Product Engineering // Blog

BlackBerry on the decline

Knock! Knock!
Who’s There?
Black.
Black Who?
BLACKBERRY

Okay I know it wasn’t that funny, but who cares- the BlackBerry seems to speak for itself in a loud and intriguing way.  Making its world debut in 1999, BlackBerry holds the title of the longest running Smartphone.
Though the year and the noun are far from synonymous, they quickly became engaged once we hit the turn of the millennium. Blackberry, needless to say, was ahead of its time. Reaching an audience of over 41,000,000 subscribers, the BlackBerry market gave Research in Motion a strong foothold in the wireless industry.

The mobile device; BlackBerry, was your typical corporate American gadget. It came equipped with email functions allowing you to quickly access many accounts at the drop of a dime and made its claim to fame by stomping on the “old- fashioned” flip devices. Composing messages became much easier  due to the qwerty key pad and, not to mention, a key functionality: BlackBerry Messenger also known as BBM. The BlackBerry was the new phone epidemic leaving those who did not own one, out-of-the-loop.

From AT&T to Sprint down to Boost Mobile and Metro PCS, Blackberry’s were everywhere. Needless to say, when you get a BlackBerry, you’ve gained access to thousands of Apps. However, there is one App in particular that needs no introduction (drum roll please), BlackBerry Messenger! There are millions of subscribers in the BBM community, making it a primary selling point of the BlackBerry in recent years.

The Blackberry has been the smartphone of choice in the corporate world for some time, and for good reason– It mastered the most important business app, e-mail, and comes with all controls IT requires. But lately, it has taken a hit by its biggest competitor, Apple. With its hundreds of thousands of apps for its iPhone and iPad, Apple has gained tremendous popularity leaving people to wonder what will become of the BlackBerry. However, on April 19th, 2011 BlackBerry proved that it was not ready to give up. It released the BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet. The PlayBook supports up to 1080p video playback and features a 3 mega-pixels front-facing camera, amongst other cool features.

On the contrary, the PlayBook has faced  negative critique on its size and email capability. Although the PlayBook size makes it easier to carry around, it was plagued with a faulty launch and incomplete product. The PlayBook BlackBerry Bridge lets you view and control email functions, BBM, calendar and the address book on your BlackBerry smartphone. However, if you have an email account outside of BES will require you to use the web browser.

Despite the negative criticism, the PlayBook has also gained some support with the announcement that many of the BlackBerry and Android smartphone apps will be available. As many of you may know, apps are a driving factor to win consumers favor in the mobile industry. With that being said, BlackBerry is running a mobile app development contest. So to all the developers out there – here’s your chance to enter your App in this years BlackBerry Developer Challenge 2011. Rewards are said to include $3 million in prizes for the overall competition. For more information and rules about this challenge, please follow the link http://us.blackberry.com/developers/dev_challenge.jsp and good luck!…

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