Why BlackBerry Enterprise Service and BB10 are too little, too late

BlackBerry has made positive strides with its BlackBerry Enterprise Service, new OS and new phones, but it all comes too late to save the company.

The BlackBerry 10 operating system, new phones and a new BlackBerry Enterprise Service are finally here, but they have come too late.

The BlackBerry Z10 does have some impressive features, including a 1.5 GHZ dual core processor, a 1280 x 768 screen and strong multitasking through BlackBerry Hub. The Q10 is coming out shortly to satisfy those who prefer typing on physical keyboards. The company seems to be rededicating itself to the enterprise; BlackBerry Enterprise Service (formerly BlackBerry Enterprise Server) now helps IT manage BlackBerry, iOS and Android devices. And BlackBerry still has the best encryption around.

So are you ready to dive back in and purchase a BlackBerry? Didn't think so.

BlackBerry has had its time and place in the world, and now it is time for it to go. BlackBerry has lost mindshare. Even though BlackBerry devices perform better than other comparable phones in some tests, consumers will not purchase BlackBerrys because they just aren't cool devices anymore. There are many other reasons why BlackBerry will fail:

The new OS took too long. It was almost three years ago that people were talking about the new QNX operating system (which BlackBerry 10 is based on) and how it was going to revolutionize the company. The OS didn't launch until this year. For BlackBerry to even have a chance, its new devices need to rival the next iPhone and Samsung Galaxy. Consumers will not wait years again for another iteration.

Poor marketing. Over the past few years, BlackBerry made constant promises of a new phone or tablet coming out soon, but kept delaying. As a result, the press seemed to focus on who was in and out as CEO and which billionaire investor was going to bail the company out -- not on the products themselves. BlackBerry's poor marketing strategy of the past few years damaged the company's consumer mindshare too much, and recent improvements aren't enough to boost sales now.

More on BlackBerry Enterprise Service

By the numbers: BlackBerry 10 OS and BES

BlackBerry will end support for Enterprise Server in 2015

How to install BES 5.0.2 on Exchange Server 2010

Focusing on consumers instead of businesses. People liked BlackBerry phones because they were cool to use for business. It turned out that some consumer functions, such as texting, actually worked better on a phone with a physical keyboard, and that really caused the popularity of BlackBerry devices to soar. But BlackBerry's original focus was always on business users -- until the iPhone took over. Instead of improving its browser and enlarging devices' screens, BlackBerry started adding consumer-focused features, such as a music store, which never caught on.

BlackBerry's renewed focus on business is just too late. Businesses, especially in America, have already made the switch to iOS and Android. In the cases where BlackBerry is still the preferred platform, employees are putting increased pressure on their IT departments to offer other platforms. Even the federal government has made the switch to iOS in many departments.

BlackBerry Playbook. The BlackBerry PlayBook could have been exactly what the business world wanted: an IT-friendly tablet. But users had to sync their PlayBooks with a BlackBerry phone, there weren't many apps for the device, and it couldn't integrate with ActiveSync and other key infrastructure components. The failure of the PlayBook in the enterprise affects BlackBerry going forward, because formerly loyal companies are now forced to support other platforms if they want tablets.

Lack of apps. BlackBerry has done a great job of getting 70,000 apps in the BlackBerry World app store by allowing the porting of Android apps to BlackBerry 10. But developers are only going to build native apps where they can make money. If BlackBerry shows sustained success, that might entice some developers to write code for BlackBerry, but that success won't come without the native apps users want.

Believe or not, I am pulling for BlackBerry. The market is better with BlackBerry in it. But I am afraid its renewed efforts are just a little too late.

This was last published in May 2013

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Luckily no-one reads this poorly researched rubbish! Please declare your full hand Mr Shulz and also how much apple stock you hold...?
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Short position much?
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BlackBerry keeps making same mistakes again and again. Pull your head out of the sand and start fighting for your life.
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Very good article, and having been in the industry you are right on point!. Blackberry and Nokia under OPK made the same mistakes when iOS iPhones came out. I still believe that Blackberry would have succeeded if they had take BES 5 back in 2010 and opened it up to other devices with a full featured BES client like that that ran on BB devices. But they where a closed environment, and now it is too little too late, because they have entered a very crowed BYOD device environment with so many solutions.
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