Thursday, October 24, 2013

BlackBerry in a "Catch-22"

Everything seems to be going well for BlackBerry’s BBM on Android and iPhone. Though I am a BlackBerry user, I tried it on my friends iPhone and got queued and had to wait, but today, I finally got the mail from BlackBerry saying that "Your ID has reached the front of the line and has been granted immediate access to begin using BBM™ on Android™ or iPhone®."
Here's what to do:
1.     Open BBM
        (If for some reason you’ve deleted BBM, visit from your Android or iPhone browser to download it again)
2.     If you are prompted to “Enter your email address to check if you can start using BBM”, enter the email address exactly as it appears above
        - or -
        if you are on the ‘We’re holding your spot in line’ page, click “I got the email”
3.     Get started with BBM!
I haven't proceeded further with it yet, but while checking my facebook account and meeting my friends(mostly are using iOS and Android these days), BBM seems to be becoming a new rage and a status symbol(once again). Everyone is sharing their BBM pins on the facebook walls, some are even chanting their BBM pin whosoever they meet. Amid all that, everyone is forgetting, what is next for BlackBerry now, and the big question arises, will this help BlackBerry in anyway? We have had about 10M plus downloads so far and app seems to be doing good, but how can the most secure smartphone maker rely merely on an application. A giant which was once taking on the likes of Nokia, Motorola and even iPhone for sometime, is now competing with the tiny chat apps like WhatsApp and WeChat to stay afloat. A question that everyone seems to be asking is that "BBM was all that BlackBerry had, and now they have cross platformed it, who would buy a BlackBerry now?"

Well, that's a legitimate question, keeping in mind that BlackBerry is not doing well from last couple of years and BB10 being a great OS is also struggling(Thanks to great BB management) to keep up with Android, iOS and even windows 8 phones, and BBM being their only unique asset, was all they had. BlackBerry was in a catch-22 situation where their current management and promotion wouldn't have let BB10 in the right direction and by making BBM available to Android and iOS, they just wanted to stay afloat, or earn some time(before they could be sold). How long they would be able to ride on BBM alone is to be seen but if BlackBerry management is thinking about making serious inroads, that cannot be done with BBM alone.

Other option that BlackBerry might think off is making BB10 cross platform, but problem with it is that BB10 itself is not very popular. BBM on the other hand was a status symbol and making it cross platform was easy(in terms of promotion), but BB10 itself is yet to be fully explored by people, so making it cross platform would be a bad decision.

What happens next remains to be seen, but for the moment, lets cheer the success of BBM on Android and iOS.

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