BlackBerry Flip Phone | A Postmortem Of The Former Smartphone King

Smartphones have always been a sheer weakness of mobile phone users. A number of smartphones came and vanished away. Blackberry flip phone also met its fate over time.

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BlackBerry-smartphone

It is ironic that BlackBerry will stop producing more smartphones just one day after Apple achieved a market valuation of $3 Trillion in an exceptional achievement. No, iPhone was not solely responsible for taking over the dominance of BlackBerry flip phone in the smartphone industry.

However, he may now team up with his Google-branded. It accomplice to get away from the tomb of the previous ruler of smartphones.

The Rise Of BlackBerry Flip Phone

The BlackBerry 850, a pager-style handset that allowed two-way email conversations, launched BlackBerry – or Research in Motion (RIM) for much of its glory – on a spectacular surge in 1999.

It used a built-in Qwerty keyboard for sending emails. It is based on an older line of “[email protected] Pager” merchandise and had been phased out as the BlackBerry brand grew in popularity.

BlackBerry Flip Phone
Image by Pixabay

The 850 established BlackBerry’s passion for Qwerty-styled handsets. However, it wasn’t until 2003 that the firm released anything that can consider an early smartphone. The blackBerry 6200, or BlackBerry Quark series, debuted with this device.

The Quark had a monochrome screen over a complete Qwerty keyboard with a few extra navigation buttons at a time when most telephones were still flip-type. It only did one thing: it transmitted email via early 2G mobile networks.

blackberry-keyboard
Image by Flickr

Color-screen variations of the blackberry 7200 series, as well as BlackBerry “Charm” devices from the 7100 series, rapidly followed. The 7100 didn’t have a complete Qwerty keyboard, instead opting for RIM’s sure-type keyboard, which only had two letters. Regardless of being featured in later versions like the BlackBerry Pearl, this style never took on.

The following models came out with display enhancements, external redesigns, and the incorporation of intriguing new technologies such as Bluetooth. Later on, in 2007, RIM debuted the BlackBerry curve, which quickly became one of the company’s most popular models.

The introduction of trackball navigation on this gadget became a tipping point. It made it more convenient to explore the device’s increasing set of features. A trackpad eventually came to replace the trackball. The Curve’s object model would impact every classic BlackBerry phone ever manufactured.

The Beginning Of The End Of The Blackberry Flip Phone

Flip Phone
Image by Pixabay

Unfortunately for the BlackBerry Curve, 2007 was also the year Steve Jobs launch the iPhone in front of the world. It depended exclusively on a touch interface to allow users to communicate, email, surf the internet, and more, unlike the BlackBerry model of a smartphone.

Apart from the consumer-friendly texting ways, there was one component of Apple’s iPhone approach that would torment RIM for years to come, and it was possibly the most critical cause of BlackBerry’s demise: Apple focused on customers from the beginning.

While RIM spent several years attempting to persuade the common user that their business-oriented gadgets could make excellent smartphones, Apple instead pulled these people so deeply into its early ecosystems that they ultimately got hooked and started searching for methods to incorporate their iPhones into their work lives. While it took a little longer, Android has also done something similar.

A New Suitor Enters The Ring  

blackberry-phone
Image by Pixabay

In 2008, HTC released the HTC Dream, commonly known as the T-Mobile G1. This immediate iPhone challenger has followed in the footsteps of RIM and Apple, with a touchscreen OS.

It has a physical Qwerty keyboard situated below the screen that can be tilted to one side. Several initial Android devices, like the Dream and Motorola Droid follow-ups, would be influenced by this combo of touchscreens and keyboards.

Apple was still struggling to persuade people of the additional cost of a device. However, its associated service offers were worthwhile. Android was struggling to persuade people that they would even figure out how to function. Whether it be true or not, its reputation as an edgier, less expensive iPhone would last for ages.

Android’s status as a low-cost rival would become one of its biggest assets. Its software and hardware eventually caught up to the standards of current iPhones. However, its costs stayed lesser on many devices, enabling a rising number of people to buy an Android device as their first smartphone.

This is one of the main factors why Google’s mobile OS is still at the top of the rankings today, despite the fact that it took a few years longer to reach there.

The Blackberry Flip Phone: The Show Decline Begins

The death bell had already rung by this time; BlackBerry just hadn’t realized it yet. Indeed, it may have been this type of sluggish response to what the market was evidence of. It indicates that it placed the last nail in the coffin.

While Apple and Google spent the following two years developing their separate successes in ways to lure the most customers, BlackBerry stayed firmly committed to its current business customer base to the point of obsessive behavior. 

There have been speculative endeavors against more straightforward contenders of iPhone and Android smartphones. The BlackBerry Storm is most likely the most popular of these, as it was the organization’s first gadget.

It depends totally on touch input, a significant gamble at that point. In spite of the uniqueness of its touchscreen display (which really saw the entire screen sink in like a huge button). It did not appeal to a large number of consumers.

Substandard touchscreen software integration, unreliable software, and an overall bad consumer experience were other common complaints. In 2009, the BlackBerry Storm 2 received mixed reviews. 

The Fall Of The Blackberry Flip Phone

The last time BlackBerry had a good year was 2010. By the end of smartphone era, in the first half, both sales and the installed user base had begun to decline from their high levels. According to ComScore, RIM accounted for 37.3 percent of all smartphone users in September 2010.

In contrast, Apple and Google had a market share of 24.3 percent and 21.4 percent, respectively. By December, RIM’s stock had dropped more than five points to 31.6 percent, while Google’s stock had risen more than 7 points to 28.7%. From there, BlackBerry’s fortunes were to plummet.

BlackBerry, to its credit, did not go there quietly. It attempted everything from developing its own rendition of a completely new native touchscreen OS to resurrecting iconic BlackBerry models from past years. It is only to give up and create phones for the flourishing Android environment. However, the Waterloo-based firm had already faced a similar fight.

Death Spasms

The BlackBerry name gained enough significance to be licensed to a third party. It is manufactured for use on a series of mainly unremarkable smartphones. It will be operating in the form of Android for another half-decade or so. Consumers of these Android-BlackBerry devices will be relieved to learn that even those made by the original firm will continue to work for the coming years.

Allow yourself a minute as you put down your Qwerty keyboards, tiny trackballs, and strange clickable. It displays to remember a smartphone firm that couldn’t seem to persuade the average consumer – not only top level corporate leaders – that they, too, needed a smartphone.

Read more: BlackBerry Q10 Sales Abysmal, Says Report

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