Remember RIM – Research In Motion – the company that used to be a smartphone juggernaut? They just introduced their long-delayed BlackBerry 10.
In days gone by we probably would have called it “their long-awaited BlackBerry 10,” but given the numerous development problems and introduction postponements, there were fewer and fewer consumers out there awaiting this launch.
The other big announcement was that RIM is officially changing the company name to BlackBerry. It’s a move reminiscent of General Motors when, after reporting a $1.1 billion loss eight years ago, their remedy was to put the GM “Mark of Excellence” logo on all models in an effort to link the corporation to its various brands.
The BlackBerry 10 launch is critical to the brand’s attempt to re-enter the marketplace. Once the darling of employer-issued smartphones, owning nearly a quarter of the marketplace in the U.S., they currently have about a 4 percent share.
Companies aren’t as sure as they used to be about supporting the BlackBerry, with many having moved to a BYOD (Bring-Your-Own-Device) policy for employees, who in turn have moved to the new smartphone juggernauts, Samsung and Apple.
With BlackBerry 10, the brand is looking to position BlackBerry as the smartphone that allows you to shift from work mode to personal play with something they call “BlackBerry Balance,” which lets users keep business and personal information entirely separate.
The new phones also a boast an improved operating system and some innovative features such as one-swipe email access from any app.
Last year BlackBerry was ranked last by consumers on our Customer Loyalty Engagement Index assessments and we don’t think their position is likely to change much.
The new models aren’t due to show up in the United States until March, and if past performance is anything to go by, consumers are not likely to hold their breadth for the new Blackberry smartphones.
The reality is that this could be the brand’s last chance to remain a player in the category.
If you are among the shrinking number of consumers who can’t wait until March, BlackBerry announced that the new model will appear in its first-ever Super Bowl commercial next Sunday.
You know what they say? If you can’t engage them, at least entertain them!