Nokia and Blackberry- the once benchmarks of the cellphone industry are now wandering about in a limbo of irrelevance. These companies were household names due to their consistency and steady builds. But, well, it appears they were unable to keep up with the industry and so it’s been quite a while since we last saw a major, well-received release from either of these companies. Nokia was known for its reliance and rock-solid stability whereas the Blackberry was the hallmark of productive, business devices. But they have ventured beyond their comfort zone, if you will. And as you can imagine, it didn’t go so well.
Nokia introduced the Lumia line after a partnership with software king Microsoft. Even though the phones seem to have steady, solid hardware, the candy plastic is something nobody had a sweet tooth for. That in addition to what was an OS not yet ready for the smartphone industry meant unappealing sales figures.
Nokia’s venture ended and so did the partnership with Microsoft. Meanwhile, Blackberry seemed reluctant to let go of its signature physical keyboard. But without its obsolete, yet signature, OS, the company seemed to face an identity crisis. It switched to Android. But still, the Blackberry Priv with its impressive design failed to draw in customers. Pricing was rather aggressive and there wasn’t much to differentiate it from the workhorses of today- Samsung’s Note line. We did, however, see the DTEK 50 with a few features to set itself apart. The blackberry security features that have earned the company a fare bit of their name.
Now, these companies are having another shot at resurgence. Come Mobile World Congress this year, these companies will be releasing their flagships. Both android phones and understandably so. Android and IOS are too far ahead of everything else out there. Blackberry will be going with their signature features. Solid physical keyboard and state of the art security. Whereas, Nokia will be aiming for a traditional set of features with, solid build to hopefully separate it from the pack. As a matter of fact, the new Nokia 6 is already out in China. But MWC will truly give us a glimpse of its potential with most Google features not working in China. Nokia will be aiming for the mid-range market whereas Blackberry’s pricing will probably appeal to the corporate class.
It’s fair to say MWC this year will be very exciting.
Fingers crossed. Barcelona awaits.