For the past few years BlackBerry has become a punchline in the wireless world. As new and advanced smartphones started to hit the market, BlackBerry continued with business as usual, creating more phones with the same old system. Two years ago, about two years too late, it finally committed to updating its operating system. It wasn't until January of this year that we got BlackBerry 10.
Fortunately for businesses that enjoy BlackBerry services, BlackBerry 10 does deliver. In fact, it managed to update its operating system but still maintain its focus on core enterprise needs. And they managed to do it while keeping BlackBerry Z10 prices in line with the rest of the smartphone market. Not bad for a company declared dead no fewer than 100 times since 2007.
Looking for reasons to pick up a new BlackBerry for your business? Look no further.
In the early- to mid-2000s, BlackBerry earned its reputation in the world by being a secure wireless solution for enterprises. The BlackBerry became ubiquitous in corporate environments, because companies trusted the security of BlackBerry Enterprise Server. Even as more attractive options such as iPhone and Android hit the market, BlackBerry remained the smartphone of choice at many large corporations, purely because of security issues.
Part of the reason BlackBerry delayed the release of its new smartphones is because it needed to find a way to integrate a new system into its legacy enterprise system. It wouldn't have been enough to just release a new smartphone. They had to make sure it embodied all the positives that BlackBerry has been know for. They did just that, delivering a secure smartphone that is also fun to use.
While Android and iPhone have stepped up their enterprise games with secure solutions, none match BlackBerry. Given BlackBerry's investment on both the hardware and network side, chances are they never will.
Android and iPhone have give smartphones multiple personalities. They've gone from tools of utility to luxury items. For business users, though, the core functions remain the only really relevant ones. And at the core of every smartphone is messaging. Businesses don't hand out smartphones to users so that they're on top of the latest technology. They issue smartphones, because they help their employees communicate. Messaging, in other words, sits at the center for businesses.
Show a practical smartphone user the interfaces for Apple's Mail app on iPhone and Android's Gmail app, and then show them the BlackBerry messaging interface, and they'll likely pick BlackBerry. Remember, BlackBerry didn't lose to iPhone on messaging. They lost because the iPhone showed us everything else a smartphone can do. But for business users, messaging is everything.
Don't forget, they also have the world-famous BBM instant messenger, which contains plenty of features such as file sharing. It can also conduct voice and video chats, making it one of the more valuable instant messaging clients.
When you're typing a message on a smartphone, accuracy is always a concern. On a touchscreen keyboard, it's an even bigger concern. After all, Damn You, Autocorrect exists for a reason. When you're typing emails in a professional environment, you can't have little mistakes. Touchscreen keyboards, at least the ones available on iPhone and Android, don't cut it. It's just too easy to make an error and not see it before it's too late.
In May BlackBerry will brings its Q10 to carriers across North America. This is significant, because it mirrors the traditional BlackBerry form factor with a full QWERTY keyboard. Very few phones these days have full keyboards, so for people who want that experience this phone will stand out.
In addition, the Z10 touchscreen has gotten rave reviews for its keyboard on prominent tech sites -- the same tech sites that have slammed BlackBerry for the last five years. For business users who message frequently, it's the best bet on the market.
It seems that contact management is the final frontier in mobile. Both Android and iPhone have native contact management systems, but neither is particularly good. The iPhone requires too many clicks to find and edit the information you need, while Android contact lists can get unwieldy. This means employing a third-party contact management system, which can be a pain. Oftentimes it means having everyone in your organization use the same third party system.
The BlackBerry contact management system has always been simple and easy. It syncs with any number of services -- including your Google contacts if you so wish. It can also pull from Outlook, Salesforce, and others. For businesses with large contact lists and a number of employees who need constant access, it might be the best universal solution.
True, BlackBerry doesn't do everything best. If my 20-something cousin asked me what smartphone he should get, I probably wouldn't recommend a BlackBerry. But for businesses large and small it remains the gold standard. Android and iPhone might be fun, but BlackBerry delivers where it matters.