Tim Douthwaite, Head of Mobile Sales for Pall Mall based telecommunications company Ardencom is a man who knows a Blackberry from a gooseberry. He has been selling them since 2000 and is extremely knowledgeable and more educated than most about their pros and cons. So what does he make of the newly launched Z10?
Tim says, ‘From a distance, lying on the desk, the handset could easily be mistaken for an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S2. It is slim, sleek and black, but not as slim as the iPhone and not as sleek as the Samsung. The battery lifespan is as yet an unknown quantity. From a design point of view, the Z10 is no more impressive than its rivals.
The operation of the touch screen is slightly different to existing devices – the new Z10 touch screen scroll up and across, so it will take some getting used to for those already acquainted with the familiar sideways swipe. But a great advantage is that you have a live view of incoming information, (tweets, texts, emails, BBM etc.), whilst the handset is dormant – and this, says Tim, is a strong feature. There is no need to switch the device on and go through three moves before you can view the incoming data. Just one touch of the screen and it’s there in front of you.
Blackberry Balance offers a unique option of an organisational feature that enables you to separate business from pleasure, therefore delivering a much more secure and manageable system.
Another USP is that the calendar automatically links to contacts and messaging systems such as email and BBM, a feature that really impresses Tim.
The Blackberry 10 operating system allows for the infusion of legacy Blackberry estates whilst allowing for individual or multiple migrations to the Blackberry handset.
The pricing of the handset is inline with its relative size to the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S2. It is bigger but less expensive than the iPhone, but smaller and more expensive that the Samsung. This may, in Tim’s view, be a negative to legacy Blackberry users. However the migration path for the existing Blackberry user has been made easy, due to the long awaited, but finely refined first class operating system. Tim has experienced the migration process first hand because Ardencom has already successfully delivered the BB10 system (Fusion) to a number of clients, ahead of the launch of the Z10.
Tim’s message to Blackberry is that if they survive the handset migration to legacy users it will determine their position in the market place. Of course the Q10 will be launched in the future offering the optimum of Qwerty keyboard alongside touch screen technology. Tim thinks that the delay in the launch of Q10 is deliberate as Blackberry want people to adopt the touch screen. However this is a bit of a gamble as Blackberry users like their keyboards! Currently Blackberry holds third place in market share, ahead of Windows 8, but behind Samsung and Apple. Tim observes that mobile device users are like Rugby fans, they stick with their favourite team. He likens them to a clan mentality. Tim suggests that the new Blackberry has been launched twelve months too late and that everyone has already picked his or her team. However, the ninety million legacy Blackberry users throughout the globe have yet to decide on their colours.