Saturday, March 10, 2018

Blackberry KeyOne said to receive a positive reception

Telephone Communications Limited (TCL), which attended the 2018 Mobile World Congress (MWC) had a positive message about the response to the BlackBerry KeyOne, which was launched at last year's MWC.

TCL, the Chinese budget phone maker purchased the right to use the Blackberry label back in 2016, after Blackberry Ltd. transformed itself into a software services company. Blackberry software is used by carmakers, businesses and government agencies.
TCL officials claim KeyOne launch a success
Francois Mahieu and Alain Lejeune both praised the launch of the KeyOne as an unqualified success. LeJeune is global general manager of Blackberry Mobile and Mahieu is in charge of marketing. Lejeune said that Mahieu had done a good job as the new phone has been made available in 50 countries and is sold by 110 carriers.
International Data Corporation (IDC) shows weak sales of KeyOne
IDC is described by Wikipedia as follows: "International Data Corporation (IDC) is a provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC is a Chinese owned company that offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. "
Francisco Jeronimo of IDC claims that only 850,000 shipments of Blackberry devices were made last year. This includes not just the KeyOne but all Blackberry devices. Blackberry's share of the mobile market is minuscule. It does not even show up on any lists of top-selling devices.
HMD Global the Finnish company which took over Nokia-brand phones in 2016 has done better selling a total of 4.4 million Nokia phones in just the last quarter of 2017.
Blackberry has developed good distribution channels
While BlackBerry sales may be low the company has developed many channels for marketing the product, This should result in more sales in the future and is a reason why it makes some sense for officials to claim that their mission is accomplished. However so far, the consumer reaction to Blackberry's wide availability has not resulted in a large sales volume.
Educating consumers about the KeyOne could boost sales
While customers claim the they respect the Blackberry name and reputation for security they worry that the operating system has no popular apps associated with it. However the KeyOne does not use the earlier Blackberry operating system but an Android system for which popular apps are available.
There has been a strong response to the KeyOne in China. The appended video shows some of its features. Only time will tell if sales will pick up sufficiently to brand the phone a success. TLC plans to launch two more Blackberry phones this year.

Previously published in Digital Journal

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