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Melanie Rodier
Melanie Rodier
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Despite High Hopes, BB10 Likely To Become Only A Niche Player

The new platform offers a different user experience, but this might not be enough to reverse the company's slide.

The former darling of financial executives, BlackBerry, has been struggling for a couple of years in the crowded smartphone marketplace. All of RIM’s hopes were pinned on its just-released BB10 platform – but the new platform is unfortunately not all it was cracked up to be, according to some reports.

According to the WSJ, the phone isn’t generating the kind of buzz among the company’s corporate base that would indicate a hit for RIM, which has just changed its name to BlackBerry.

Adam Leach, principal analyst at Ovum, suggests that the BlackBerry 10 platform offers a different user experience for smartphone users, but that won’t be enough to attract new user who have by now become fans of other devices.

“The Blackberry Z10 and Q10 will stand out from the Android masses and look distinct from Apple’s iPhone. The user experience of Blackberry 10 introduces some nice new features but importantly builds on Blackberry’s UI heritage and therefore will certainly appeal to existing Blackberry users,” Leach notes in a statement.

He contends that BlackBerry has rightly focused on insuring that the Blackberry 10 devices have a large catalogue of content and applications.

“[It] is now essential for any modern smartphone, and achieving 70,000 applications at the launch of a new platform is good start,” he says.

But while the Blackberry 10 platform is well-designed, the company will struggle to appeal to a wider audience, Leach argues. “In the long-term will become a niche player in the smartphone market."

“It’s certainly the best BlackBerry we’ve ever seen” another Ovum analyst, Jan Dawson, told the WSJ’s Markets Hub. The problem, though is, that “there’s nothing really about these devices that from a consumer perspective you would say, okay, this is now head and shoulders above iPhone or Android and you should go buy this device tomorrow.”

Melanie Rodier has worked as a print and broadcast journalist for over 10 years, covering business and finance, general news, and film trade news. Prior to joining Wall Street & Technology in April 2007, Melanie lived in Paris, where she worked for the International Herald ... View Full Bio
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ischmerken
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ischmerken,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/31/2013 | 6:46:52 PM
re: Despite High Hopes, BB10 Likely To Become Only A Niche Player
Blackberry is known for having tighter security and this had previously gained support and traction in capital markets firms. Do you think that Wall Street CIOs will give the BB10 devices some attention as a corporate device- based on security alone? Or has the BYOD trend gone too far?
Ivy Schmerken
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Ivy Schmerken,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/31/2013 | 6:46:52 PM
re: Despite High Hopes, BB10 Likely To Become Only A Niche Player
Blackberry is known for having tighter security and this had previously gained support and traction in capital markets firms. Do you think that Wall Street CIOs will give the BB10 devices some attention as a corporate device- based on security alone? Or has the BYOD trend gone too far?
Melanie Rodier
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Melanie Rodier,
User Rank: Author
1/31/2013 | 3:21:29 PM
re: Despite High Hopes, BB10 Likely To Become Only A Niche Player
-That's true, and BlackBerry has apparently not released any price information or even a release date yet...it looks like the devices might not be available until March. Even releasing them a few weeks before the 2012 end-of-year holidays might have created a bit more excitement around the product for consumers.
Greg MacSweeney
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Greg MacSweeney,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/30/2013 | 9:28:35 PM
re: Despite High Hopes, BB10 Likely To Become Only A Niche Player
It's a case of too little too late, as well. Had this BB10 devices come out 2-3 years ago, Blackberry would have a chance. I don't know if just being a niche smartphone player will be enough for long-term survival.
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