I'm going to start off this story a little differently today by sharing my qualifications and where I stand both with the Blackberry platform and the Android platform. No doubt, there will be contrasting opinions evident here.
More importantly, I feel that it's my role to share my viewpoint if only because I write for several sites, including one that features Blackberry related news, and as you know Android Headlines.
I am to this day, an avid Android user, and will continue to be until the platform sees a lack of innovation (not that there ever will be). What does this mean exactly?
Right off the bat, I know that a lot of you are going to use the term "bandwagon," but hopefully we're all mature enough to realize that the mobile industry deserves so much more than that kind of attitude.
Technology is changing on a daily basis, and in turn that means the mobile industry is constantly evolving.
There may come a time when Android is no longer my go to the platform, and as such there may come a time for you too. By no means, am I saying that time is today, but I happen to take pride in the fact that I can keep an open perspective when it comes to the mobile industry.
I love Android. Alternatively, you'd have to be incredibly blind, or stubborn to miss the allure of Blackberry 10. As the Blackberry brand evolves and more features and options are integrated into the platform, its general usefulness and charm may also develop.
Judging by how well Google has done, gobbling up the innovative features from other platforms over time, I see no reason to believe that it won't happen with Blackberry and Android. Google will undoubtedly incorporate features, currently exclusive to the Blackberry brand, within the Android OS. That doesn't mean, however that it's impossible for Blackberry to become more attractive.
If, and when, Blackberry 10 becomes a better option for me, I may make the switch. That's what I'm getting at here. Don't be so close-minded to believe that Android will never have an equal. I'm not crazy enough to claim that it does at this point, but merely pointing out that the day may actually come.
Now that, all of the hubbub and excitement have died down, it's a good time to look at what was announced today at the official launch event and break down what this means for the future of the mobile industry.
What is the Target Audience for Blackberry 10?
This is a profoundly indispensable concept to grasp right from the beginning. I strongly believe that Android, iOS and now Blackberry 10 have their own respective audiences. It only makes sense, right? Some people turn to other platforms while the rest of us go all-in with Android. After all, it's why we see so many flame wars and battles between fanboys.
The Blackberry brand has, and will always be, primarily targeted toward the enterprise spectrum. It offers accessibility and advanced security that is ideal for the professional world. Does that mean that Android is not a good choice for various professionals? No, actually it means the opposite.
It's a matter of taste and both platforms are ideal.
I think above all else, we need to accept that in the modern mobile industry we are presented with an incredible array of options that tailor to individual tastes and preferences. There is an incredible amount of freedom when it comes to choosing a mobile device.
The real beauty with Blackberry 10, is that it offers the enterprise world a way to switch between their personal lives and their professional lives in realtime. With Blackberry Balance, users can manage two separate profiles, one for personal apps and accounts and another for professional apps and accounts.
Now, that being said, Blackberry has undergone a significant overhaul, and the rebranding and redesign of the platform also opens it up to new markets. Namely, the consumer side of things, where there's an emphasis on entertainment and personal enjoyment.
Does Blackberry 10 have what it takes to succeed in the enterprise market? Definitely.
Does Blackberry 10 have what it takes to succeed in the consumer market? That has yet to be determined, which brings us to our next point.
Will Blackberry 10 Steal Some of the Mobile Market Share from Android?
Before we get to this point, I implore all of you, as responsible individuals, to do your best to remain objective. By no means am I claiming outrageous and sensational things here. In fact, it's probably best to say that I'm merely pointing out the obvious.
Blackberry 10 will probably take market share from Android. On the other hand, Blackberry 10 is also going to lift market share from Windows Phone and iOS. It's only natural to assume that such a thing would happen.
I'm not a market analyst, so I'm not even going to bother estimating just how much of an impact this will have on the market as a whole.
I will say, however, that after seeing Blackberry 10 in action, I genuinely believe that the Blackberry brand will succeed in the mobile market. Now, that could mean Blackberry will fall in at the third spot, just below iOS and Android. In turn, it could also mean that Blackberry 10 will steal the top spot from Android. Only time will tell, and it also depends on how Blackberry (they're not called RIM anymore), handles business over the coming months.
My prediction, is that Blackberry 10 will eventually overcome iOS, securing a top spot in the industry just below Android. The ease of use and accessibility of the platform is certainly going to give iOS a run for its money. Features like the time-shift camera, Blackberry Remember, Blackberry Messenger with voice chat, and more are going to appeal to casual consumers.
Blackberry 10 Devices Compared to Android Devices
When participating in a discussion like this, it's essential to evaluate the products being offered from both parties. Thankfully (mostly because I'm lazy), Droid Life has compiled a lovely table that compares the flagship BB10 device to some of the leading Android devices. Hopefully you know by now that Blackberry's flagship device is the 4.2" all-touch Blackberry Z10.
After looking at the pre-prepared chart (and thank you Droid Life), you can see that the Blackberry Z10 actually does stack up pretty well against some of the best Android devices. Going toe-to-toe with something, and dominating it entirely are two totally different outcomes. I don't think the Z10 is better than any of those Android devices, but it does certainly offer enough to be a viable competitor.
As for how it stacks up against the iPhone 5, I'll leave that up to you to figure out. Personally, if I had to choose between the two (iPhone 5 or Blackberry Z10), the Z10 takes the cake.
In Summation: Just What the Hell Are You Saying Briley?
The whole point of this story is to change your perspective on the mobile industry. As a journalist, I feel that I have a duty at times to remain objective. As much as I'd love to shout to the heavens that Android rules and will always kick ass, at the end of the day I have to remain realistic, if anything. It's what allows me to keep reporting, and it's what allows me to share my original opinions with you, as loyal readers.
I think that it's highly possible for the Blackberry brand to make a comeback in today's mobile market, and it's also possible for the brand to emerge as a true Android competitor.
I will say that Blackberry needs to learn how to throw a formal press conference because a lot of it was rather dull. Still, and especially after seeing Blackberry in action, it's hard to deny the appeal of the platform.
Blackberry World has been rebranded to include music, movies and TV shows, in addition to mobile apps. Not to mention, their mobile app catalog is growing at an alarming rate. Take a look at the new Blackberry marketplace, while I'm sure a lot of you will snicker, there are certainly a few surprises to be had.
If, and this is an enormous if, Blackberry can keep things moving on the current track while still planning to innovate and change the game, the platform will be successful.
I used that word "success" a whole lot, but somehow it's particularly fitting. Especially since success is the new Blackberry mantra.
What I want you to take away from this rather odd news story, is that things change over time. That includes the mobile industry, and it certainly includes the Android platform. As users of an open source mobile OS, I think we should all strive to remain open-minded when it comes to such things.
Am I shoving Blackberry 10 down your throat? Certainly not!
Am I saying Blackberry 10 is better than Android? No way!
Am I saying that the mobile industry is about to see a huge shift? YES!
I'd love to hear what you think, both about the Blackberry 10 platform, and about the future of the mobile industry. If you disagree with me, then certainly share your thoughts below! Please remember though, this is a friendly community, and flaming is not necessary.