A post over at Mashable, ‘4 Ways BlackBerry Can Stay Relevant’, has me wondering — is it just a matter of time before BlackBerry is a distant runner-up in the smartphone race?
Before I abandoned all things Windows and switched to Mac in early 2009, I was a very satisfied BlackBerry user. I had owned the BlackBerry 8830 (World Edition) and BlackBerry Pearl and really thought I’d be sticking with that platform for the forseeable future. As a Vista early adopter, I struggled through the device driver issues of the new OS, and ‘tried’ keeping my patience with the BlackBerry Desktop Manager upgrades — and that’s where BlackBerry (and Windows) lost me.
A constant cycle of tweaking, patching, and troubleshooting drove me away. Even after moving to Mac, I gave the BlackBerry Storm a closer look —before going with the iPhone3G — but all of the memories of incompatibility problems stuck with me.
Here we are less than 2 years removed and the question is whether BlackBerry can stay relevant in the face of iPhone and Droid dominance. In my honest opinion, they lost the young & hip vibe (if they ever truly had it) and I strongly suspect iPhones and Droids are penetrating corporate IT defenses, where BlackBerry has reigned supreme.