Sorry for the hockey analogy title, but Wayne Gretzky was at the event in Toronto so you know there was a lot of sports talk and comparison going on. If you do not know, a hat trick is when playing a sport you score 3 goals in one game. And in my opinion that is exactly what BlackBerry did yesterday. When you break it down they are OS 10.3, BlackBerry Blend and the launch of the BlackBerry Passport. But also the three events Toronto, London and Dubai. Why are these so significant as a whole you ask? Well let me share my perspective as we go further.
First, and what I think is the most important: BlackBerry OS 10.3. We have sure heard a lot of this operating system and many of us eager to try it have been running leaks and beta’s for a long time! What makes it so special? Well lets break down the OS10.0 launch. It was the first official public offering of the software, and was nowhere near perfect. We had a lot of promises of what was to come, which left us wondering, “When?” A lot was left in the air for us to want, dream about and hang on to. A lot of that took longer than some of us wanted to wait. BlackBerry saw this and made VAST improvements on the ecosystem from 10.1 to 10.2… and now officially with 10.3. They took the feature focuses of the device and made them better, like the HUB. Inserting little nuances like the compose button on the bottom of the screen, or the fast sort folder and the delete icon right on the header of emails, to the integral integration of the Amazon app store in to the builds of the OS showing the complexity and diversity of the platform, from where it has come from to where it is going and then understanding both consumer and business needs. It’s the only device I know to run two official app stores out of the box for the best experience to the user.
Next, BlackBerry Blend. How many of us are enslaved to the little red light that kills our productivity? I know sitting here writing this that I have picked up either one of my devices 5-8 times already because that little red light keeps calling my name! The days of that are over. Leave your phone in your pocket or bag, and just open up a simple app in your workspace. Syncing calendars, contacts… getting your email and BBM’s on the fly; stuff we have dreamed about and wanted to come to fruition for years! This is a huge undertaking that I hope is widely adopted by the corporations using BlackBerrys. It isn’t just about the integration, but as BlackBerry has always boasted… ‘Productivity’. No more wasting time grabbing for your device when it can all be completed with the simple click of a mouse. And when you decide to go home for the day, it all un-docks and no personal information is stored, creating a virtual secure work environment. I know for some companies it will save them time and money due to increased productivity. We don’t need smart watches to save us time or precious moments… we need Blend!
And finally what made me really become more attached to the whole experience: the BlackBerry Passport. Now not to say that the experience won’t be the same on a Z30 or Q10 which I have used heavily, it is the unique experience created on the Passport that is very special. The screen size, resolution and layout, a keyboard that looks unnatural but types in a way that just makes sense. Especially for us coming off of ‘glass slab’ devices. But also incorporating touch enabled actions in to the keypad as well is mind blowing. BlackBerry has truly outdone themselves, and once again has set the bar in an over saturated marketplace. As for the tech specs, the first ever quad core in one of their devices, a 13MP camera that they spent time testing and perfecting with a superior image stabilizer. When John Chen says you won’t need a laptop to get through your work day, in some instances he is right. It is a true all in one smartphone, and as BlackBerry has stated in the past… mobile computing is the future.
Now with all this being said, the only thing they need is public buy in. Do you know how many people knocked me today for having another ‘new’ BlackBerry? Comments bellowing out like, “Do they still make phones?” “I thought they were bankrupt?” ” hope you didn’t have to pay or sign a contract to be able to get that thing!” It is these kind of close minded observations of the external consumer that makes me wonder if BlackBerry will ever regain their lost market share… or will they just chug along with us, the die hard fans and corporations that prize security and productivity as #1. But no home team was an instant success. Everyone loves an underdog story. We all had(have) our favorites that we cheer for, and BlackBerry is going to re-gain our trust, just like the company has regained its composure. And with significant launches and events held like yesterday, the crowd surely will go wild.