With its premium Z10 and Q10 models now out on the shelves, BlackBerry has to go the Nokia route and widen its portfolio to broaden appeal and affordability around the world. The company took a first step down that road today at its BlackBerry Live event.
Everyone Wants Them Cheaper
Having cleared out, and hopefully satisfied, the BlackBerry loyalists with the recently launched Q10 and the original BB10 device, the Z10, BlackBerry must now go about rebuilding its shattered market share with phones that appeal to all users, not just the premium and executive market.
Led by the rather timid tones of CEO Thorsten Heins (he really isn't a showman), the company is now trying to shout out loud about its products at its BlackBerry Live 2013 event. He started off by talking about the ride the company has been on in the last year, claiming they have reached "solid ground" and highlighting the BlackBerry 10.1 update which goes live to users today, bringing Skype with it.
Competing hard with Nokia (who also announced the sleek Lumia 925 today) and several Chinese brands for the third spot in the smartphone rankings and playing in an Android dominated world, it is a tough battle to fight. To join battle, the company has announced the Q5 model which will launch in emerging markets
The new BlackBerry Q5, will also be available in red, white, black and pink
Around the Show
The three-day event had a warm-up day yesterday with BlackBerry developers showing off their wares and telcos showing off the existing BB10 devices. The company is focused on enterprise use with a @BlackBerry4Biz Twitter feed and in encouraging developers to come up with new and creative uses for the devices.
Music fans will be delighted to know that the Moog app is coming to BB10 devices, and that The Keep Moving Experience produced and performed by Alicia Keys, BlackBerry’s new Global Creative Director, will also be streamed live from the event.
Will the new devices help grow BlackBerry's market share? The company has at least some time and the apparent support of the big mobile players to get the job done, but look at how hard failure is rewarded, with Facebook's Home phone, the HTC First apparently being pulled by AT&T due to low sales.