I bet we all know about Research In Motion, makers of the BlackBerry brand of phones. I remember back then in school a lot of my friends and course-mates particularly the ladies were ‘digging’ the brand. At the time, it was as though if you did not have a BB pin then you are not a part of the ‘system’.Being someone with iconoclastic tendencies I vowed not to use a BlackBerry phone and had this resentment against most people using the brand-not the brand itself.
It is commonly carried about that BlackBerry Operating system will phase out of the WhatsApp scheme of things at the end of this month which was true at the time until WhatsApp released an update which essentially said the deadline has been extended to the end of June 2017.
It is however, not only the BlackBerry Operating OS and BlackBerry 10 OS that are getting the boot. The elimination cuts across board as it includes Android 2.1 and Android 2.2 operating systems,the Nokia s40 and Nokia Symbian s60 which Nokia E6 runs on,Windows phone 7 and even iphone 3GS/iOS6.
According to WhatsApp, which has been a subsidiary of FaceBook for some time now, doing away with the aforementioned operating systems is basically because they will not be capable of supporting upcoming WhatsApp packages that will be embedded in the chatting application as we progress, specifically in the space of the next seven years.
So what are some of these developments being anticipated?One which is a certainty is the video-calling feature getting included.Incidentally, Twitter some days back debuted live videoing on its platform. Nigerians are yet to utilise OTT advantage of this application as one would expect probably due to the factors that most definitely include the fact that some Nigerians are uneducated and not informed on it.
There are also those who are very ‘economical’ with their data probably due to their low purchasing power and then there are a vast number of Nigerians who do not have phones that support WhatsApp, talk less of WhatsApp calls. By the way,OTT simply stands for Over The Top.
Tech companies literally would always have put on their binoculars or risk being casualties in this ever changing tech world.After suffering year-on-year losses the company changed the man at the helm in Research In Motion(a name they have now dropped and are referred to simply as BlackBerry Limited) in the person of John Chen.
The company had to jettison its own operating system which is still renowned to be very secure in comparison to the Android platform starting with the BlackBerry Priv last year. I mean, who leaves a good thing to settle for an option worse off?Well this becomes a very good business decision when your corporate existence looks more and more like something that would naturally die out.
Next the company embarked on a global licensing drive. By the way a global license simply put is an agreement a company reaches with another,giving the latter the right to use the former’s brand name to manufacture items.Just few days back,even though it had become public knowledge, BlackBerry Limited officially gave its global license to the Chinese company,TCL.
This is the same company that even before the deal produced the two most recent phones of BlackBerry,I am referring to the DTEK50 and DTEK60 of course.So technically, these would be the last phones BlackBerry Limited would produce.For the benefit of the BlackBerry lovers let me give a quick rundown on these two phones.First the complain about the battery longetivity pervades.The DTEK50 was released first, it runs on the Android marshmallow. The back camera is 13 megapixel while the front camera is 8 megapixel.Its internal storage is 16 gigabytes and runs a RAM the size of 3 gigabytes. None of the phones come with a fingerprint. Its screen size is 5.2 inches.
In contrast,the DTEK60 comes with a 5.5 inch screen.It has an internal memory of 32 gigabytes and a random access memory of 4 gigabytes.The rear camera is a whopping 21 mega pixel camera.It aso runs on the Android 6.0.1 (Marshmallow).
Prequel to this development,BlackBerry had already offered global license to another company in Indonesia with the name BB Merah Putih.The company as a result has the right to produce,market and distribute BlackBerry phones in Indonesia. BB Merah Putih itself is an amalgamation of several individual companies with the majority shareholder being PT Tiphone.
I believe it is quite relevant to mention here that Indonesia is the fourth largest country in the world and a stronghold for BlackBerry,just to let you know that BlackBerry still got game.These companies are expected to pay some percentage of royalty to BlackBerry Limited.
The company says it is now focused on developing and licensing their secure device software.It is not fully adopting the Android platform,rather it is pimping Android with its security features (which are available on Google Play for the generality of Android users)such as the Hub+, password keeper, calendar,contacts,Tasks,Device search,Notes and Launcher. The caveat emptor here is that after a 30-day trial period,you have have to pay for these applications.
These days using BlackBerry Messenger is getting more and more boring as it is flooded with advertisements.I really wish it had that option of the user choosing if an advert is offensive or otherwise.With this drive for profit I can tell you it is an another misstep that would lead to user apathy for the application that would ultimately lead to it losing most of its users. I remember when reading the policy statement on WhatsApp they tell why they are not running advertorials on the platform. I am utterly disappointed and surprised BBM has refused to take a cue.
Let me talk a little on TCL. It is a company that has been in existence since 1985 that also bought Alcatel. This company produces a wide range of products ranging from television sets, air-conditioners, washing machines, refrigerators, small electrical appliances to mobile phones. As at the last count it is the third largest television maker.So whenever you see a product with the TCL insignia just know it is a product from a company with a strong brand name.
While WhatsApp is shutting down BlackBerry operating systems middle of next year from using it,BlackBerry messenger remains available in platforms such as Android.