There are as many opinions on whether BlackBerry’s (current) strategy is going to save the company as there are … hmmmm. Actually, there are only two: It’s on the right track, and Nope this won’t do it.
The latest in the latter category is Ewan Spence, who in a column for Forbes.com says BlackBerry CEO John Chen’s non-event blog this week saying the BB 10-powered BlackBerry Classic is coming, soon.
There was so little in what he said that I didn’t bother running it (read it yourself). He’s already told us that the Classic will be the size and shape of a Q-series handset, but with the popular Bold’s trackpad that the new BB10 handsets with keyboards don’t have. Chen said nothing else (like price, delivery date).
But Spence felt a need to complain that in releasing the Classic, BlackBerry is going in the wrong direction. “It’s not enough to be matching the opposition,” he writes. “BlackBerry needs to be dominating.”
He’s right in one sense: Those who fervently hope the company will survive know it needs more than to tread water, to slash spending so the company goes back into the black and then …. and then, what? Another manufacturer with deep pockets will buy it? Or it will continue as a niche, but profitable player? These days can any smart phone maker be a niche but profitable player?
So Spence is right that BlackBerry needs a crushing sales star to restore its lustre. In the meantime, it won’t hurt to have a device that, pardon the baseball metaphor, hits a solid single.