BlackBerry is a legend. Arguably, BlackBerry devices were the first smartphone. However, in recent years the Waterloo-based Canadian company has taken hit after hit, which has resulted in lost marketshare in the mobile space.
As a result, BlackBerry was deemed to hover around the number three spot for the past few years. However, some analytics have pointed to Microsoft’s Windows Phone as outranking BlackBerry. A Microsoft executive believes Windows Phone has won the number three spot and claims the company doesn’t even fear BlackBerry.
BlackBerry 10 was supposed to “bring the revolution”. Although, while sales for BlackBerry 10 devices have been steady, they have not met analyst expectations. Furthermore, reports suggest that sell-through for the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 have slowed.
The last flagship BlackBerry 10 device for 2013 will be the upcoming A10 “Aristo”. Newly outed spec sheet points to the 5-inch device sporting only a Dual Core 1.7GHz processor with Quad Core GPU and 720p OLED display. The A10 will have less PPI than the currently-to-market BlackBerry Z10.
While the A10 will likely be well received by most current BlackBerry fans, it’s going to be tough for it to steal away marketshare from Samsung Galaxy Note and other OEMs in the “phablet” niche market. The A10 is being loosely labeled as BlackBerry’s “last chance” device. Given its mediocre specs coupled with an OS that is still not refined, the expectations for the device are not high.
If BlackBerry were to lose the consumer market, what will happen? The consumer market is quickly gaining momentum as the most important market for a mobile ecosystem. Though, many seem to forget that BlackBerry is heavily invested in other market segments that are far from irrelevant.
The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) market has certainly eaten away at BlackBerry’s enterprise marketshare as smaller MDM companies have been managing iOS, Android, and Windows Phone for the last few years. However, BlackBerry has finally rolled out their Secure Work Space for BES10 servers, which can now manage other mobile platforms. Surprisingly, BES10 has been received quite well, with over 18,000 servers being installed at many Fortune 500 businesses.
BlackBerry’s enterprise security is still unrivaled. The company is a little late to the BYOD market, but better late than never. If a corporate or government employee wants to use his/her iOS device, so be it. At least, the CIOs can rest assured there shouldn’t be any sensitive data breaches while managed with a BES10 server.
Enterprise isn’t BlackBerry’s last straw. Quite possibly the company’s last innovative segment is the QNX auto division. Car manufacturers such as Audi, BMW, Acura, Chrysler, Daewoo, GM, Hyundai, Land Rover, Porsche, and Saab all utilize QNX for their infotainment and/or instrument clusters. Eventually, Mercedes will incorporate QNX into their infotainment systems and utilize it for the Formula 1 Petronas.
However, auto isn’t the only transportation market BlackBerry intends to penetrate with QNX. Eventually, we could see QNX used by Boeing and other airplane manufacturers. The transportation market isn’t the only sector using QNX today. Many other leading companies such as Cisco, Catepillar, and more have chosen the QNX Neutrino for their systems.
QNX was by far the greatest acquisition BlackBerry could have ever made. BlackBerry 10 and much, much, much, much more is powered by QNX. Here’s 30 ways you use QNX without even realizing it:
- Use Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube – QNX technology provides the software foundation for the world’s highest-capacity routers, which handle the data, voice, and video traffic for hundreds of millions of Internet users every day.
- Flip a light switch – QNX technology controls thousands of power-generation systems worldwide, from wind turbines to nuclear stations to hydroelectric plants.
- Call for help – By leveraging the unmatched reliability of QNX technology, 9 1 1 dispatch systems deliver emergency assistance 24/7, nonstop.
- Call for help on the road – The QNX-based OnStar system, deployed in dozens of car models, automatically calls for help in a crash and can even provide emergency responders with the car’s exact location.
- Use green energy – QNX-based power-grid simulators help utilities integrate electricity from solar panels, wind farms, and other renewable energy sources.
- Save gas – QNX-based traffic control systems reduce fuel consumption by optimizing traffic flow, minimizing traffic jams, and reducing waits at intersections.
- Eat a jelly donut – QNX-based food inspection systems detect dangerous contaminants and can even spot items with missing ingredients, such as jelly donuts that have no jelly.
- Get a caffeine fix – Car navigation systems based on QNX technology not only provide automatic route selection and turn-by-turn directions, but can even track down the nearest coffee shop if you’re thirsting for a latté.
- Shop online – Online retailers like Amazon.com and Avnet rely on QNX-based warehouse automation systems to move massive amounts of merchandise every day.
- Watch TV – QNX technology keeps couch potatoes happy, controlling television stations, delivering cable signals, and even powering universal remotes.
- Watch an action flick – QNX technology powers motion-control systems that create some of Hollywood’s most spectacular special effects and stunts.
- Take a train – From high-speed trains to subway cars, QNX-based systems go the distance, controlling locomotives and coordinating railway traffic.
- Fly in a plane – QNX technology is at the core of pilot-training simulators and air-traffic control systems worldwide.
- Board a boat – QNX-based navigation and radar systems keep cruise ships on course by helping crews navigate through fog, bad weather, and narrow estuaries.
- Buy shoes – Footwear vendors like ASICS and Brown Shoe rely on QNX-based warehouse systems to move their products from the factory floor to the shoe store.
- Keep cool in the checkout line – QNX technology controls the HVAC systems in many of the biggest big-box stores in North America.
- Stay connected while driving – Using innovative QNX software, car infotainment systems connect seamlessly to Bluetooth phones, MP3 players, USB sticks, and a variety of other devices and services.
- Build a sundeck – Using QNX-based machine-vision systems, sawmill operators extract the maximum amount of lumber from every tree.
- Mail a letter – QNX technology helps mail-sorting machines push the performance envelope, processing up to 40,000 letters per hour.
- Visit the doctor – QNX technology brings reliability to a host of diagnostic devices, including ECG machines, angiography systems, cardiac monitors, and bone density analyzers.
- Take medicine – QNX-based vision systems scan for defects in a variety of manufactured products, from pharmaceutical blister packs to the lids of peanut butter jars.
- Get better – QNX-based cancer treatment devices use proton beams to target tumors precisely, without damaging nearby organs.
- Wash socks – A QNX-based system automatically configures control panels for washing machines and tests each panel to make sure it functions correctly.
- Breathe clean air – QNX-based building-automation systems help factories, universities, and other large facilities slash power consumption by up to 50%, reducing the amount of fossil fuels burned for electricity.
- Go to college – Students and professors worldwide use QNX technology to perform medical research, explore new forms of energy generation, and even discover new planets.
- See better – Using a QNX-based LASIK system, doctors perform bladeless laser surgery to help people reduce their dependency on glasses and contact lenses.
- Buy a book – Bookstores throughout North America rely on QNX-based point-of-sale systems to deliver highly personalized service to their customers.
- Play video poker – QNX technology powers intercasino gaming systems that can pay out multi-million-dollar winnings, with zero tolerance for error.
- Drive over a bridge – QNX technology helps reduce drawbridge congestion by controlling automated bridge raising systems.
- Go for a digital drive – QNX-based digital instrument clusters are changing the face of in-car computing, combining virtual speedometers with navigation displays, backup cameras, and other content to provide drivers with the most appropriate information for every drive mode or road condition.
The consumer market has played a pivotal role in BlackBerry’s history. However, it doesn’t stop there. If BlackBerry 10 smartphones completely fail, there will still be a BlackBerry as we know it. The company and services we’ve come to know may evolve, but it will be far from dead.