There has been so much hype about the way OSX, Android and WebOS are growing that most people are unaware of a silent revolution that has gone on for years in the mobile industry with one of the “old guard”.
But the Canadian manufacturer, Research In Motion (RIM), pulled a stunt that almost no-one has noticed. Blackberries suddenly became more appealing to the eye, and began to pack more wallop.
Today, Blackberry is the world’s second largest smartphone manufacturer – bigger than Apple, HTC, and Samsung. And RIM’s growth hasn’t stopped.
Last year, RIM acquired Torch Mobile Inc., the developers of the superb Webkit-based Iris browser that was available for Windows Mobile phones. One of the letdowns of Blackberry devices have been the quite basic built-in browser. Actually, the Blackberry browser has been more of a WAP than a web browser. RIM’s acquisition of TorchMobile was an excellent strategic move. Now, Blackberry users can expect a superb web browsing experience in the not-too-distant future.
Fact: Blackberries now account for over 20% of the world’s smartphone market share, up from about 14% in early 2008.
Ironically, the Blackberry’s limiting factor – the fact that it is more tailored to the corporate world – is also what guarantees its future. Fashions come and go; the business world generally stays stable. Blackberries are enterprise devices. Blackberry services are enterprise services.
Corporate organisations help secure RIM’s future. Here in Nigeria, the Blackberry rules the corporate world. Yet, even individuals are not left out. Blackberry Internet Service (BIS) also allows individuals to hop on. Prepaid Blackberry services are available on all functional (Mtel is as good as dead) GSM-based mobile networks here.
On the hardware level, there are touchscreen Blackberries, there are QWERTY keyboard Blackberries, as there are flip Blackberries. There seems to be a Blackberry device for everyone. Okay; not literally everyone.
If you are not primarilly a media person (Blackberries traditionally are mediocre in the realm of cameras, music and video playing), and you need email on the move or text more than make calls, or you just need to make a corporate statement, there might just be a Blackberry for you.
The Blackberry device has come of age.
PS: If interested in purchasing a Blackberry device, please note that there is no email support without your subscribing to BlackBerry Internet Service. Put another way, you will not be able to use the built-in email client without a Blackberry account.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.