BlackBerry hasn’t been doing very well. All you have to do is look at their Customer Engagement Loyalty ratings to see that. Those currently look like this:
“Brand Reputation & Design” and “Platform For My Needs (And Apps. Especially Apps”) are the two most-important category drivers primarily driving current consumer engagement in the Smartphone category. And since customer engagement ratings correlate highly with consumer behavior toward the brand and, axiomatically, increased revenue and profits, it’s no surprise that when you look at their most-recent bottom line, BlackBerry revenue was down 46% YOY.
There’s not a lot you can do with a smartphone that’s not as smart as it used to be. Sure, it has a keyboard but no apps, so not precisely the best achievable balance between two incompatible features. On balance Google seems the way to go, but that’s just based on 35,000 consumers telling us what they really expect and what they’ll really buy.
But looking to regain engagement and relevancy BlackBerry just announced it will produce a smartphone that runs on the Android operating system, so no new BlackBerry 10s will be introduced – at least this year. An Android version would, of course, solve the problem of BlackBerry’s lack of apps, and the new version is supposed to have a touchscreen, but in an attempt to be all things to all consumers particularly the Luddite-throwbacks among them, there will also be a pullout keyboard. If that sounds kind of clunky to you, it probably will be, and perhaps not the best choice, particularly in light of the “design” component in that first-most important category driver.
The new version follows 2014’s Passport, and 2015’s Leap and Porsche models, and is going to be called the “Priv.” We’re guessing that the company is going that route hoping consumers will relate that particular diminutive to “privacy” related to the security software that used to differentiate RIM as-it-was-then from all other smartphones, and now à la the Google relationship somewhat better security than other Android phones, or “privilege,” as in aren’t you fortunate you don’t have to deprive yourself of apps anymore!
One can only hope it doesn’t relate to where profits seem to be heading. . . as in “down the privy”!
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