Blackberry: The Ultimate Smartphone?

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Problem Statement

With multitudes of smartphones, palm pilots, and celluar devices on the market today, it's hard to choose which one best fits your own needs. Blackberry has emerged as one of the primary players in this intensely competitive mobile device market. But is Blackberry the ultimate Smartphone provider for businesses and consumers alike? We'll take you through the many advancements and unique features that separate Blackberry from its competitors, a brief summary of each current BlackBerry model, a synopsis of how BlackBerry fairs against it's competitors by analyzing its market share, and a break down of BlackBerry's advantages and disadvantages. Finally, we'll conclude whether Blackberry is the real deal or just an overrated fad.

History/Brief Overview

Over 21 million people in 140 different countries around the world use BlackBerry smartphones over 375 wireless networks. These innovative smartphones are created and developed by Research in Motion (RIM), a Canadian company with head offices based out of Waterloo, Ontario. However due mostly in part to BlackBerry’s immense success, RIM has internationalized its business practices to other parts of the world including all of North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. Research in Motion was founded in 1984 by Mike Lazaridis, and since then has evolved into one of the world’s leading developers, manufacturers, and marketers of mobile communications devices. The first BlackBerry was introduced by RIM onto the market in 1999, but RIM’s mobile devices did not gain notice until the early 21st century. By 2004 however, Blackberry had achieved surging success among its mobile communications competitors. RIM develops not just BlackBerry’s but many wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. When developing the first wave of BlackBerry’s, Research in Motion hired a consulting company called Lexicon Branding to help them with the naming of their new product. RIM toyed around with the idea of formulating a name based around the word “e-mail”. However Lexicon insisted upon considering other options, as consumers tend to associate the word e-mail with work. Soon after, it was noted that the tiny keys on the smartphone resembled seeds. The two companies began cycling through fruits and vegetables that might resemble the new smartphone that RIM was developing. Finally it was agreed that due to the black colour of most of RIM’s smartphones being made at the time, that ‘BlackBerry’ was a perfect fit.

Market Share

Nokia is still by far the number-one mobile-handset maker in the world, but as competition heats up in the smartphone market, it has become increasingly vulnerable to smaller players such as Apple and Research In Motion, which are increasing market share.


-RIM's BlackBerry brand grew 390% and now ranks safely in the Top 100 at #51.( ranks at #14 in the technology category) An impressive rise for the Canadian-born technology company.

             Millward Brown Top 100 Most Powerful Brands (Brandz) report (2008)
Brandz.JPG

-Market share in North America:

Nokia has consistently failed to make as great an impression as elsewhere, RIM(Blackberry) commands first place with a 42 percent share of the smartphone market, followed by Apple(iPhone) with a 20 percent market share. (Gartner classifies a smartphone as a device that is "built on an open operating system".

Northa.JPG

-Comparison of the growth rate of market share

New market-share figures released by Gartner on 11 March 2009 indicate that the mighty Nokia is losing market share at the high end to Apple, RIM and HTC.

Tablemk.JPG

Blackberry Models

• Pearl

• Curve

• Bold

• Storm

Pearl

8100 Series

BlackBerry® Pearl™ 8100

Designed to help customers stay in touch with people, the Blackberry Pearl 8100 series smartphones contains rich communication features in a narrow, compact body. Through SureType technology, camera and video recording, multimedia, GPS and Blackberry maps, and Wi-Fi, Blackberry Pearl 8100 users can easily connect globally.

