The beginning of 2013 was favorable for Research in Motion (renamed as Blackberry). While the web media and blogs around the world poured their love by discussing, publishing a lot about leaks and rumors of Blackberry 10 OS and handsets powered by it, Business analysts also seemed talking positive about the company, its upcoming OS and the mobile phones.
As scheduled, the company launched the Blackberry 10 OS and two mobile phones running on it. Moreover, the company also renamed itself as Blackberry. With fresh OS, fresh products and fresh branding, Blackberry is all set to restart its journey, but the million dollar question is…
Will the company be able to regain its glory?
WDS, a wireless industry vendor recently published its top 10 annual predictions for wireless trends in 2013 where it predicts Blackberry to bounce back in 2013.
Blackberry continuously lost its market share in recent years struggling at a mere 4% in Q3’2012. However, the analyst mentions the newly launched handsets could broaden its appeal to the market and help the brand to increase device shipments (Source).
However, the road to success is not going to be easy for Blackberry makers. Competition from other operating systems is stiff. Such stiff that they are almost ruling the smartphone market.
According to a report from Strategy Analytics, Android and iOS have captured a whooping 92.1% share of global smartphone shipment in Q4’2012 (Source). To worsen, Microsoft’s newly launched Windows Phone 8 OS also poses a serious threat. If a prediction from IDC is to be believed Windows Phone OS might reclaim 11.4% of smartphone market share by 2016 (Source).
Predictions and rumors apart, a lot depends on how much the OS and the newly launched mobile phones will be able to deliver. Though Blackberry 10 looks promising but you can’t assume it to be future proof. You can’t ignore the fact how quickly Android and iOS keep themselves upgrading making themselves more powerful and user friendly with every upgrade.
Another important factor behind the success of any OS is the base of compatible application. Rather it won’t be wrong if we say OS war is totally driven by the app game. Blackberry is doing well on this front at this point of time but how strongly it pitches itself against Android and iOS in a long run is still behind the veils. These are some questions only time will answer.
Last, but not the least, important factor is the pricing strategy. Recently launched Blackberry Z10 and Q10 are not going to join the affordable smartphones’ league. Though the best selling smartphones like iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S III also belong to high-end category but a large consumers base will invest same amount of money in a Blackberry device seems susceptible.
Blackberry was able to create a good hype before the launch of OS and mobile phones which will certainly help giving a good start, but the company will need to do a lot from now onwards to sustain.
At one side the company should focus on developing a solid application base, on the other hand a range of affordable handsets would certainly do the magic.
As of now, we can assume Blackberry to regain some amount of market share, but don’t expect a miracle until the company is able to keep driving the positive wave for a longer period.