The BlackBerry Device May Finally Be Dead

26 May

About a decade ago, you couldn’t walk into a major enterprise without hearing the buzzes and beeps of the BlackBerry. The BlackBerry was a staple among businessmen and women. It provided a quick and easy way to make calls, keep contacts, update calendars, and most of all, send email and messages quickly and easily. The BlackBerry could be considered the original “smartphone”, or at the very least the driving force behind the innovation. The problem? Other company’s devices surpassed BlackBerry in the consumer market, and that soon leaked into business as well.

With the popularity of the iPhone and Android devices such as the Samsung Galaxy the demand for the BlackBerry dwindled. The company scrambled to come up with a device that could match its competitors while still keeping the old BlackBerry feel. Unfortunately, they failed in this endeavor.

In the first quarter of 2015 the BlackBerry OS garnered just 0.3 percent of the overall smartphone market while Android and iOS made up more than 96% of all smartphones with Windows phones hanging on at a nearly 3% clip.

What was the cause behind BlackBerry’s demise? Was it their failure to innovate? Were they simply blindsided by the onset of the “new” smartphone? In the end, their devices and OS just simply could not gain the attention of the everyday consumer. Sure, now most of us send emails and texts and make calls, but we also play games, manage our finances, pay for things, the list goes on.

When the iPhone was first introduced it took the consumer market by storm. To this day it would be difficult to argue that the iPhone isn’t one of the most popular devices of all time. Sure, Android carries most of the market share, but they do so with 100’s of different devices to choose from. Apple has only one, the iPhone. Gobbling up a fifth of the market share with just one device is uncanny, and this is something BlackBerry could not fight and ultimately win.

That fight may be coming to an end this year. BlackBerry announced last week that it plans to lay off a number of workers from its smartphone/devices division in order to consolidate while expanding in other areas. While the BlackBerry devices may become a thing of the past, the company is not packing up its bags. BlackBerry has plans for the future.

The company plans to expand in areas beyond the smartphone. This includes enterprise market software and security and also announced a partnership with Samsung to integrate its cross-platform mobility management software BES12. Hey, if you can beat em’, join em’, am I right? Blackberry also plans to showcase an Internet of Things platform in the near future.

Shockingly, in a world that screams for its privacy, we continue to use devices that provide us less security than the BlackBerry ever did. Security has almost always been the name of the game when it comes to BlackBerry, a primary reason for its initial success with enterprise markets.

Following this trend BlackBerry recently acquired SecuSmart, a voice and data encryption and anti-eavesdropping technology. The initial plan is to provide the technology to government agencies, but could it be an opportunity for BlackBerry to curry favor with consumers? Only time will tell.

It seems the world of the BlackBerry device is at the end. The hole is nearly six feet deep and it’s almost time to lay it to rest. However, BlackBerry is sticking around in other ways. While many of us pine for the days of the BlackBerry to return, we can rest assured BlackBerry has not gone away completely, and may be on the brink of an epic resurgence.