Opinion: How The New BlackBerry Can Win

Blackberry is now an Android smartphone manufacturer. It was a slow decision but they’ve finally made the move. Their first Android phone is the Priv and while it is a great phone, it is quite pricey especially in a market where you can get other premium phones at about half its price.

Blackberry has partially seen the “error of their ways” and decided to remedy the situation by announcing 2 upcoming mid-range phones priced at about $400. But this is still pretty expensive if you ask me. There’s a lot of competition at that price range and below.

If Blackberry wants to remain on the lips of customers in the next 4 to 10 years, then they have to target the bottom of the pyramid. I mean the $100 to $200 segment. How are they going to do this? One way would be to replicate the success of the Moto G. There’s no harm in copying successful business ideas, and the Moto G is one of the most successful Android phones till date. Blackberry only needs to copy that success with a little modification here and there.

wine glasses clinking

1. Specs

  • Two (2) screen sizes (4.7″ and 5″ with 1280 x 720 screen resolutions)
  • 2 RAM variants (2GB and 3GB RAM)
  • decent cameras with focus on low light technology so that youths can take nice photos when they hangout with friends at night
  • Battery capacity can be kept at 2700 mAh for the 4.7″ variant and 3000mAh for the 5″ model
  • Global 4G/LTE support but they should stick to a single SIM slot
  • 16GB of ROM with SD card slot (64GB max)
  • a variety of fun colors that covers all age groups. From bright pink to orange to red to navy blue, the popular black, and famous white

2. Software

Both phones should come with nothing less than Android Marshmallow, with planned upgrades to N and L. Yes; this is possible. Asus achieved same with the Zenfone 5 (it was released with Jelly Bean 4.3, got an update to KitKat and finally Lollipop 5.0). No heavy UI overlay is required, as sticking to stock Android will help make updates release easier.

3. Marketing

i) A pre-order stage that let’s you customize your phone with an engraved name and color combination just like Motorola’s Moto Maker should be setup. This will make lots of parents pre-order for kids birthdays and cement the phones as great holiday gifts.

ii) Art competitions for designing the packaging should be conducted for kids in certain grade levels.

iii) Accessories such as swapable rear covers, cases, earphones, selfie sticks and even VR glasses should be sold alongside the phones like combo packs.

iv) Price: $150 for the 4.7″ variant and $200 for the 5″ variant. Processor can be regional based too; Mediatek in Africa and Asia and Qualcomm Snapdragon in North America and Europe just to keep the price low.

There you have it. What I believe they need to do to win – make a splash at the lower end of the pyramid. I bet it is going to be a win for BlackBerry if they go in this direction.

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One comment

  1. the problem with the Priv wasn’t that it was too expensive, it was, but the main problem that it was a niche device that simply couldn’t compete with similarly priced devices. software issues with the camera, battery etc didn’t help. if they hope to do better with the devices in the pipeline, they should work on bang for buck rather than just the price tag. they need to stop designing for the enterprise crowd and think about the mass market

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