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BlackBerry's Last Stand
By: Greg Dorn
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It’s been a known fact for quite some time that BlackBerry’s future remained uncertain. Clinging to life support, the company that once dominated the smartphone market was left mercilessly in the dust of the more sexy and fashionable Android and iOS devices. But for over 18 months, the corporation formally known as RIM had promised that something special stood looming in the shadows. The BlackBerry maker had long assured that their next move would excite and appease their diminishing yet loyal following. RIM had one last trick up their sleeve, one that swore to return the company back to its former glory. Now, the wait is finally over. The curtains have been drawn on the so-called saviors of the BlackBerry brand. Ladies and gentlemen, after much anticipation, BlackBerry 10 has arrived. The spanking new OS will run on two new handsets that made their grand debuts at the hands of CEO Thorsten Heins. The only question that remains: Will it be enough to save the sinking ship?
 
For those who need proof that RIM has gone all-in on this latest initiative, look no further than the aggressive name change. The decision to ditch the “RIM” name altogether and rebrand the company simply as “BlackBerry” stands as a testimony to the confidence in this new venture. With the new tagline, “One Brand, One Promise,” it’s safe to say that the fate of the company rests on BB10.
 
Say hello to the Z10, the product that holds the burden of BlackBerry’s success. A departure from the iconic physical keyboard that brought BlackBerry to supremacy, the Z10 looks like any other smartphone on the market. The specs are all there; a sleek, touchscreen design, 1.5 GHz dual core CPU, an 8 MP camera and 1080P video, a high-resolution screen that actually beats the iPhone 5, and tens of thousands of apps. Needless to say, the phone stands up to many of its competitors. But for BlackBerry, that may not be enough. While this phone might be in the game, success will only come if the phone is a game-changer.
 
Therefore, we ask, what can BlackBerry offer that other handsets lack? BlackBerry does have the advantage of a strong foundation revolving around the business world. But while the work-oriented device once prevailed as the driving force behind its success, many found that the over-attention to professional capabilities came at the expense of personal usage. Hence, the Blackberry Z10 serves a 2-in-1 experience, virtually allowing you to switch between work and play. One can only assume this will impress BlackBerry’s target audience, companies, and employees who won’t feel self-conscious while toting their smartphones to work. BlackBerry seems confident that once the corporations get on board, hungry consumers will follow behind. 
 
Sure, the working gizmos and gadgets inside the Z10 (Blackberry 10) do offer some impressive abilities. The Blackberry Hub, the one-stop-shop for all notifications and apps (email, messaging, Facebook, etc.) is a mere swipe away. The virtual keyboard also boasts some impressive features, allowing you to swipe up a word when the phone predicts what you’re trying to say. The prices are also said to be on par with competitors, falling in the price range of $199 on contract. And course, to satisfy the BlackBerry faithful, the Q10 (which will also run BB10) will retain the physical keyboard in hopes of keeping those on board who refuse to go virtual. It’s a smart move to avoid alienating that particular fan base.
 
On the surface, it appears BackBerry has a solid phone on their hands and one that can compete with the dominating Android and iOS handsets. But BlackBerry doesn’t have the luxury of simply introducing a satisfactory phone; they remain way behind in the race and need something that will turn heads and reignite a passion for the dying breed. BlackBerry may finally be laying the groundwork to once again be a major player, but I do not think the Z10 or Q10 are compelling enough to sway the Apple and Android faithful. BlackBerry 10 proves it could happen in the near future. Unfortunately for BlackBerry, time is of the essence.


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About the Author
Greg Dorn is a blogger, writer, and obsessed with everything technology and social media. Greg is absolutely captivated with the recent advancements in mobile gadgets, making our world more seamlessly connected. You can learn more about him on his own blog here
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