Flash back to January 2010: Apple’s mobile influence was growing on the heel’s of iPhone 3GS, but RIM, who produced Blackberry, had a commanding 41.3 percent share of the smartphone subscriber market, according to comScore.com. Fast forward to the present day mobile market, and things have changed dramatically. As of May 2013, Google’s Android held a 52.4 percent of the market, followed by Apple at 39.2 percent. Once the clear mobile titan, Blackberry had just 4.8 percent.
Blackberry isn’t ready to throw in the towel, however. The Canada-based company recently unveiled a new operating system to compete with Apple and Google. Dubbed Blackberry 10, this new OS is a robust upgrade featuring a new app store, intuitive touchscreen gestures and souped up keyboard. Early returns indicate Blackberry 10 is a significant step toward mobile relevance. How does it stack up against iOS and Android?
Blackberry 10 At A Glance
Blackberry 10 image by closari via Flickr.
Known as the business person’s phone for most of last decade, Blackberry retained its polished look with Blackberry 10. As you slide from one screen to the next, existing icons fade as new ones appear. Swipe to the left and you’ll find all open applications on one window (Blackberry 10 supports multi-tasking). Swipe left again to access Blackberry Hub, which contains essential functions including calls, messages and emails.
Blackberry thrived on the strength of its physical keyboards. And while Blackberry 10 is a touchscreen-based OS, its keyboard still outshines the competition. Predictive text technology makes typing a breeze. Start typing a word and possible full words will pop up on the top of the keyboard. Swipe the next word up and move on to expedite typing.
Comparing BB10, iOS and Android
While each operating system has its own personality, the user experience on Blackberry 10, iOS and Android is mostly similar. Apple and Google have a clear advantage because of their robust app stores, however. The App Store and Google Play are both approaching one million available apps. Blackberry World, meanwhile, surpassed 250,000 apps in May. The two larger stores may have the advantage now, but if Blackberry World continues to grow at its current rate, it will edge closer to the App Store and Google Play each day.
Expect more users to return to Blackberry as its app store grows. The operating system rivals any on the market, and tech fans are always looking for the next big wave.
What’s Next for Blackberry?
When Blackberry introduced its new operating system, it also released two new smartphones, the Z10 and the Q10. After hot sales out of the gate, demand cooled when Samsung and HTC introduced their new flagship devices. That’s a part of the tech game, however, and if Blackberry releases a Z10 update next year, the former mobile No. 1 will build on the momentum from 2013.
Lonnie works for a marketing company from her home office. She studies marketing and tech trends and keeps her mind sharp by freelancing on the weekends.