“Blackberry needs to come up with a technological ‘wow’ factor”
Despite challenges Blackberry remains popular in the local smartphone market.
A survey by an Avusa journalist last week showed that Blackberry was the preferred smartphone device by 55% of participants over iPhone, Android and others.
“The phone is cheap and user friendly. It has all the best social network applications. I have one and I love it to bits.” said Terence Hlongwane, a Blackberry owner from Midrand.
RIM’s newCEO, Thorsten Hiens will have his work cut out for him as he takes the lead in the parent company of Blackberry after a difficult year in 2011.
He spoke in Europe, Amsterdam on how Blackberry aimed to stay relevant in the smartphone market.
Blackberry suffered setbacks in the 2011, including an international reception interruption last year, the exit of co-CEOs and releasing a tablet PC without an email application.
Nokia has released the acclaimed Lumia 800, a positive stride in the smartphone market for the Finnish giant.
Chris Moerdyk, marketing analyst says the convenience of the Blackberry product is the secret behind its success in the local market.
“The interesting thing with Blackberry is that it’s more popular inAfricathan in the rest of the world. Emails and pages on the Blackberry are faster than on many other smartphones.” said Moerdyk.
Moerdyk noted the Blackberry was cost effective compared to other smartphones.
“The phone bills one would get from using a Blackberry could easily be half of those from the use of another smartphone.” Moerdyk explained.
This doesn’t mean all is well for Blackberry in the smartphone market. Moerdyk believes that Blackberry’s simplicity may close it off from a niche technology market.
“Two years ago in an airport most people would have Blackberrys. Now schoolchildren are using them and iPhones are in the airports because iPhone is the business phone of choice.” he said.
While Blackberry Messenger remains popular, Blackberry will need to do more to maintain its place as business phone, especially against the Apple iPhone.
“The brilliant thing about Apple is the variety of devices and how they work with each other. The iPhone syncs with the Macbook Pro and other Apple devices as accessories. Blackberry is a hassle when trying to team it up with Apple products and also cannot be used as a data modem.
“Smartphone consumers now need a phone that can communicate with other devices and Apple offers just that. Blackberry needs to come up with a technological ‘wow’ factor aside from the handheld device on its own.” said Moerdyk.
Although all eyes are on Blackberry, Moerdyk warns this is no reason for Apple to get complacent.
“Nokia has just released a smartphone that techno journalists are raving about. Samsung and Nokia are now beginning to be spoken of in the same way as iPhone.
“Apple is actually under the most pressure to maintain the lead in innovation and market dominance. The fact that most Apple users refer their device problems to online forums created by clients rather than the Apple website says a lot about their regard for the client’s voice.” he said.
Blackberry handsets are purchased in high numbers from cell phone network stores inSouth Africa.
Nomsa Thusi, Executive Head of Corporate Communications at Vodacom says that Vodacom has over 1.9 million Blackberry devices on its network.
Blackberry is Cell C’s biggest seller in the smartphone market. Other phones like Nokia, iPhone and Samsung are also gaining momentum as smartphones. Regan Mdluli a store manager at Cell C said no corporate challenge will change the demand for a good product.
“Customers want convenience. The Blackberry meets users’ needs and that is why it’s so popular.” Mdluli explained.
Techno-fundis can expect the smartphone wars to heat up in 2012 with the release of Blackberry 2.0 later in this year, the iPhone 4s released in December of 2011, and Nokia’s newly released Microsoft supported Lumina 800.
|How Cell Phones Work:||How Signals Go Bad:|
|Above is a basic gsm/cell phone structure, and how it works:
||The cell phone signal can be interrupted by many factors. Below are the common ones:
Sourced from Paseka Maleka of ICASA
How BB Works:
Sourced from Paseka Maleka of ICASA
|BET YOU NEVER KNEW:|
[Sourced from Dr. Pierre Cilliers of SANSA Space Science Directoriate]
Who’s the Smarty Pants Now: A poll done in Johannesburgasking participants which smartphone is best:
Samsung Galaxy- 15%