Once the darling of business-minded mobile phone users, BlackBerry is now in the midst of a huge slump. And not the kind that can be fixed by a chiropractor! While the chumps people in charge at BlackBerry scramble to figure things out, consumers are left to wonder “well, what the h-e-double-hockey-sticks does this mean for me? If anything?”

Wonder no more! The future may be bleak for BlackBerry but like any relationship cut short, it’ll all end up alright. Here’s the skinny on what BlackBerry’s 2013 woes mean for us consumers and where we can expect the BlackBerry future to take us all.

A Niche Needs Filled

BlackBerry has always catered to businessmen and women. Most notably through the signature QWERTY keyboard. You know, that beloved and distinguishing little feature that BlackBerry abandoned earlier this year with their BlackBerry Z10.

BlackBerry's Old Lineup
Look at those gorgeous QWERTY keyboards! Oh, why did BlackBerry forsake you?

Forget their latest attempt with the Q10. The BlackBerry Q10, reviving the QWERTY keyboard, was released this September. But by then it was already too late. A poor effort this year by CEO Thorsten Heins has left BlackBerry outside the loop to watch businessmen and women opt for more productive devices from Samsung, Microsoft and Apple. Even Nokia is getting in on the action!

Tablets are becoming more prominent and will continue to do so after the highly productive Microsoft Surface 2 and Nokia Lumia 2520 announcements. Apple, notorious for being a more “creative” device than one of productivity, has put forth an effort with their newly collaborative iWork software. Companies are taking steps to fill the productivity niche which right now is wide open.

Keep an eye open over the next year to see who comes out ahead. It’ll take a game changing feature targeted directly at businessmen and women to win the market. Who knows? Maybe BlackBerry will make a comeback and end up in another President’s hands in 2016!

Obama on BlackBerry Smartphone

Two Lights in the Foggy BlackBerry Future

With no longterm CEO and little loyalty among consumers, the BlackBerry future is a difficult one. Luckily, the company only needs to look at the Apple comeback to know that they aren’t yet down and out.

But what can BlackBerry do to regain their former relevance? Here are two outside suggestions for BlackBerry’s future that could be spot on.

  • Interim BlackBerry CEO John Chen recently said “BlackBerry employees need to start thinking differently about the company and accept that we’re really not in phones but we’re in phones for software, for services.” A shifted focus from handsets to software could be in the BlackBerry future. Software like BlackBerry Messenger is already available across Android and Apple devices. The trick will be winning over our attention (and our cash money). BlackBerry handsets aren’t going away altogether, but consumers can expect more attention to software in the near future.
  • Could the BlackBerry future be tied to the future of the automobile industry? Technology reporter John R. Quain writes:

Blackberry has a significant play in the next major technological revolution: the automobile. Back in 2010, Blackberry purchased a little known Ottawa-based company called QNX Software Systems (Canadians are so modest). Ostensibly, the idea was to use QNX’s operating system software to power a growing panoply of Blackberry devices, including a tablet computer (we all know how that went). But QNX’s real strength, indeed what it’s famous for in the tech world, is what’s in the car.

    John goes on to detail a future in which cars talk to each other (vehicle-to-vehicle communication or V2V) to avoid traffic jams, accidents and road hazards like black ice. John’s suggestions for the future of BlackBerry are futuristic but they may not be far off given BlackBerry’s work with auto makers in the past. If nothing else, the prospect of soon being able to nap while driving is making us giddy enough to pass out!

Is BlackBerry doomed to fail or will we witness a triumphant return? Or, will the BlackBerry future be tied to something other than handhelds, such as automobiles? Let us know your thoughts on BlackBerry’s future in the comments below!

Published by Eric White

Eric graduated Ohio University with a degree in Advertising and has contributed writing on electronics, social media and travel to various online publications such as Crowdtap and Amtrak. Eric currently spends his work days managing social media and marketing duties for DayFire, an upcoming smartphone app from ZipfWorks.

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