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Running on Android, Would the BlackBerry Priv and DTEK50 be BlackBerry’s Messiah or a Walking Disaster?

ONCE upon a time, BlackBerry set the bar in Nigeria with her devices but it was more about the BBM than her device.

“What’s your PIN?” Aha! That’s familiar.

Being the first phone company to take over the Nigerian phone atmosphere with SaaS (Software as a Service) whilst selling the hardware, I should put this setting-the-bar-for-mobile-telephony-in-Nigeria up for a wager but I’d not like anyone to lose his/her money to me. The economy is hard enough.

BBM set the pace for quite a long time from 2006 until WhatsApp took over in 2009 and BBM started losing the market share she once held.

In a sudden twist of innovation craze, BlackBerry did the wrong thing from the consumer’s perspective. It went the opposite way and released her SaaS (BBM) to all OS platforms: Android and iOS.

Most BlackBerry owners were angry; they almost shed crocodile tears. I was a tad pissed but then I analyzed it from a business perspective and it made real sense: instead of losing the market share, give them your renowned app on all platforms and remain on their minds. They gon’ stay pinging!

Last year, BlackBerry went innovation crazy again and decided to adopt the much-loved Android OS for her devices. This was a smart move from B2B to B2B plus B2C.

Photo: www.gsmarena.com

Blackberry Priv. Photo: www.gsmarena.com

This smart move came with the release of the BlackBerry Priv code-named Venice in November 2015. This year, BlackBerry released the DTEK50.

About eight weeks ago, she pitched her DTEK50 phone to me via mail.

Blackberry DTEK50. Photo: www.hit-counts.com

Blackberry DTEK50. Photo: www.hit-counts.com

I looked up the price on the link and made to preorder it but decided to wait. I like buying cool tech devices but my financial leg kicks in always and I’m always giving it a second thought and possibly a third.

I didn’t bother to whip out my card from my wallet to make the purchase. Sorry, BlackBerry!

Despite deciding to not purchase it, I looked through the features: 5.2” scratch-resistant display, 13MP rear camera, 8MP front camera, 2TB microSD support, BlackBerry Intelligent Keyboard, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 617 SoC, 3GB RAM, 16GB ROM and it runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

I was sold in. For heavy phone users, perhaps this wouldn’t sell them in but here’s me: a not-so-heavy phone user who believes games should stay on game consoles, laptop functions on laptops, phones for phone functions, etc.

With its security-conscious development, would this continued integration of the Android OS on her devices be BlackBerry’s Messiah or would it, like Nokia – who failed to save her company by not taking risks – become a walking disaster, go down the phone drain and be acquired by another company?

Analytically, I think backed by her SaaS which is the BBM, the Priv and DTEK50 are BlackBerry’s Messiah come from phone heaven to take her customers home.

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Born in Eastern Nigeria in the early 90s, Okwukwe C. Chukwuka was born to a linguistic intelligent father who currently speaks 6 languages and a mother who loves numbers (finance); these two gifts - for words and numbers - have helped him navigate the writing, creative and entrepreneurship worlds. He's the founder of Specuit, Afri Specuit and other Specuit companies. His first book, _Bank of Deposits_, has been acclaimed witty, funny and honest.

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