Blackberry Pearl 8100

Weight – approximately 3.1oz

Length – 4.2”

Width – 1.97”

Depth – 0.57”

Standby Time – 15 days

Talk Time – 3.5 hours

Blackberry Pearl 8110

Weight – approximately 3.1oz

Length – 4.2”

Width – 1.97”

Depth – 0.55”

Standby Time – 15 days

Talk Time – 3.5 hours

Blackberry Pearl 8120

Weight – approximately 3.1oz

Length – 4.2”

Width – 1.97”

Depth – 0.55”

Standby Time – 15 days

Talk Time – 4 hours

Blackberry Pearl 8130

Weight – approximately 3.1oz

Length – 4.2”

Width – 1.97”

Depth – 0.55”

Standby Time – 9 days

Talk Time – 3.7 hours

- SureType Technology

The combination of an innovative keypad with dynamic software allows the users to type quickly and accurately. This valuable technology has each key performing double or even triple duties. When the user types a word, the Pearl automatically displays a list of possible words compatible with the specific key combinations.

- Camera and Video Recording

Firstly, the built-in camera on the Blackberry Pearl smartphones allows one to capture important moments and then share these pictures through email, picture message, or even uploading them onto Facebook. Secondly, the video camera uses both sound and action to tell a story, so a memorable event can be recorded.

- Multimedia

The Blackberry Pearl smartphones provide rich visual and sound quality; thus, the need to watch video clips and to listen to songs is easily satisfied.

BlackBerry® Pearl™ Flip 8220

- GPS and Blackberry Maps

By offering the GPS feature on the Blackberry Pearl 8110 smartphone and the Blackberry Pearl 8130 smartphone, users can pinpoint the locations and get turn-by-turn navigation to their destination. On the other hand, the Blackberry Maps on the 8100 series make the search of businesses and restaurants locations more convenient.

- Wi-Fi

The Wi-Fi feature of the Blackberry Pearl 8120 smartphone gives the users the opportunity to check email, make phone calls, stream videos, and shop online without having to connect to the service provider’s cellular network.

Pearl Flip

With features similar to the Blackberry Pearl 8100 series smartphones, the new Blackberry Pearl Flip has a 128x160 high resolution external display that discreetly screens calls and previews messages. Both Blackberry Pearl Flip 8220 and Blackberry Pearl Flip 8230 are 3.98” in height, 1.97 in width, 0.69”in depth, and 3.6 oz in weight. Although both smartphones have a 900 mAhr removable/rechargeable cryptographic lithium cell, the Blackberry Pearl Flip 8220 can survive an extra 0.5hours of talk time and 5 days standby time.

Curve

The Blackberry Curve 8900

The Blackberry Curve is the smallest and lightest full Qwerty keyboard blackberry on the market with a battery life of 5.5 hours talk time and 15 hours standby time. It comes in at a height of 4.29 in, width of 2.36 in, and a depth of .53 inch which makes it the same height as a pearl but just half an inch wider. It comes with the same features as the Pearl but has a 3.2 mega-pixel camera on the 8900 model. The price ranges from $250 with the 8300 model to $600 with the 8900 model. With a larger display and larger keyboard compared to the pearl, the curve is still compact enough to fit in your pocket or your hand for easy one or two-thumb typing. Available features still include wi-fi support, built in GPS, an enhanced media player (music, videos, pictures, etc.), blackberry maps, wireless e-mail, internet browsing, and BlackBerry Messenger.

Bold

Thumbnail


BlackBerry Bold 9000

Specifications:

1.Fast Performance

-Was designed to take advantage of the speeds available on the HSDPA network1,3.

-High speed network and the 624-MHz processor help support users’ need to multitask and prioritize with access to your voice and data services at the same time.

-4MHz faster than the iPhone’s ARM processor

2.Multimedia

a.Roxio Media Manager

Easy File Transfer

-Easily drag and drop files e.g. videos, pictures or songs

-Save files directly to smartphone, or put the media files on the smartphone's memory card.

-Convert videos for optimal playback on BlackBerry smartphone.

Photo Editing

-Built-in photo editing tools

-Easy to crop, remove redeye, change the contrast and color saturation of photos

b.Media Player

c.BlackBerry Media Sync

3.GPS and BlackBerry Maps

GPS Capabilities

BlackBerry Maps

-View maps and receive directions on the BlackBerry® smartphone using BlackBerry® Maps*.

