But is it too late to revive the 'BlackBerry Hype' among the people?
I've had a slight love-hate relationship with BlackBerry since the summer loving we shared in 2009. After all, the firm formerly known as RIM popped my smartphone cherry and it was an experience that I won't soon forget.
Until that time, my mobile relationships had all been of the feature phone variety; Bosch, Nokia, obviously, before abandoning the Finn for Sony Ericsson. That said, my glitch-riddled C902 wore thin rather quickly, which encouraged me to hound my operator to rectify the problem.
I was granted an early upgrade, and my then-girlfriend highly recommended I buy a BlackBerry "because they're so good and everyone has one." I reiterate, this was 2009. I caved to peer pressure and elected a Curve 8900 as my new baby, supporting Tim Green's findings that lots of black youths own the QWERTY devices.
It took a while to get used to the miniature keypad, roll ball and wacky leather pouch, but I was soon convinced that it was the greatest phone since the Nokia 3310. There was even a song about the craze entitled BlackBerry Hype. (I've embedded this below for your entertainment. Again, this supports Tim Green's findings that black youths love the brand.)
When the 18-month contract was over, however, the world had changed as the iPhone was gaining popularity and this took me to a moot point. Bear in mind, I hadn't been working for ME at this time, and was still very much a civilian of the mobile market. What to do? Risk going for the superbly marketed BlackBerry Torch 9800 and slowly edge my way into the touchscreen market, or risk it all on switching to the buttonless iPhone? I went for the former.
The Torch was great at first; I enjoyed trying to resist the buttons in favour of the touchscreen, though failed miserably, and reverted to the trusty keypad. Sadly, some of the gremlins I experienced on the Curve started creeping through before long; sluggish load times, screen freezing, and the torturous daily battery pull reset.
Fast forward another 18 months, which takes us to June 2012, and I had fallen out of love with BlackBerry, craving something shinier and more powerful. I abstained from upgrading for a while, though snubbed the iPhone 5 in favour of the Galaxy S III.
I'm not the only one to have moved on either, my BlackBerry Messenger was once a plentiful paradise that was full of messages pings, voice notes and the like, but many of my friends moved onto new devices; iPhones, for the most part.
I think, like me, my chums became tired with the lack of content available on the BlackBerry, with BBM no longer a USP and becoming tired in the face of the cross-platform WhatsApp.
Well, after months of chatter, BlackBerry 10 has finally arrived and it looks pretty impressive and clean. It boasts a host of features, like photo-editing tools, VoIP, 70,000 apps, and is clearly taking a swing at Instagram, Skype/Facetime, and Google Play/App Store respectively.
The new look may do well to secure users that have fallen out of love with the franchise. I mean, I'd consider sticking with the brand if I were still an existing user, but I'm rather content with Samsung now and would be unlikely to backtrack unless some truly dazzling innovation is revealed. I imagine the scenario would be the same for others in my position, though BB 10 has the potential to turn the heads of non-existing users.
The main concern is that while BlackBerry has changed its own game with 10, nothing groundbreaking has been revealed in terms of the wider smartphone market, and therein lies the problem. The company has simply caught up with the specifications of Android and iOS, and it's a step in the right direction, but if it's not different or unique, then consumers may think twice about bothering with a company that hasn't been considered the flavour of the month for some time.
What do you think? Are you a BlackBerry user? Will the company be able to stand the test of time? Would you buy a BlackBerry 10 device?