Will Blackberry hit the right keys this time with Z10 and Q10?

Feb 04 2013, 11:36 IST
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SummarySo there you go. Alicia Keys is what you get with a BlackBerry.

So there you go. Alicia Keys is what you get with a BlackBerry. The newly minted global creative director of the Canadian smartphone maker says she will play a hands-on role and work closely with app developers to create ideas for the future. Good luck to her and the BlackBerry family. This is not the first time a celebrity singer has held such a position in the technology arena. Will.i.am of Black Eyed Peas held a similar position for Intel and Lady Gaga did the same for Polaroid. However, Alicia’s entry has been the most dramatic and talked about, because this comes at a time when BlackBerry is at a crossroads. She says she wants to bridge the gap between the work phone and the play phone, which is what all of us want.

So far, so good. But the move appeared to be a bit too desperate. Here you have a new phone which has been worked upon to wow the world and take on the iPhones and the Androids handsets, and then you have to hire a songwriter to jazz up the show. I wonder what BlackBerry’s internal creative team has to say about it. The company is probably suffering from what could be called a Steve Jobs syndrome. Jobs knew how to run the show. Music was a key ingredient to his overall showmanship, and other firms like BlackBerry now seem to believe that they have to do the same to stay on course.

In the past few years, thousands of consumers have left BlackBerry shores in search of greener pastures. Samsung’s Galaxy S III and the ever so desirable iPhone have given BlackBerry a real hiding. The Canadian company had to push out its two co-founders—the legendary Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie—after the firm suffered huge losses. Its operations chief Thorsten Heins then took over as CEO. Make no mistake, this is BlackBerry’s last chance for a revival. It was once hot property in corporate circles, but not anymore. Many started saying that they felt like hiding the product.

This is the age of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and the line between what is private and what is professional is blurring. Today corporates are allowing personal devices to be used at work. This is what iPhone is doing to competition and BlackBerry is now falling in line. The result is the BlackBerry Z10, a touchscreen phone, and the Q10 that combines

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