BES 10 doesn't offer all the device management components for Android and iOS devices that it does for its own BlackBerry devices, analysts have noted, due to different capabilities in those other devices. Also, despite its reputation for network security, BlackBerry hit a turning point in trust for many users two years ago when much of the BlackBerry network went down for several days on nearly every continent.
Even with the BES deficiencies, most analysts believe BlackBerry's biggest problem was failing to keep up with consumer-grade advances seen on Apple's iPhone and on various Android devices. The Apple and Android device can also be managed with MDM tools at work.
For all the second quarter, BlackBerry sold just 5.9 million smartphones, the company said today. Meanwhile, Apple on Monday reported that 9 million iPhones were sold in just three days after the new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c went on sale last Friday.
"BlackBerry totally whiffed on the smartphone and consumerization of IT trends that Apple hit out of the park and that Android successfully has exploited," Gartner's Menezes said. "BlackBerry failed to make timely moves and product introductions to keep itself in the consideration set for consumers who in the age of BYOD increasingly are shaping enterprise device and platform choices. ... Once it became clear to IT that iOS was a viable choice, it was game over for BlackBerry," Menezes concluded.
Gartner's three recommendations for Blackberry alternatives do include an upgrade to BlackBerry 10 devices for executives who want a physical keyboard or those in high-security jobs. But Menezes said even that scenario recommends that a company begin support of other smartphone platforms, either smartphones purchased for workers or those under an employee-purchased BYOD program.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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