Well today as many of us know was the long anticipated launch of the BlackBerry Passport. Many of us have thought how will this device work in to our current “glass slab” smartphone ecosystem, will a device this big really make a difference? Will be adapt and adopt to the design and follow BlackBerry’s vision? In short, the answer is YES.
We heard some great vantage points today from not only John Chen, but Jeff Gadway and Peter NG as well. It is the inspiration behind the design and motivation for BlackBerry’s revamp of the company as well as their business plan. And what a sigh of relief. When Thor launched the Z10, there was too much skepticism and silence in the room. When he was on stage it was very dry and not too many candid moments that you could see the passion and the man behind it all.
Not to say Thor was not a good CEO, or that he didn’t help change BlackBerry to where it is today from where it was.. but when you listen to John Chen versus Thor it is night and day. Chen bouncing jokes and off colour remarks to audience and making the whole room light up with laughter. Seeing the emotion and passion in his facial expressions. Feeling the vibrancy in his tone of voice. It all leads to today.
BlackBerry is done with their re-structuring and lay offs. The company has a clear vision on their game plan to move forward and become ‘successful’ again. The bleeding has stopped, and so has the confusion. The Passport launch is quintessential in all of this. Bringing out the device that will hopefully make the company millions, and regain lost market share. It is funny to think that people look at BlackBerry and think they are out date and that they suck. When in reality from a perspective they are cutting edge.
When Wayne Gretzky was up on stage, he said something that really stuck out to me, ‘ Move to where the puck is going, not where the puck was.’ Now I am glad Wayne was there it really brought an aura to the room to take away from typical launch event settings. He is the Canadian icon that no matter whether if you like hockey or not, you KNOW and LIKE Wayne Gretzky. It also kind of ties in to BlackBerry’s vision to re capture the Canadian market first. As John said, we need to have the home team on our side before we take on our competitors in other markets, it essence if your country doesn’t support you, who will?
There was a lot of pride in the room, and it shows. The roars from the crowd when features were shown trumping the competitors, and the bellowing laughter at Chen’s jokes. It isn’t what BlackBerry has been through, but where they’re are going. The struggles of re-finding an identity in an over saturated market place are in the past for them.
Coming out with 4 devices this year, and focusing on the Business aspect of the business… like 10 years ago consumer will follow. Especially with the features of BlackBerry Blend. Launching in 30 countries, the Passport will surely set everyone aside and re crown the inventor of the smartphone as king.
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