Not too long ago, Blackberry phones ruled the cellphone market not only in the US but worldwide. These phones enjoyed the same loyalty and monopoly that Apple and Android products now possess. For instance, the WhatsApp of today was the BBM of yesteryear.
According to an estimate, once 20% of the global and 43% of the US cell phone market were controlled by Blackberry. But despite being one of the first smartphones, Blackberry phones did not evolve, and on January 4, 2022, the company stopped supporting the older models. It will no longer continue to support Blackberry 10, 7.1 OS, and earlier software. So, the once pioneer phones are on their way to becoming obsolete.
During their peak days, Blackberry phones enjoyed the status of household names for some famous people, like the former US president, Barack Obama, and the Keeping up with the Kardashians star, Kim Kardashian. The former president insisted on using Blackberry instead of the popular iPhones back in 2008.
While Blackberry tried offering the same type of screen as iPhones, it didn't work well for them. Similarly, it couldn't get enough traction when they tried adopting the Android software. So, even though Blackberry tried evolving when iPhones and Androids gained popularity, it was always challenging.
Besides, one of the most significant factors that didn't let Blackberry phones compete with iPhones was the difference of features between the two phones. It means Blackberry phones did not offer the same features as Apple phones. For instance, a Blackberry phone did not provide a built-in GPS or music download feature, like iTunes. Over time, these features became necessary for users, and Blackberry phones started lagging.
Blackberry struggled to keep relevant in the ever-growing cell phone industry. In these pursuits, the company released its Blackberry Storm in 2008, one year after Apple's iPhone. This touchscreen smartphone was poorly received by the users and garnered negative feedback.
Although Blackberry indulged in a few smartphone experiments, they were not well-received. Due to this, their market started declining, and they finally lost to iPhone and Androids in 2013.
As of now, Blackberry has diverted from its original path of creating innovative cell phones. Now, they want to shift their focus toward creating state-of-the-art software and technology. The company has added a new layer to its business and has pivoted towards focusing on cybersecurity.
However, their official website declares that the Android-powered models, such as the Blackberry Key2, will not be affected by this recent change. It means users having these phones can continue to enjoy their services.
On the other hand, the classic Blackberry users expressed remorse over the company discontinuing their once-beloved Blackberry phones. Everyone is not a fan of the new smartphones, especially people who want to use their phones for doing something productive. They believe the latest phones come with an excessive sensory load, leading to a lack of concentration. However, the Blackberry phones were ideal for work and productive activities. Due to this, they were constantly used by businessmen, parliamentarians, and other "important" people.
It has been a fascinating run in history for Blackberry, and all eyes are on the company to see if it can make a turnaround.