Apple and Samsung have all but taken over the cell phone industry. You will see a sprinkle of LG here and a sliver of Pantech there, but for the most part, these two large makers have the industry on lock. What about BlackBerry? I remember if you had a BlackBerry for work, that meant you had arrived. Not everyone was allowed to have one, only management. Now, my 11-year-old son is saving his money to get rid of it and get a “better” phone. Sales in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom dropped by 53 percent third quarter last year from a year earlier to $949 million, according to a December 21 company filing.
For the past few years cell phone makers have designed and redesigned their products several times over. It seems like there is a phone that will cater to each person, personality and business need. Somehow the once coveted BlackBerry lost its juice. It kept its signature keypad while others were switching to touch screens. They lagged behind on technology. Simply put, they didn’t move with the times.
Last month at the BlackBerry 10 launch, RIM (Research in Motion), BlackBerry’s parent company named Alicia Keys as the Global Creative Director. Yes, Alicia Keys the singer. Hmm, didn’t see that coming. Her role will entail working with app creators, retailers and the entertainment community. I’ve thought about this. Why Alicia Keys? I know she’s talented but what does she bring to the table?
Well, Keys brings to the table what BlackBerry lags. She has several factors working for her. One, she fits the new demographics…young, vibrant and is constantly on the go. This is digital share-all society. Cell phones are not just for emergencies. They’re for ordering food through apps, Tweeting, playing Temple Run and yes, even working. Another plus for Keys: her appeal isn’t limited stateside. She actually is global, doing humanitarian work in Africa and performing everywhere from the United Kingdom to Portugal. Lastly, she is the ALICIA KEYS! Since her debut album in 2001, she has managed to stay relevant and in the public eye. Keys is a coveted vocalist, activist and remains a hot commodity.
She has mass marketing appeal. Old, young, black, white, American, Asian and everyone in between, Alicia Keys has a spark. However, is that spark enough to convert faithful Apple and Samsung users? Only time will tell if BlackBerry’s got their juice back…
We want to hear from you! What are your thoughts around the direction BlackBerry is taking?