BlackBerry's best days, sadly, seem to be far behind it. Last quarter, the company reported a $4.4bn loss, on the back of sales of just 1.1m of its new-generation BlackBerry 10 devices.
The new era that BlackBerry 10 was supposed to usher in for the company hasn't exactly turned out as planned. BlackBerry announced at this week's Mobile World Congress (MWC) that it will introduce a new handset, the Q20, which will restore features that its customers cherished in earlier BlackBerry devices, such as call-start and -end keys, as well as a trackpad.
The Z30, a BlackBerry 10 device
It seems that BlackBerry is bowing to the dissatisfaction of its core user base over its BB10 OS, and while the company does not appear to be planning a full U-turn - full-touch devices will continue to be offered - the concessions it is making to its most loyal but diminishing users are certainly noteworthy.
Speaking at MWC, BlackBerry's CEO John Chen admitted to TechRadar that BB10 hadn't performed as well as expected. He spoke openly about the fact that the return of the trackpad and call buttons in the Q20 are a move to satisfy those who disapproved of their removal in other recent models, but he also added some interesting observations on why BB10 hasn't been a hit.
"It took me a while to get used to BlackBerry 10," Chen said, "but once I got used to it, I loved it." As if to underline the fact that he had implicitly admitted that BlackBerry 10 has issues with intuitiveness and ease of use, Chen continued: "The key is it took me a while to get used to it. For most consumers, if they get to our new phone and it's not intuitively obvious, they get a little shy and they don't want to continue using it."
Adding to this, Chen apparently held the belief that it was not for the company to improve BlackBerry 10 and make it more intuitive, but rather to "educate" users about how to use the OS: "I think that's the number one thing BlackBerry did. We did not do enough to educate the market about the interface."
Source: TechRadar | image via BlackBerry