Legend has it that Blackberry was once the leader in mobile technology. Ok, it wasn’t that long ago, but with the huge technological advances of Apple and Samsung, some might say that Blackberry has been well and truly left behind.
So what was it that signed Blackberry’s apparent death certificate?
When people nostalgically remember having their Blackberry’s, with their QWERTY keyboards and ‘touch’ navigation button, the fond memories always steer towards the almighty BBM (or Blackberry Messenger for those of you have never come across it). It was BBM that dragged out the slow and painful demise of Blackberry as people would cling on to the last thing that kept their Blackberry current.
As more and more people were turning their backs on the mobile device people had no more reason to have BBM, because they no longer had any contacts to ‘BBM’. So naturally they left too, but people still yearned for the instant messenger, and that’s when new kid on the block Whatsapp popped up to fill the void.
The co-founders of Whatsapp Jaun Koum and Brian Acton partly have Blackberry to thank for their success. The demise of BBM left a hole in those that once used it, and Whatsapp did a great job of swooping in and gathering up all the BBM mourners, and they all soon realised that Whatsapp was just as good, if not better.
The new phones are ‘smarter’
So what got people migrating from Blackberry to begin with? Well, users were most definitely dazzled by the high-resolution screens, high mega-pixels and quad core processors of its shiny rivals. Blackberry had to make way for the new iPhones and Samsung’s with all their bells and whistles.
Apple’s iPhone is clearly the front runner at the moment, but critics are starting to pipe up with the same question every time a new model is released – ‘what’s the difference?’ Apple is criticised for not being daring enough, but despite this people flock to Apple shops in their thousands to queue up to purchase what is only really a slightly newer version of what they already have.
If you are an iPhone user, then step back and take a look at the bigger picture. What is it about the iPhone that you love so much? It hasn’t got half the features that some of the Android phones have and it sticks to its own kind – it’s not easily paired up with other devices, unlike android devices. So what is it?
People don’t buy the iPhone, they buy into the concept of the iPhone. Apple’s marketing strategy is incredible and is the main reason why they are usually found miles ahead of the competition. They know how to market themselves, and they do it with perfection. You remember the slogan from their advert, don’t you?:
‘If you haven’t got an iPhone, you haven’t got an iPhone.’
These were the only words that were spoken throughout the whole advert, which was backed with just a simple piano piece. There were no fancy graphics or celebrities drafted in to endorse the brand, it just conveys normal people going about their day, casually using their iPhones. They market themselves to ‘the little guy’ and we ‘little guys’ identify with it – or fall for it – and buy the iPhone because we just think we should.
Is there a comeback for Blackberry?
It doesn’t look promising, does it? But let’s not forget that once upon a time Samsung was virtually null and void. For a long time Samsung didn’t make a phone that was worth noticing – in fact, the brand pretty much disappeared for a few years. Then all of sudden in May 2012 Samsung’s Galaxy S3 was released, and ever since this clever little device has been converting people to the Samsung way.
It’s not just Blackberry and Apple that have experienced this kind of trouble. In 1997 Apple was close to bankruptcy. Steve Jobs, with the help of Bill Gates and other industry connections, managed to get the company into a steady position again. Then came the iPod, which became a huge success within its own right (despite originally only being used as a way of getting people to purchase Macintosh computers) and, well, the rest is history.
Who’s to say that new CEO John Chen will not make sure that same will happen for Blackberry? John Chen seems determined not bury Blackberry just yet and believes that 2014 is the year the company will reinvent itself. So the answer is yes, there may well be a comeback for the Blackberry in store. I think we are all eager to see what Chen’s plan of action is – whatever he releases needs to rival the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy yet also maintain Blackberry’s unique identity.
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Georgina Wilks-Wiffen is the Digital Marketing Assistant at Freelance SEO Essex, who are one of the leading providers in the South East for effective yet affordable SEO solutions