BlackBerry phones once ruled the world, then the world changed - TechCrunch

BlackBerry phones once ruled the world then the world changed

It's easy to forget now in the age of Apple and Android, but at one time, BlackBerry owned the industry's smartphone market. You could have your Motorolas and Nokias and Samsungs, but for business, it was BlackBerry. Stalwart. Secure. Action.

As TechCrunch reported this morning, BlackBerry is shutting down its remaining services, and users running BlackBerry devices with BlackBerry OS 7.1 and BlackBerry 10 will not have access - and must you'll wonder how many were left - they will not have access to data or even the once famous BlackBerry messaging service, among other things. It all closes off tomorrow.

As that scary closing day approaches, it may be difficult to understand just how ubiquitous the BlackBerry was before the advent of iPhone and Android, and just how fragile its market crash was. Their BlackBerrys were very popular with the combination of an external keyboard and a messaging service as a way to communicate with colleagues outside the office. For better or worse, BlackBerry has emerged in the mobile era for many business owners.

Comscore traced mobile market share data back when BlackBerry reached its peak of power in 2010 as the top smartphone platform with 43%. It would be a high water mark for the company. (Note that these numbers measure the ubiquity of the platform and not units sold.)

As you can see, BlackBerry phones went from the top of the smartphone slot to single figures in the blink of an eye, losing huge market share as Apple and Android touch screens completely disturbed it. BlackBerry finally accepted those changes, releasing the BlackBerry Torch in 2011, but it was far too small and far too late. Aside from the classic case of riot theory, the fans never brought the external keyboard to the BlackBerry touch screen.

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One other move among many involved working with Microsoft in 2011 to make Bing the standard search engine for a BlackBerry phone, which in retrospect feels like something of a move. crisis, but at the time it was seen as more optimistic that the company was trying things. No matter what they tried, however, it did not work.

As the company's fortunes plummeted, they hired John Chen as CEO in 2013, who began the process of moving the company from phones to security software.

Why security? Well, since BlackBerry has always had a reputation for being rock solid when it came to security, so it seemed like a reasonable pivot. The company officially announced the change in 2022. Today, the company is fully focused on selling security software to enterprises and governments. It has a market capacity of around $ 5 billion, but it's still around.

As my colleague Brian Heater said in today 's article, BlackBerry - style devices still exist, but they do not run the old BB operating system:

There are, of course, plenty of options out there - although OnwardMobility, which promised a BlackBerry - branded 5G device is still MIA right now, despite promising to publish in 2022. There is always there's an OSOM tool, which sports its own Canadian ancestry. Although, once again, that privacy - focused product will not be announced at Mobile World Congress at the end of next month.

But the beloved BlackBerry, once a staunch ally of businessmen and politicians is about to be left to history, another device bothered by the next big thing.

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