Last week, Blackberry announced it will no longer manufacturer the Blackberry Classic. The classic was launched after current CEO John Chen took over the company and was meant to appeal to hardcore Blackberry customers who has ditched the platform. The classic saw a return of the physical keyboard and the insanely popular back button, which Blackberry had abandoned in the Blackberry Q10. However, this gamble failed to pay off and BB did not sell as many classics as expected.
In an interesting turn, Blackberry last year unveiled its first device running on Android. The device, Blackberry Priv, was widely popular with the Press but failed to sell owing to its high pricing point. Blackberry has since announced plans to launch 3 devices this year all running on Andoid at the mid-range price point. The devices include the Neon, which takes after the Alcatel Idol 4; the full touch screen Argon and Mercury, which like the Priv sports a physical keyboard. Bloomberg News is reporting that Blackberry could also make a gamble and unveil a device running on its proprietary Blackberry 10 OS. Blackberry Chief Operating Officer is quoted stating “We are absolutely not backing away from BB10. The company’s never said that we would not build another BB10 device.”
Lack of BB10 APPs
This would be an interesting development for the company. Blackberry has grappled with the lack of popular applications such as Instagram, Snapchat and tumblr in addition to popular games. An earlier partnership with Amazon to allow users access popular Amazon apps failed to gain as much traction as the company had hoped. Important to note, is the notices given by various companies of their intent to cease supporting Blackberry apps. WhatsApp announced plans to drop support for Blackberry 10 devices come 2017. A few days later, Facebook released an update to its app which upon downloading the update from Blackberry World, the app redirects to the web browser to access Facebook. Paypal has also announced plans to terminate support for its app on Blackberry. Users will however continue to access the service via the Blackberry Messenger (BBM) app. With such shortcomings, I am not sure how Blackberry plans to woo its customers. I think the gamble to go Android will ultimately pay off.So why another BB 10 device?