Apple made headlines this week with its acquisition of Beats by Dre for the generous price of $3.2 billion. Before you flood the comments about why I’m talking about this news on a BlackBerry news site, give me some time to explain how this can benefit all of us over on our platform.
It all goes back to the original BlackBerry Storm.
If you’re like me, you may cringe a little bit inside at the very mention at BlackBerry’s original foray into the touchscreen world. We can all agree, with a few exceptions, that the Storm was not a very good device. We won’t go into why, we’ll just say that the Storm was a sign that things were going to start getting rough down the road for BlackBerry. The Storm was met with tons of negative press, didn’t sell well, and was a shape of things to come for the next few years.
While you can argue that the first proverbial nail in the coffin was before the Storm, this phone was definitely one of the first nails for sure. The same could be said for this recent purchase by Apple.
9to5Mac and Forbes reported this afternoon that Apple is currently working on a licensing program that will allow/force users to use their exclusive Lightning port as a permanent alternative to the conventional 3.5mm headphone jack. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense and seems like something right out of the Apple playbook. Check out the two source links below for more information on that development.
What I’d like to talk about how this could possibly be one of those first nails in Apple’s coffin. I’ve felt for a few years now that Apple’s reign as king of the smartphones is slowly on the decline. It’s becoming more evident because Android is actually on top now, and if you think about it, the last time Apple really had anything truly revolutionary was way back with the iPhone 4.
If this rumor proves to be true, and Apple nixes the traditional headphone jack for the Lightning port, I think we’ll look back on it in the next few years as the beginning of the end for the Cupertino based company.
What does this mean for BlackBerry? Well, CEO John Chen has stated repeatedly that he believes the company will start to turn a profit by fiscal 2016 (in BlackBerry’s case that’s early next year). Under his leadership, we’ve already seen some pretty big changes that make that guess seem to have some credence to it.
The recently released Z3 was extremely well received (our very own Niko can’t stop singing it praises), hype over the upcoming Classic and Windermere is greater than I’ve ever seen it for an upcoming device, and we still have a couple more devices that we know very little about. Not to mention all the other irons BlackBerry has in the fire (Blends anyone?).
It stands to reason that once Apple begins to bleed market share that BlackBerry could be poised to fill in that gap. BlackBerry 10 is consistently improving with every new update, and even though it’s slow going, we’re on the rise.
So by all means, Apple, change your headphone jack to a Lightning port. I’m sure you’ll still see your usual success. However, don’t be surprised if in the long run you look back on this decision and think of the BlackBerry Storm like I do.