BlackBerry Ltd , will put out a phone on a third party OS for the first time on Friday. The PRIV, which features novel design for a 2015 smart phone, signals the very end of hopes sparked by BB10. It’s not BlackBerry that’s leaving the system behind, however, it was already dead.
Some years back Samsung, in cooperation with a number of other tech firms, began to pump money into Tizen. It’s a mobile OS that could be used instead of Android. Samsung never got around to giving the software a full launch and the only major device it has landed on is the first Galaxy Gear smart watch. Despite that, Tizen is now a bigger player in the mobile market than BB10.
BlackBerry says it’s not killing BB10
BlackBerry says that it’s not going to just leave BB10 to die. The firm claims that it will continue to support and update the OS as time goes on. If no new devices land on the software, and it seems likely that they won’t, it’s hard to see how BlackBerry is going to spend precious resources on keeping the system up to date.
It’s not certain that BlackBerry will refuse to release another device on BB10, and the firm hasn’t exactly been clear about its plans for the OS going forward. It doesn’t really matter if BlackBerry supports BB10 fully or not going forward. It’s clear from the numbers that the OS is already dead.
BlackBerry’s BB10 has fallen to fifth in a software market that only has two real players. Strategy Analytics says that the firm is now behind iOS, Android, Windows and Tizen in terms of market share. With BlackBerry changing its strategy, it won’t be long before Firefox OS and Symbian overtake the firm’s market share.
BlackBerry looks for Android boom
BlackBerry is a late entrant into the Android world, but that doesn’t mean the firm has no chance to make an impact. There are major hurdles in the way of the PRIV, however, and Wall Street isn’t betting on hardware success in Waterloo any time soon.
The PRIV is expensive, it carries the tainted BlackBerry brand name, and it’s got a hardware keyboard. Unless something seismic happens in the smart phone world, the PRIV is going to look old and boring to most buyers. The BlackBerry brand name doesn’t help, and the firm hasn’t done much to change that in recent months and years.
The PRIV release date is Friday November 6, and it will cost a base $699. There’s still a chance for the firm to grow sales in the months ahead and build on a new base of devices. The same was true when the Passport arrived, however, and when BB10 itself arrive on the back of the Z10 and Q10.
BB10 is dead. Tizen and Windows Phone, failing systems in themselves, are now bigger than it, and BlackBerry is itself leaving it behind in the dust. The firm’s hardware future looks doubtful, though there is likely still some hope for the firm in enterprise software.