-Allows users to find businesses, restaurants and more by entering addresses and

-Users can view their locations on maps

-Provides users a visual route and step-by-step instructions

4.Wi-Fi

Lower user's cellular costs and get service in areas where cellular network coverage may be limited or unavailable, with BlackBerry data services over Wi-Fi® networks.10 + Wi-Fi Support

5.File Editing

-WordToGo & SlideshowToGo:

-Allow users work on Microsoft® Word and Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides (E.g. copy and paste, adjust font formatting and more)

5.Mobile Streaming

-The built-in mobile streaming capabilities allow users watch online videos or listen to streamed music broadcasts

- Users can access information without using up the memory on the BlackBerry smartphone.

6.Power

-With the BlackBerry Bold smartphone’s long-lasting, removable battery, users have got the power to get things done, whether they are traveling, working away from the office or just on the go

- New battery life with 5 hours of talk time and 13 days of standby. It uses a 1500mAh battery

Storm

The Blackberry Storm is R.I.M.'s first, and currently only, touch-screen Blackberry. Originally intended to be a direct competitor with Apples iPhone, but due to features like Enterprise Email Integration and Microsoft Office Document Editing, it's generally seen as more of a business type phone and has seen the majority of it's popularity among a more business oriented crowd. It has all the same features as the previous Blackberry models, although it is the only Blackberry smartphone without wifi capabilities. Although it does have it's own exclusive internet client, it has seen some criticism due to lack of wifi. Cost wise, the Storm ranges from approximately $249.99 to as much as $599.99 US, depending on length of contract and service provider.

Blackberry Messenger

BlackBerry Messenger Conversation

Blackberry messenger is an exclusive feature only available to Blackberry owners. Using the Blackberries eight character hexadecimal identification PIN number, users can instant message other friends who own Blackberries. PIN numbers cannot be changed and are locked to each Blackberry. Users can see if the person they are talking to has received their text message or if they are typing a message back. If users feel text is not enough to express what they need to say, they can send files such as pictures, or audio, such as voice notes. Blackberry messenger is really re-inventing the text message and has been proven to be a lot faster than text message.

Advantages/Disadvantages

Advantages

  • Blackberry Email Client, allows the user to send/recieve emails directly from their phone without having to synchronize with a computer.
  • Full QWERTY keyboard (Excluding Pearl), makes texting easier and faster.
  • Extremely long battery life when compared to other smartphones.
  • Thumb wheel, makes scrolling faster.
  • Widest variety of smartphones to choose from.

Disadvantages

  • Larger than most cellphones.
  • Generally have less memory than the average smartphone.
  • Thumb wheel breaks easily.
  • Less screen space when compared to the average smartphone.
  • Despite having many unique applications, they generally have less software applications in comparison to average smartphones.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that the BlackBerry is the real deal. With a spectacular array of unique features, sleek design, and countless capabilties, this Smartphone successfully stands out among its competitors. Whether you choose the BlackBerry Pearl for the average consumer, or the BlackBerry Storm for the business-man, there is a BlackBerry Smartphone for everyone. Research in Motion has developed a brilliant Smartphone, and you definately get what you pay for.

References

http://www.rim.com/company

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BlackBerry

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Research_In_Motion

http://www.bbgeeks.com/blackberry-guides/the-history-of-the-blackberry-88296/

http://advice.cio.com/al_sacco/rim_blackberry_history_origin_of_the_name_blackberry

http://www.rim.com/newsroom/media/executive/index.shtml

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-10193248-94.html

http://www.millwardbrown.com/Sites/Optimor/Media/Pdfs/en/BrandZ/BrandZ-2008-Report.pdf

http://news.zdnet.co.uk/communications/0,1000000085,39430493,00.htm

http://mobile.pconline.com.cn/news/cy/0712/1186131.html

http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=910112

http://blog.laptopmag.com/hands-on-with-blackberry-bold-blackberry-9000

http://na.blackberry.com/eng/devices/blackberrybold/

http://www.blackberry.com/blackberrypearl/