The core values of BlackBerry remain: mobility and security, with ease and elegance.
The question now, is what are YOU going to do about it? The BlackBerry community is divided into two camps: supporters and naysayers.
If you are a BlackBerry supporter, your directive is clear: Continue offering your consumer loyalty to the company in which you trust and believe. Buy the devices; involve yourself in the [right] fan communities. Help fight the good fight, as the battle isn’t really on the stock exchange, it is in the forums and bash-friendly blogs. Be the voice of facts not FUD.
If you are a BlackBerry naysayer, pack your bags and go. BlackBerry will continue on as they have, finding the trends and innovating for the future. Your rhetoric is unwelcome here.
So, the next time someone calls you a blind fanboy, or any other trite term of cyber bullying, remember: BlackBerry innovates with vision. The fact that you can see it is the opposite of “blind.”
Tl;dr – BlackBerry has always provided solutions for you. Will you be part of the solution for them?