BlackBerry Announces the End of BlackBerry

John Herman, BuzzFeed:

BlackBerry 10 is a all-or-nothing play, a fact emphasized by RIM’s decision to rebrand as BlackBerry — unlike Microsoft, which has cash cows in Windows and Office and enterprise, the Canadian company has nothing else to fall back on. This is it.

Almost every BlackBerry review will end the same way: The phone is good, but is this too little, too late?

To understand where BlackBerry stands right now is to understand that this is a rhetorical question. It would have been too little, too late two years ago.

I would love to see BlackBerry pull this out. (And I even like calling the company BlackBerry instead of “RIM”.) But if Windows Phone has failed to get traction after starting two years ago, how will BlackBerry 10 get traction starting now?

The optimistic scenario is that they’ve still got a lot of fans out there who want to buy a BlackBerry. I don’t think the math adds up on that, though. Smartphone market share comparisons are irrelevant, because back when BlackBerry had its peak market share, there were far fewer total smartphones being sold. Here’s an article from their 2008 heyday announcing a record quarter, including the addition of “well over 2 million net subscriber accounts added in a single quarter for the first time”. 2 million new customers in a quarter doesn’t even register as a blip in today’s market. Selling to their old customers who’ve left for iPhone or Android isn’t enough. They need new first-time smartphone buyers. Good luck.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013