Editorial by Luke Jones on Tuesday August 26, 2014.
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I had a chat to a rather successful Blackberry employee from the advertising team recently via email and she was extremely positive about the company's future. I was honest in saying that I did not see the optimism, but her later replies shed some light on the general plan of the company moving forward and I can say now, there is a reason why investors are coming back to the Canadian company. I have also got to use the newest version of BB10 fairly extensively over the last few weeks and have changed my overly negative position on the software.So, when I see reports today that Blackberry's 2014 roadmap has been leaked and according to some of my peers it is embarrassing, I sort of nod my head with knowing. Yes, on the surface, the roadmap you can see in the main image is a little barren, especially if you are a Samsung fan for example when a roadmap looks like a busy highway of upcoming devices. However, and here's the thing to remember, Blackberry is not currently for you and the company is not even thinking about you, that's if you happen to just be a normal smartphone consumer. During my conversation with the employee she was explicit in saying that Blackberry's sole focus is building enterprise relationships, strengthening the ones it already has, and finding new ways to get its hardware in the hands of governments and businesses. The consumer walking into Wal-Mart to buy a Blackberry is not a priority for the company, at least not yet. If someone not from enterprise and just considered a normal consumer wants a Blackberry for its functionality, services, and other reasons, the company is happy. If a million want a Blackberry, great. However, the company has pinpointed enterprise as the area to drag the brand out of trouble and is at the moment targeting everything towards that goal, success in the consumer space would be a bonus. That leads me on to the main Blackberry smartphone launching during what is left of this year, the Blackberry Passport. While consumers are probably going to largely ignore this device, it is a screaming advertisement of what a perfect handset for enterprise may look like. Blackberry has attempted to check all the business boxes with this handset, we will have to wait until launch to see if it has succeeded. The Porsche Design Kahn is a high end luxury phone that is not meant to appeal to anyone other than those who want one simply because they can. It is not necessarily a part of Blackberry's long term strategy in either the consumer or enterprise stage, and there are even some reports the company is just fulfilling commitments. Perhaps if the company can steer its enterprise ship to success the consumer oriented smartphones will come, but until then, if you are looking for a HTC One M8 replacement or the next iPhone, Blackberry is probably not for you. That means ultimately the company is not for me right now either as I just cannot imagine using a Blackberry day to day at the moment, but that does not mean the Canadian company is getting it wrong. A 35% rise in share price this year would suggest quite the opposite.
Luke Jones is the Managing Editor at MobileBurn.com and is the person you need to speak to about the content on the site. Luke studied creative writing at Glamorgan University before carving out a reputation as a freelance tech writer. He settled here at MobileBurn, where he reviews devices and contributes to the news.