Hey Gen Z!
You love your smart phones. Did you realize the boomers and a good part of your Gen X brethren grew up in corporate America with a device called the "Blackberry?" It had an actual physical keyboard on it that the old people swore by, and at one time in corporate America, IT departments refused to deploy iPhones and Androids to their workforces, citing reasons like, "not designed for business" and "not secure".
Here's the market share this relic used to have: (See graph below, click through if you don't see)
I shit kid you not. BlackBerry got swallowed up by the iPhone and Android. Guess when the first iPhone was announced?
2007. Market share was in the high 40's and had already dropped to the low 20's by the time the chart above picks up the action.
I'm compelled to share this story, kids, because BlackBerry used to rule. Ask your parents who used to ride or die in corporate America. I'm also sharing it because Blackberry reacted to the iPhone/Android/touchscreen/smartphone threat poorly. That's obvious, right?
But Blackberry just announced a new phone, and they're dancing with the girl (actually probably a guy) that brought them to the dance. The double pleats crowd that appreciates a QWERTY keyboard. More from TechRadar:
BlackBerry’s new BlackBerry Key2 is the successor to last year’s KeyOne. Yes, BlackBerry is still making phones, but these days they’re running on Android and pulling in a handful of BlackBerry’s security features.
A quick look at both phones, and it’s clear they’re BlackBerry handsets. Full QWERTY keyboards leave little room for doubt. But, as BlackBerry aims to please faithful users who want a secure smartphone with a physical keyboard, its ability to compete with the likes of the Galaxy S9 or iPhone 8 is diminished. The result: the best phone to compare the new BlackBerry Key2 to is last year’s BlackBerry KeyOne.
Here's a pic of what the new Blackberry looks like:
Other than making fun of Blackberry users, I'm writing this to talk a bit about change:
1. At one time, iPhone and Android users couldn't make it past the IT dudes approving devices for the network.
2. Back in the day, corporations really were ringing their hands about allowing access to email through someone's personal phone.
3. Back in 2009, IT people thought they actually had control over networks.
Today, the following is true:
1. IT and hardware management is not longer has the power they once did.
2. We're amazed when companies don't allow access to email everywhere.
3. If anyone really cared, the new Blackberry would have the same problems getting approved by IT that the iPhone did back in the day. Fortunately, RIM (makers of Blackberry) gave up on their own platform and are running on Android.
The lesson? You think the world the way it is now is destined to continue forever. It's not. It's going to change. Disruption is the only certainty.
Google will end up fading. Apple will cease to be design and market share darling they are now.
I'd bet on voice to overtake it all as the next big shift.
Laugh at the dinosaurs and their Blackberries, Gen Z. Soon, you're going to look up and have a mortgage, two kids and be living ITP (in ATL, that means outside the perimeter).
We'll be smiling from the nursing home.