How important is BlackBerry’s newest smartphone, the Q20, to the future of the company? Recently I had the opportunity to speak with CNNMoney about this. With Q20, which will be released in the second half of 2014, BlackBerry is returning to its core customers by offering them what they want: a hard keyboard, buttons, and secure BlackBerry servers.
Businesses should focus on customer demand to drive growth by thinking about what customers desire now and also what they will want in the future. While the Q20 is a good start ─ it includes a hard keyboard, the basic feature core BlackBerry consumers love ─ I think it’s only half of the turnaround equation for BlackBerry.
The piece Blackberry is missing, or hasn’t addressed yet, is how it will capture future customers. Concentrating on current customers is important, but leaders must also try to anticipate the needs of those who are not yet customers to gain market share and propel growth. As I mentioned to CNN, I don’t see a convincing argument for iPhone or Android users to switch to Blackberry with this smartphone release. Perhaps the Q20 is only the beginning stage in BlackBerry’s recovery. For now, concentrating on its base may be wise, but for future growth it will need to think outside the box.