New BlackBerry Platform Holds Promise for Small Businesses

On January 30, 2013, BlackBerry officially launched its new BlackBerry 10 smartphone platform across 6 major cities worldwide: New York City, Dubai, Paris, Johannesburg, London, and Toronto. Along with this platform, BlackBerry also introduced two new phones: the Z10 with a virtual touchscreen keyboard and the BlackBerry Q10 with a physical keyboard. Ramon Ray, founder of SmallBizTechnology.com, attended the New York City launch and provided his analysis of the new platform and projections on how it might affect small business operations and productivity.

Ray points out several new features that show a good deal of promise for small businesses in a variety of industries. Most importantly, there are several features integrated into the system that make phone operability and multi-forum communications much easier for the user. Primarily, the BlackBerry platform offers a communication hub (called the BlackBerry Hub) that allows you to integrate communications from a wide range of forums, including multiple emails, social media sites, and calendars.

In addition, the feature BlackBerry Flow allows you to seamlessly transition from one app to another without have to return to the home screen: a function that makes multitasking significantly easier overall. In addition, all currently running apps can be viewed altogether in a minimized format so that you can get a good overall view of what you are doing when multitasking.

Finally, with the BlackBerry swipe feature, you are able to manage any communications that come in quickly from any other app you happen to be working in. Other features include several keyboard innovations that make it both easier and faster to type, including a predictive word function. Instant video chat among BlackBerry users is also available, as is screen sharing.

However, despite the promise offered by its new product line, BlackBerry still faces a couple of challenges. Central here is the fact that there are significantly fewer apps that have been developed for BlackBerry versus other platforms. It is also unclear how well it will catch on with business owners and be able to compete over the long term in an already tight market.

Reference:

Campbell, Anita. “Report on the BlackBerry 10 Launch: What It Means for Small Business Productivity.” 1/30/13.