The Future of BlackBerry

On August 1, 1981 MTV broadcast their first music video and changed the music industry forever. The launch of that video  – “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles – turned out to be quite prophetic and literally changed the way an entire generation of listeners was introduced to music. The iPod has certainly done the same for another generation of listeners.

Here at Vensi, we’re beginning to wonder if yet another revolution is in the making. Now that Verizon can offer the iPhone to its 94 million subscribers, will it spell doom and gloom to other smartphones? While we don’t foresee Android disappearing, we do believe that many others will be scrambling to stay in the game. There’s no doubt that this long-anticipated new iPhone option will steal the limelight from AT&T and from Android, but quietly trying to hold on to even a small market share is BlackBerry.

From a mobile application development perspective, Vensi sees the necessity of BlackBerry. Not only does it offer an option for the touchpad-phobic (and believe it or not, there are many), but it still offers the best security for those who use their mobile phone for confidential corporate or government work. (Even President Obama uses a BlackBerry).

The question is, can BlackBerry survive this new surge of competition from a Verizon-wired iPhone?

If the BlackBerry is going to survive, it will need to maintain its differentiation and hone its competitive edge. To do that there will need to be some real transformation involved that makes BlackBerry attractive to more users – and there is some speculation they have a survival plan that could make the people over at iPhone more than a little nervous.

The rumor is RIM is considering the possibility of using a Java based VM – most likely Dalvik – for their upcoming tablet PlayBook as well as for future smartphones. The advantages for BlackBerry would be enormous: Not only would it streamline application development, but if they do go with the Davlik VM that the Android uses, it would open up a world of Android apps to BlackBerry smartphone and PlayBook users.

Ideally, RIM will work out an agreement with Google to get their blessing on taking this approach, although they might do it even if they can’t get the ok from Google. Google though, has nothing to lose and everything to gain by having an even larger market for their apps. What could save BlackBerry could also ultimately benefit Android and Google.

Update 3/24: A great news article discusses BlackBerry here!

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