BlackBerry hype: if this story were about Apple, you’d have read it by now

BlackBerry hype: if this story were about Apple, you’d have read it by now

(Image: Rob Smith Photography)

Who can avoid all the rumours about the new BlackBerry products being unveiled at the WES conference this week? Everybody, it seems.

While this year’s iPad and Android announcements were preceded by insane buzz, BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) has been content to plug along, losing ground in the hype war so long as it keeps its market share. But the Winnipeg Free Press suggests that this might not be the best time for the Waterloo-based company to rest on its laurels. “In the past year, both the iPhone and Google’s Android smart phones have gained notable share in North America’s smart phone market, an area that was once clearly dominated by RIM’s BlackBerry products.” Does this spell trouble for the company?

Not really. Buzz or no buzz, BlackBerry dominates. In January, RIM enjoyed roughly 41 per cent of the smart phone market share, compared to Apple’s 25 per cent and Android’s 5.2 per cent. Still, tech and stock watchers will be keeping an eye on the WES conference, which begins today in Orlando, in case RIM unveils anything worthy of a stock hike—a fancy-pants Web browser to go along with the 3G device, perhaps? Another Pearl case vanity mirror?

These attempts at buzz fall flat—they confirm BlackBerry’s status as the Jay Leno of smart phones. It’s not hip, but it has staying power, even as the young ‘uns are nipping at its heels. Adding hype just makes it seem a bit sad. And while we do wonder what Jim Balsillie looks like in a black turtleneck, isn’t the BlackBerry supposed to be above all that?

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