A BlackBerry is a powerful tool. The line of smartphone devices known most for getting the task done was one of the main factors of the 24-hour work day. Email, calendars, sync, and security, things uncommonly associated with a phone prior to BlackBerry, were now possible. But where does BlackBerry fit in the current smartphone world?
This past week I met with Roy Bahat, President of IGN Entertainment. During our meeting, Roy used his BlackBerry to send a few emails, but displayed everything on his HTC Evo. He cited not being able to break from the keyboard, but was definitely a whiz with the Android device. The idea of people carrying two phones is definitely not uncommon and more often than not, one of them is a work-issued BlackBerry.
Work, work, work. That’s what it all boils down to. The BlackBerry is a work device in every way. It’s the core business model that RIM has always tailored to. BlackBerry is undeniably a darling of IT departments, which are wary of office drones using iPhones for their corporate communications.
But the world is moving toward iPhones and similar devices. Where does this leave BlackBerry? It’s attempts to come out with more stylish models have mostly petered out. The fact is the device is a corporate workhorse. RIM’s tablet offering, Playbook, shows just how hard a journey it will be to capture consumer enthusiasm. Will BlackBerry become a relic of a bygone era, in much the same way we look back on pagers or Startec flip phones?