BlackBerry is not a 'broken brand', despite analysts

Summary:Analysts say the BlackBerry brand is suffering. Research in Motion does have issues to work through, but on the ground, the BlackBerry is still one of a kind and as strong as ever.

Analysts have been reacting negatively towards BlackBerry maker Research in Motion since the company released lower than expected financial forecasts.

One analyst even called the BlackBerry a "broken brand", saying the smartphone manufacturer simply isn't competitive anymore. This was only days after the tablet, the BlackBerry PlayBook, was formally announced to be entering stores later next month.

Analysts analyse; they do not necessarily speak the truth. I take the approach, as should all of younger consumers and millennials who vaguely, if at all, know what the role of an analyst is, to take their considerations with a pinch of salt.

Editor in chief Larry Dignan acknowledges that Research in Motion has 'issues' that it needs to work through, and his own analysis points out the financial implications of Research in Motion's tablet venture.

But from a consumerist point of view, I see no reason why the BlackBerry cannot maintain its strength in the smartphone marketspace.

If the PlayBook succeeds, it will strengthen the BlackBerry brand. If it doesn't, and sales do not pick up, arguably I believe the smartphone sector of Research in Motion's business will go mostly unhindered.

Bad press relating to sales and 'marketability' will not deter an entire generation from using the smartphones they fell in love with from the not too distant past.

One consideration to take under one's belt is poor forecasts could limit Research in Motion's internal growth and investment causing the BlackBerry brand to suffer internally, rather than out there in the big wide world of the consumer market.

Granted, from someone who looks at numbers and becomes paralysed with fear, one can only take one particular consumerist approach to defending the brand on the ground.

Numbers, stock, shares and projections aside, the majority of younger consumers simply do not care for the earnings and projected forecasts of their device manufacturers. It barely even enters the mind of most.

The BlackBerry, on the ground and in the field, is still a strong brand. That is, until something bigger and better comes along. Until that bigger and better thing does comes along, financial forecasts will not deter younger, and more spendthrifty studentsfrom spending their parents' cash on a device which propels their own status in line with their social counterparts.

Think of a subculture of phone users as an ecosystem. One will buy, and another will follow. The trend of buying and using a particular brand of phone or device will precipitate across the ecosystem of users - similar to an infectious virus spreading across campus but at a slower adoption rate. Over time, it will engulf the vast majority of those weak enough to ditch in their existing mobile contracts, and upgrade to a device which sets them in line with others around them.

The very fact of the matter is that for younger consumers, the choice between an iPhone, Android device or a BlackBerry still rings true.

Suffice to say, if the iPhone slashed the screen by a third in size vertically and substituted that third with a QWERTY-in-built keyboard, which could well single-handedly kill the BlackBerry in its tracks.

But Apple probably won't.

Related content:

Topics: Hardware, BlackBerry, Mobile OS, Mobility

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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