Big blow for BlackBerry as operators show lack of interest in new handset

For years BlackBerry was a major player in the smartphone market. Popular as the handset of choice for business use, it was the BlackBerry that really revolutionised the way we work, making email truly accessible out of office for the first time. Following its success in the business market BlackBerry also developed a strong following amongst a younger audience. This unexpected following was thanks to its BBM service, BlackBerry never actively targeted this group of customers and they soon moved on seduced by the shininess of the iPhone and the appeal of apps like Whatsapp.

Blackberry’s market share

The proliferation of smartphones in the market and the popularity of iPhone and Samsung handsets have all contributed to a dramatic fall in BlackBerry’s market share and they now account for less than 1% of the global smartphone market.

BlackBerry’s latest attempt to gain back a bigger slice of the market in the UK looks as though it may fall flat. Earlier this month they launched their new device the Priv. This new Android handset boasts a touchscreen and a slideout keyboard, businesses can control updates to employees phones ensuring consistency and compatibility across their organisation.

Carphone Warehouse is currently the exclusive supplier of the handset, however reports indicate that the exclusive agreement with Carphone Warehouse will expire at the end of the year. They are apparently in talks with EE and Vodafone but an announcement is yet to be made whilst 02 and EE have confirmed they have no future plans to stock the handset.

Reviews in the technology press of the new Android handset have been favourable so far but without an operator on board they are clearly going to struggle to make an impact in the UK handset market. Could this be BlackBerry’s last handset? We’ll just have to wait and see.