Analysts unconvinced Z10 will be embraced by consumers


User interface must be well-received for ‘make or break device’ to save the company according to industry experts

Analysts remain unconvinced about the future of BlackBerry following yesterday’s unveiling of the Z10.

As the device goes on sale around the UK experts praised the device on the whole, but most said question marks still remain as to whether the Z10’s user interface would be well received.

Another criticism of the device was the high price leading BlackBerry into the same market space dominated by Samsung and Apple.

In a joint statement Analysis Mason principal analyst Ronan de Renesse and research analyst Patrick Rusby said: “X10 and Q10 are designed to capture existing smartphone users, not new ones, the X10 and Q10 retail price will be too high for new smartphone users.

“BlackBerry 10’s success with enterprises will ultimately depend on whether it can win over CIOS and employees. For this it must offer a sufficient selection of enterprise apps and an improved user interface (UI) as well as pushing the benefits of BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

“There is a lot of competition for enterprise customers. Apple is very well established in the enterprise space, Android has the largest consumer base and Windows phone should integrate better with enterprises’ existing Microsoft systems.”

Informa principle analyst Malik Saadi concluded: “With a significant majority of consumers now using smartphones on a daily basis, expectations have become a direct product of their experience with their current device.

“Given that consumers are generally slow to adapt to new user experiences, they might find it hard to connect with Z10’s user interface from the first touch. The minimalistic design of the phone means it does not feature the traditional physical ‘buttons’ users are accustomed to – the home button, the back button and the search button. Instead the phone relies predominantly on soft touch and gesture for navigation.”

uSwitch technology spokesperson Ernest Doku believes the biggest barrier to adoption of BB10 is not the device itself but the damaged customer brand perception.

“Tales of widespread BBM outages and lacklustre sales have undoubtedly tarnished the brand in recent years,” Doku said. “Blackberry now appears to be banking heavily on regaining the trust of the faithful – both current and lapsed – as well as courting new smartphone users.

“BlackBerry has successfully unveiled striking new look devices and a powerful OS to support them. But a great phone simply isn’t enough in today’s competitive mobile market, and the fuel to stoke BlackBerry’s fire will undoubtedly be the wider array of services.”