How BlackBerry Lost Its Status as the Enterprise Mobile Gold Standard

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2014-04-14 Print this article Print

The second was that when BlackBerry did respond to those trends, it did so with too little, far too late. When the Z10 arrived, it was a very nice touch-screen phone in a sea of other very nice phones.

BlackBerry's failure to innovate is well-documented, so I won't go into it again here. What was perhaps worse was the company's failure to deliver. The BlackBerry 10 operating system and the phones that run it were months late, meaning that the company had to make do with its seemingly antiquated QWERTY phones and tiny screens when the rest of the world was moving to smartphones with screens large enough to allow practical Web browsing.

While enterprise buyers weren't necessarily swayed by such coolness, their users were. This popularity with users translated into lots of useful apps, some of which were good for business. BlackBerry, meanwhile, commissioned few apps, and worse, required developers to choose between the functionally limited BlackBerry 7 platform, which has many users, and the more effective BlackBerry 10 platform that had few users.

Things are changing at BlackBerry, but at a glacial pace. It's now possible, a year after it was introduced, to load most Android apps onto a BlackBerry 10 device, but only if those apps aren't on Google Play. However, finding this information out so you can do it requires searching non-company sources and downloading third-party apps.

If it sounds like BlackBerry is trying its best to become a business school worst-case analysis, you wouldn't be far off. Here, for example, is the company that desperately needs customers dumping a major carrier because that carrier basically hurt its feelings. This is how you plan a comeback?

It's no wonder BlackBerry fell from grace as the enterprise gold standard. The company did to itself what competitors couldn't have done. BlackBerry managed to knock itself out of the top rankings.

The other question now becomes, who will replace BlackBerry? The answer is nobody. After BlackBerry lost its place as the corporate go-to company, other vendors have picked up parts of what was once the gold standard. Apple and Android have the app markets, for example, while Microsoft has some important support for the enterprise and it has integration with the rest of the world of Windows.

In reality, the future is what you see now. You can still buy a BlackBerry if you need hard-core security, but other devices are plenty good enough for most purposes. Those other phones even might do a better job of supporting the features that you need the most, a need that BlackBerry can't fill anymore.

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