Is it just a matter of time for BlackBerry?

bb_pearlA 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.

What do you think? Can BlackBerry maintain and continue growth in the smartphone arena long-term? Is it too late to turn things around? Or maybe, do you think BlackBerry is just fine and will continue to leverage it’s business strengths into the future? Share in the comments below.

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Author:Craig Berry

Craig Berry is a Catholic web developer and musician.
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