[citation][nom]greghome[/nom]Black berry will still in my mind remain an old man's tool Most Smartphone users I know of has either migrated to an Android or Iphone[/citation]
Most that you know, but try looking beyond the few dozen people you live or work with and look at global stats.
Android has seen a meteoric rise, sure, but mainly in the consumer market.
RIM had it's foothold in the lucrative commercial sector and still has it's strongest base there.
Businesses are loyal as shifting to a new platform carries additional support problems, try working in IT support and you would know that.
Consumers are fickle and if Android is their favourite now they will whore themselves away to the next phone that is fashionable, just like the iPhone did for a while.
As long as there is big business, there will be Blackberry.
Surely the comments about IT support is less for blackberry than for Android have never had to support both at the same time. I spend way more time fixing blackberry server problems than I do fixing Android issues. Oh wait they natively attach to my Exchange server ... that's right there is no real maintenance required.
Given this fact and the $30/month data plan instead of $45 for blackberry, just to accomplish the same task: Receive corporate email. Blackberry will soon be extinct. And don't throw BES Express at me either because it's the biggest POS software I've ever tried to manage.
Blackberry has been riding on the success of their corporate BES contracts for the last 8 years. They have zero innovation, and simply copy what their competitors do. They were a diamond in a world of dumb phones and windows mobile, but now with apple and google in the mix they are desperately trying to play catch up. Both android and iOS do everything a blackberry can do and do it with style. Using a blackberry today feels like using windows 3.1. Sure it gets the job done, and it's technically functional, but horribly outdated. Most blackberry users are simply attached to the image of being some business savvy professional, not realizing how counterproductive this image is when using such antiquated technology as blackberry.
This acquisition of TAT is going to be a huge plus for them though, they really need a complete overhaul in their OS, which will extend itself into better phone designs than their current crop of keyboard based phones for stubborn old men who think touch screens are for hipsters.
This is a wise move- Blackberry's device software is a jumbled mess (I like jimmycrack's Windows 3.1 analogy, though I'd have said Windows 95). Making changes to a Blackberry is a royal pain, especially system settings, and walking a user through troubleshooting one is more difficult than other smartphones because the menu structure is very counter-intuitive.
RIM's future product lines should look something like this: one or two all-touchscreen handhelds (one mid-sized a la iPhone and one big a la Evo), a few touch plus QWERTY for the bulk of their users, and one or two key-only budget models (like the current Curve series and an update to the Pearl Flip, which would be a good draw for those who need a smartphone but love their flip phones).
I agree that this is a smart move, right now there´s no company that makes a corporate Android, and perhaps Blackberry would evolve into that, something like Nokia wich makes different lines of phones, you can have a cool 5800 or a serious E72, we are missing a no nonsense working phone, all androids an the iphones are great until you take it to a corporate meeting and everyone looks at you like you are took your son´s phone for mistake, I love the android i have, wich is a HUAWEI 8220 with cupcake (1.5), and i love it, no crashes and the UI is great, maybe not to iphone standards, but extremely close. I see a great adition if RIM can bring real competition to te table. For elders or not RIM phones are well made and have great support, with better OS RIM can come back from the dead; it worked for Motorola.