‘Z’ is the last alphabet in the list of alphabets known to human kind till date. The most general number scale used for ranking in 1 to 10. Joining both the dots plus the current market situation of BlackBerry Smart Phones, Metaphorically the Z10 might just be the last throw of the dice for Research in Motion. Though I am not asking you to read too much into the indicative aspects of the whole nomenclature of the all new BlackBerry Z10, it just clicks given the critical situation BlackBerry finds itself in, doesn’t it? Many believe (and they have good reason to do so) that ‘this’ might just be ‘it’ for the erstwhile pinnacle brand.
What went wrong for the Research in Motion (RIM, the organization that owns and powers the BlackBerry) is a story for another day. But the general consensus in industry circles is that the Brand is in a soup. It is battling on multiple fronts and if Porter’s five forces model was to be followed, the intense rivalry amongst the competitors in the Smart Phone industry is killing (or many would believe has already killed) BlackBerry.
With their backs to the wall, RIM launched its revolutionary BlackBerry Z10 pinning all hopes on a miraculous turnaround on what could well be the defining moment in a dynamic industry. So, what does the BlackBerry Z10 have in store for us? For starters, it’s a full-touch screen phone! No, I am not saying that this is a stand-out feature, but this is an indication of the fact that finally RIM has woken up to accept the reality that this is what the market needs and it better gear up for it. Z10 is a sturdy yet robust look that may not compete with the iPhone or galaxy in aesthetics, but has a unique ‘BlackBerry’ look to it. I am sure; it’s a look that other players in the market may soon start emulating.
BlackBerry hub is another new addition to the Z10 that helps the user to compile their entire gamut of mails, social networking sites and feeds. The notification window shares everything from messages to birthdays. Surely, the BlackBerry traditional base, the so-called ‘Business-Class’ would love it. The BlackBerry Balance probably is another feature directed towards their trusted vote-bank, Professionals now would be able to split their screens into two halves for personal and professional usage. Sounds fun, isn’t it?
The BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) Video is one of the big blockbuster releases embedded with the Z10. Phenomenal voice clarity over the BBM enabling the users both voice and video chat for those on the BBM is a direct answer to the FaceTime (Apple’s video call service) or for that matter the most popular Microsoft-bought out service, the Skype. A 2MP front camera ain’t too bad and it would check most boxes on an aspirant’s checklist.
‘Keyboard’! Ah this is one area where BlackBerry always scored amongst its corporate class for the sheer ease of use. One reason also, why the earlier touch-screen versions of the RIM offering didn’t work out was that the keyboards were just not intuitive enough for the heavy keyboard users of BlackBerry. This one though is far more intuitive with an easy alphabet flipping feature that instinctively predicts which alphabet you are going to type and gives you an option to flip it on to the screen. This feature has already made a lot of noise in the industry circles. Get ready for some patent-wars over it in the coming days.
At approximately £500, the Z10 with a snapper of 8 MP will definitely face the heat from the Lumia, Galaxy, iPhone5 and HTC’s latest offerings. But, what it has certainly done is helped BlackBerry put its hand up and say… “We’re not going down without a fight!” One though feels that it has still not done enough on the design aspects of the device. But BlackBerry’s niche was always the Business class which in the recent past was starting to dessert it for lucrative business + social media offerings from the Android arena. Whether the Z10 will stop the exodus of BlackBerry users is a million dollar question, time will only be able to answer. For now, the stage is set for a grand showdown!