‘Blackberry’, a name that once used to be a hallmark of the most advanced mobile phones, has disappeared today. Support for BlackBerry OS has been terminated by the company from January 4, 2022. That is, if users are using the old BlackBerry phone, then it may stop working. Let us know where Blackberry, which once competed with Apple, has disappeared in terms of market share.
How did Blackberry get started?
Blackberry was started in 1984 by Research in Motion (RIM) company, whose focus was on making modems and pagers. Seeing the growing popularity of mobile devices, RIM launched phones that had a bigger screen than a pager and a QWERTY keypad. Emails could be sent with the help of this device, which was a very advanced feature at that time. The term BlackBerry became its identity due to the small size of the QWERTY buttons.
First of all, Blackberry gave advanced features
In the 1990s, when the Internet was not cheap and available to everyone, Blackberry brought phones with larger screens and QWERTY keypads. This benefited business users, who could take the help of their phones to answer emails. The company also brought BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), which was available only on its devices. Remember, that was not the era of messaging apps, so getting free messaging with the phone was a big deal.
Blackberry was not the only company that was making mobile phones then, but its phones were better than other companies. Samsung and Nokia were bringing heavy feature phones at that time and were unable to make software related changes. Blackberry once held about 50 percent of the US mobile phone market share and about 20 percent of the global phone market share. Let us tell you, Blackberry Messenger also used to be a big reason for selling the company’s phones.
iPhone launch changed the entire market
In 2007, Apple founder Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone, whose software and design were better than Blackberry phones. The iPhone had a bigger screen than the Blackberry, a better user interface (UI) and software with a QWERTY keypad. The biggest thing is that Apple had launched this phone for common users instead of business class. The iPhone was user friendly and was working to connect the common people to the Internet on a small screen.
A year after the launch of the iPhone, smartphones based on the Android operating system came to the market for the first time, which were taken by the users. Companies like Samsung and Motorola, which makers of feature phones, adopted Android and brought phones with smart features for the common users at a low cost. WhatsApp replaced BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) and users were left with no reason to buy a BlackBerry phone. Business users also preferred to buy premium iPhones.
Production closed in 2020
By the time BlackBerry could understand the market that changed because of the iPhone and Android phones, its userbase was almost gone. In early 2013, the company came up with redesigned software BlackBerry 10 for touchscreen phones. However, with Android and iOS being the bigger market, app developers did not take any interest in creating apps for BlackBerry 10. Due to lack of popular apps in Blackberry phones, the remaining users also turned away from them.
Tired of getting tired, Blackberry itself came up with Android phones with physical QWERTY keypads, but their market could not be ready. For some time, Chinese company TCL made phones with Blackberry branding, but after August 2020, their production has completely stopped.
BlackBerry’s hardware partner company, OnwardMobility, clearly states on its website that ‘we are not finished yet’. After the end of the partnership with TCL, the task of manufacturing the BlackBerry phone was given to OnwardMobility, which has not given up yet. Previously a 5G BlackBerry phone with a physical QWERTY keypad was supposed to arrive in 2021, but it could now be launched in 2022. However, the new phone could be based on Android instead of the BlackBerry OS software.