AHC: Keep BlackBerry Going Strong

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by SealTheRealDeal, Aug 15, 2019.

  1. SealTheRealDeal Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2017
    Remember back when RIM was king of smart phones? Yeah didn't think so.

    However, they, and their operating systems (BlackBerryOS and BlackBerry10) were pretty strong competitors in the late 2000s-early 2010s. Yet they continued losing market share to Apple and Android, and with the release of the BlackBerry Priv (an Android device) in 2015 they more or less bowed out of the race. Not long later, they bowed out of hardware development as well in 2016*, and now the company is software only.

    So, is there any way to keep RIM as a strong third contender with Android and Apple?

    *all later BlackBerry phones are made by "BlackBerry Mobile" (which is basically just the physical keyboard division of TCL Communication), or by Optiemus (which to the best of my knowledge exclusively services India).

    Apr 7, 2018
    I think one way would be to just outright get rid of Apple, perhaps having it die off in the 90s? Perhaps smaller phones and even flip phones would still be popular because they wouldn't have to be pressured into upgrading technologically to keep up with rivals?
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
  3. SealTheRealDeal Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2017
    So kill the "slate phone" revolution before it even happens?
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  4. interpoltomo please don't do coke in the bathroom

    Sep 18, 2007
    Steve Jobs' "cancer" kicks in early and he dies in '05 or '06.
  5. Fearless Leader Donor

    Jan 2, 2004
    Central Control, Pottsylvania
    The most realistic would be for them to phase the physical keyboard ASAP once the iPhone comes out. An earlier transition could preserve enough market share for them to remain competitive.
    SealTheRealDeal and Aloha like this.
  6. SealTheRealDeal Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2017
    Yeah they needed to get their touch screen capabilities off the ground fast, and transition to (alt?)BB10 sooner. OTL their first all touch phone (the BlackBerry Torch 9860) came out in 2011 which is well after the launch of the super successful iPhone 4, and it still ran the old BlackBerry OS, making it a very dated and underwhelming entry to the slate phone wars. It wouldn't be until 2013 that they really came swinging with the Z10, and by that point the app devs knew where the market was effectively damning BB10's app store to be forever barren.

    On a different note, could RIM claw back some market share by licensing BB10 to other hardware brands? Android of course does that to great success, and (now that they no longer make operating systems) BlackBerryLTD (RIM's successor) licenses out their software all the time.
  7. IndefatigableRN From the Senior Dominion

    Jun 30, 2011
    The City
    Remember that a lot of people (particularly in law, business and government) preferred the keyboard (I know I did - and still do).

    I think part of the problem is that they tried to compete with Apple and Samsung on personal phones. They just couldn’t really compete and ended up losing the business/government users. Maybe if they stay focused on making the best possible business phone, it might give them the edge. I agree more generally that it will be a tough battle against the bigger players.
    WaterproofPotatoes likes this.
  8. marathag Well-Known Member with a target on his back

    Feb 2, 2013
    BBs were a pain on the ass to deploy in companies, vs the later Android and Apple efforts. The home user, it wasa bit better, but corporate is where they made their money. I was glad when I didn't have to mess with BBs anymore in corporate land. It was bliss in comparison doing Apple for deployment, even with early Ios.