BlackBerry phones once ruled the world, then the world changed – TechMac

BlackBerry phones once ruled the world, then the world changed – TechCrunch

It’s simple to neglect now within the age of Apple and Android, however at one time, BlackBerry owned the enterprise smartphone market. You may have your Motorolas and your Nokias and your Samsungs, however for enterprise, BlackBerry was it. Stalwart. Safe. Purposeful.

As TechMac reported this morning, BlackBerry is shutting down its remaining companies, and customers operating BlackBerry gadgets with BlackBerry OS 7.1 and BlackBerry 10 — and it’s a must to marvel simply what number of there have been left — will now not have entry to information and even the as soon as well-known BlackBerry messaging service, amongst different issues. It’s all getting shut off tomorrow.

As that fateful shutdown day approaches, it might be arduous to know simply how ubiquitous the BlackBerry was earlier than iPhone and Android got here alongside, and simply how precipitous its market share drop was. Individuals beloved their BlackBerrys with the mixture of exterior keyboard and messaging service as a approach to talk with colleagues exterior of the workplace. For higher or worse, the BlackBerry ushered within the cellular period for a lot of enterprise folks.

Comscore tracked cellular market share information again when BlackBerry reached the peak of its energy in 2010 as the highest smartphone platform with 43%. It will be the excessive water mark for the corporate. (Word that these numbers measure the platform ubiquity and never items offered.)

As you may see, BlackBerry telephones went from prime of the smartphone heap to single digits within the blink of a watch, shedding giant swaths of market share because it obtained utterly disrupted by Apple and Android touchscreens. BlackBerry finally reacted to those modifications, releasing the BlackBerry Torch in 2011, but it surely was far too little and much too late. Plus in a traditional case of disruption concept, the individuals who beloved the exterior keyboard by no means actually took to the BlackBerry contact display.

One different transfer amongst many included teaming with Microsoft in 2011 to make Bing the default search engine on BlackBerry cellphone, which on reflection looks like a little bit of a desperation transfer, however on the time was considered extra positively that the corporate was attempting issues. No matter they tried, although, it didn’t work.

As the corporate’s fortunes plunged, they employed John Chen as CEO in 2013, who started the method of shifting the corporate from telephones to safety software program.

Why safety? Properly, as a result of BlackBerry all the time had a repute as being rock-solid when it got here to safety, so it appeared like an affordable pivot. The corporate introduced the change formally in 2016. At this time, the corporate focuses totally on promoting safety software program to enterprises and governments. It has a modest market cap of round $5 billion, but it surely’s nonetheless round.

As my colleague Brian Heater identified in at the moment’s article, there are nonetheless BlackBerry-style gadgets on the market, however they don’t run the outdated BB working system:

There are, after all, loads of choices on the market — although OnwardMobility, which promised a 5G BlackBerry-branded gadget is at the moment nonetheless MIA, regardless of promising an announcement in 2021. There’s all the time the OSOM gadget, which sports activities its personal Canadian pedigree. Although, once more, that privacy-focused product received’t be introduced till Cellular World Congress on the finish of subsequent month.

However the beloved BlackBerry, as soon as the fixed companion of enterprise folks and politicians goes to be left to historical past, one other gadget disrupted by the following massive factor.


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