2014

If there’s one mobile phone company that has had a real rollercoaster ride in 2014, it has to be BlackBerry.

Newspaper headlines were full of stories stating the supposed decline of the company, but the humble BlackBerry just kept bouncing back with new features, new apps and most importantly, some great new phones.

Here’s a quick roundup of BlackBerry’s 2014 year:

SECURITY

Blackberry_Q10_home_screen

The year began on something of a wobbly note with management reshuffles, but BlackBerry quickly reasserted its commitment to its hardcore executive market by introducing a new secure messaging system called BBM Protected.

This offered customers a secure, encrypted, end-to-end message service in a bid to capitalise on the firm’s reputation as the number one phone company for business.

In fact, news reports in March clarified that the likes of Barack Obama still use a BlackBerry as their main phone of choice, as he stated, “I’m not allowed, for security reasons, to have an iPhone.”

APPS

 

android-apps

In June, BlackBerry announced a massive deal to license 240,000 Android applications from Amazon. The move which gave users access to apps such as Groupon, Netflix and Pinterest, was seen as a strategic ploy to retain loyal BlackBerry customers who enjoyed the new BB10 operating system, but still wanted access to the popular range of apps on offer via Amazon.

This undoubtably helped BlackBerry broaden its appeal towards those using their phones for entertainment, along with the news in August that the firm had struck a deal with 7digital to launch a brand new music service.

And an improved emphasis on connectivity meant that sports fans could have instant access to a range of information. The massively popular thescore app led the way with many fans of the device being first to find out why the Montreal Canadiens’ Guy Lapointe had retired his number 5.

NEW PHONES

BlackBerry_Passport

In the latter half of the year the firm also made the very canny move of releasing new models of phone that capitalised on what many perceive as the key selling points of the BlackBerry.

The unconventional Passport raised many eyebrows with its large, square screen that differed from the current trend of rounded, rectangular phones (see our review here).

The Passport proved popular for its highly user-friendly QWERTY keyboard that offered instant salvation for all of those suffering from the perils of typing on touchscreen phones.

And this was quickly followed up in December with the announcement of the arrival of the BlackBerry Classic (see our review here).

Harking back to BlackBerry’s glory days, the model stuck to exactly what its customers liked best; a no-nonsense smartphone that performed it’s function with faster browsing, increased battery life and above all, that wonderfully familiar and responsive physical keyboard with the five button toolbelt.