While BlackBerry is still around, many question how long the dying smartphone manufacturer will be around. The US Government was a top owner of BlackBerry devices and is slowly moving away from the platform. As more companies start to support BYOD, BlackBerry is becoming a less common choice for business customers as well. Look back to 2008, however, and there may be a bigger reason for the decline of BlackBerry.
Back in 2008 BlackBerry tried to enter the touchscreen smartphone market with the BlackBerry Storm. Ever since the company’s existence their popular smartphone had been known for having a physical keyboard. According to former BlackBerry co-chief executive Jim Balsille the Storm and all the problems that came with it may have done some major permanent damage to BlackBerry that led to where it stands today.
Many remember the Storm and how it seemed more of a lazy attempt to modernize than anything. While it was advertised as the first touchscreen BlackBerry, it wasn’t a touchscreen like any of the touchscreens today. The whole “touchscreen” acted as a single button meaning rather than tapping something on the screen you had to physically press down on the screen says Alexei Beltyukov in this article. Occasionally part of this function would freeze requiring you to completely restart the phone. Think this is bad? There was a whole list of other problems that caused most to return the phone.
BlackBerry has put up a major fight and as long as there are diehard fans it will most likely stay, but they certainly won’t want to make another mistake like the storm.