5 things BlackBerry needs to do to get back on top
BlackBerry has risen like a phoenix from the ashes of RIM with the release of the all new BlackBerry 10 OS and BlackBerry Z10 handset. All eyes are on BlackBerry, waiting to see whether it'll be greeted with open arms, or left standing at the smartphone altar for the likes of its iOS, Android and Windows Phone rivals.
The BlackBerry Z10 is a solid foundation for BlackBerry 10 and it scored a deserved four stars in our review for its innovation and design – but it still won't be smooth sailing for the BlackBerry re-birth. Here are five things we think need to happen for BlackBerry 10 to be a success.
Unlock BlackBerry Balance
BlackBerry balance is a fantastic feature which cleaves a BlackBerry 10 device like the Z10 into two separate Work and Personal profiles. It's a great way to keep work and play apart and lets you easily switch off from work emails and distractions with a simple swipe. Trouble is, BlackBerry Balance is only available to BlackBerry Enterprise Server customers and needs to be set up securely by IT admins at workplaces. While this ensures everything is locked down tightly, normal consumers won't be able to take advantage of it. A BlackBerry Balance Light feature could still split the device into two profiles, minus the fancy backend security encryption. Multiple logins already work on the Google Nexus 10 – and something more well-thought-out would be a unique notch in BlackBerry's bow.
Apps, apps, apps
Apps. BlackBerry 10 needs them like Lego needs bricks. That 70,000 apps figure sounds impressive but the BlackBerry World app store is still largely full of low quality filler apps. Sure, Angry Birds Star Wars, WhatsApp and Skype are all present and correct, but BlackBerry 10's app collection is totally dwarfed by Apple and Google's offerings. BlackBerry is on the right track and is offering tonnes of incentives to developers, with BlackBerry Jam in Amsterdam next week designed to help stir up some enthusiasm in the dev community. Hopefully that'll mean an influx of apps in the not-too-distant future.
Lower the price
At £480, the BlackBerry Z10 isn't the most expensive smartphone around, but it's certainly not the fastest, with its 1.5Ghz dual-core processor. When you can snap up a quad-core beast like the Google Nexus 4 for £280, the Z10 seems almost absurdly overpriced. Unless, of course, you're a BlackBerry fanatic – or just looking for something a little different.
BlackBerry 10 is brand new, but its in danger of still being associated with the RIM of old. BlackBerry needs to get the message out there that it has changed and that BlackBerry 10 offers something for everyone from men in suits to social butterflies. This broad appeal should help rack in the sales – and putting new Global Creative Director Alicia Keys in a TV ad wouldn't be a bad start. As long as BlackBerry gets its promo in place, it should be off to a solid start.
No new OS is perfect and BlackBerry 10 does have its niggles and inconsistencies. BlackBerry needs to take user feedback on board and have a stream of updates and fixes in the pipeline to ensure that its new OS experience is constantly improving. It's already joined the game late, so fast improvements are a must if it wants to catch up.