The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

A road map for Blackberry – forget about hardware

I clearly remember my first Blackberry in 1998 +/- 

There were only a few hundred out there and this was bleeding edge when a few tens of us at mbanx got one.

Email connection in your pocket.  Before that I used a Psion 5c while others use Palm Pilots.  Those devices were powerful but the frustration was lack of connection to the grid.  There were modems being sold to work around that, but the magic of connection in your hand was not there.

The Blackberry introduced that magic.  It used the pager network as a workaround to get connectivity.  It was slow but the innovation was clear.  Every morning I got an email with todays news from Yahoo and the potential was becoming clear.  Probably most people who read this blog had a Blackberry of one type or another.

It took 8 more years and Apple introduced the iPhone. 

Between 2011 when flip phones were prevalent and today smart phones have become pervasive.

Back to Blackberry and the company … what should they do.  Today they basically gave up when they announced the desire to sell the company, go private and (unsaid) provide the cover from shareholder opinion to radically alter direction.

So here is my opinion.  Blackberry should focus on software and forget about hardware.  One of the aspects of Blackberry that only geeks will know is that they have a superb infrastructure that provides tight security.  Blackberry software is installed on the email servers of all the banks and governments of the world.  That software routes messages through the Blackberry infrastructure in Waterloo Ontario.  This closed structure and the breadth of implementation across countries and companies is a unique point of leverage for Blackberry.

Everyone at government and large banks and corporates has two phones these days,  Their Blackberry and their personal smartphone.

I say to Blackberry, forget about hardware.  Blackberry should focus on software that works on iOS and Android and levers their secure infrastructure.  Make it easy for companies and governments to implement the only devices that matter and lever your strength.  Companies will pay for security.

Written by Colin Henderson

August 13, 2013 at 00:48

Posted in Uncategorized

%d bloggers like this: