Flash. Saviour of the BlackBerry universe?
BlackBerry losing mobile smartphone market share
With the introduction of the iPhone and Android phones, BlackBerry’s share of the worldwide mobile smartphone market started to reduce dramatically… some might say plummet. In fact, it was only a couple of days ago that a San Francisco Chronicle article reported that Research in Motion Ltd (RIM), the Canadian company behind BlackBerry, plans to cut 2,000 jobs; that’s roughly 10% of their workforce. A RIM spokesperson stated that the reductions are part of a plan to:
“focus on areas that offer the highest growth opportunities”
Now then, is one of these areas the lucrative ‘tablet’ market?
The argument into whether tablet devices serve sufficient purpose to warrant the cost or whether they are just a gimmick; a nice to have; a status symbol; and so on, finds many supporters in both camps… and I’m not going to go into that here!
However, there are a great deal of them on the market from all the usual suspects, including Samsung, HTC, LG, HP, Acer, Dell and of course the BlackBerry PlayBook. However, if you asked the ‘man (or woman) on the street’ to name one, the most popular answer would undoubtedly be the iPad.
So, if RIM sees this market as one of the “areas that offer the highest growth opportunities”, they will have to impact on the iPad’s impressive current market share of circa 75%. (Incidentally, Android devices are fighting hard too and have already reduced Apple’s share that once stood at 96%!) But how to do this? Obvious… find a weakness and put the boot in!
Another argument that has been well documented and rumbles on and on is Apple v Adobe; CEO v CEO; Steve Jobs v Shantanu Narayen. (In my opinion, just let Harry Hill sort it out… FIGHT!) Jobs’ reasoning rotates around a number of factors that many tech experts say don’t stand up to scrutiny.
In terms of a web developer though, as Apple products don’t support Flash, you have to consider this in terms of accessibility and find alternative technologies such as HTML 5 and jQuery (why alienate certain users at all?)… again, another topic too comprehensive to delve into here.
However, going back to the ‘man (or woman) on the street’…
- Do they really want to know about all of this?
- Do they really care?
I’d say not. The majority of the buying public just want things to work; take the famous Honda ad campaigns as an example. So, on the subject of adverts and back to putting the boot in, BlackBerry saw this opportunity and released this promotional video for their tablet, the PlayBook:
This throws up a number of questions…
- Will the BlackBerry PlayBook eat into the Apple iPad market share?
- Is this a shot in the arm for Flash?
- Will Apple contemplate supporting Flash in the soon to be released iOS 5 or in subsequent releases? Will this even bother them?
- Is Flash a good thing for the web?
- Who would win in a fight between Steve Jobs and Shantanu Narayen?
- As a developer, what do you think about Flash?
- As a ‘man (or woman) on the street’ do you care about this?
- If a turtle doesn’t have a shell, is it homeless or naked?
- Are tablets worth the price tag or just a gimmick?
- As a client commissioning a website, is it important to you that it works across all platforms?
So many questions, so little time… but we’d love to know what you people out there think. Whether you’re a digital professional, a commissioning client or a ‘man (or woman) on the street’, please let us know your thoughts.