Blackberry has long been a mainstay for event planners and professionals. As the brand and its services have declined, the question is what is next for the once great power and how do event professionals give up the devices they love.
Simply put, the iPhone. Before Steve Job's 'magical' device, the smartphone market was Blackberry. Palm was already declining and Blackberry was the hot product. For event professionals, Blackberry represented the best of both worlds. You got a connected device that gave you the information you needed and got ridiculous battery life. Plus, the godsend of BBM. You could stay on top of your event and make sure it went smoothly.
However, as soon as the iPhone came along, Blackberry made a cardinal mistake: they dismissed it. As the iPhone shook up the status quo, Blackberry stayed the course and failed to adapt to the changing market. Smartphones were no longer a business only device; they were for everyone. As soon as Android hit the market as an innovate (and free) platform, Blackberry was already too far behind to catch up.
Its seems like Blackberry with survive, but in an unrecognizable form. As we have seen, the platform matters as much as the phones or service. Blackberry simply doesn't have the capital or ability to compete with the big boys (Apple, Google, and Microsoft) to compete for consumers. However, that doesn't mean Blackberry won't survive as a niche service. Blackberry is trusted by businesses and their security is still second to none. Expect them to be a smaller product that works exclusively in enterprise.
What are Addicts to do?
The simplicity and usability of Blackberry has led many event professionals to hold on to them in the era of iPhone and Android for good reason. Sometimes, you just need a device that works and does the little things well. With Blackberry on its deathbed, what are these planners that want to swith to do? We came up with some suggestions:
1) Try Before You Buy - iPhone and Android are similar, but VERY different. Each has its own advantages (and disadvantages) that will not become clear until you actually use them. We suggest you borrow a friends, use a tablet with the same OS, or spend as much time as you can trying it out. Both iPhone and Android draw from Blackberry in different ways, so its important to find which one works for you.
2) Backup, Backup, Backup - There is a reason why you have to program apps differently for each platform. They are built on very different technologies. To avoid falling into issues with your data, backup your data in as many places as possible. Event organizers have enough trouble building contacts; rebuilding them would be a major pain.
3) Pain is Temporary - Whenever trying something new, there is always going to be some intial hardship. However, because we use our phones so much, that should dissipate quickly. Event organizers are great at adjusting, so switching platforms should be easy.