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Bidding Adieu to Blackberry?

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I opened up Twitter this morning to see the headline staring back at me. BLACKBURIED. Ouch.

It is a technological tale akin to a modern day Shakespearean tragedy. “Nothing can come of nothing: speak again.” The once mighty Blackberry smartphone has become the fallen power within the world of mobile devices.

Heralding the new millennium with a gadget that could have easily associated itself with an episode of the Jetsons, the RIM-created Blackberry embedded the term “smartphone” into the general lexicon. Enabling secure, real-time, push-email abilities on wireless devices freed workers from the restraints of their desks. No longer were mobile workers solely road warriors. This was the dawn of the work anywhere era; the office was no longer a location.

By the end of the decade, RIM employed more than 15,000 people around the globe and the iconic Blackberry had become a symbol of the corporate world. Terms like “crackberry” were applied to the device because users couldn’t seem to resist the allure of the incoming message notification. “Blackberry thumb” became an actual medical malady – the new-age carpal tunnel syndrome caused by obsessively tapping away on the tiny keyboard.

But despite the heyday, the Blackberry began competing with iPhone and Android devices. With the emergence of new platforms and the prevailing prominence of app adoption the demand for BYOD acceptance in the workplace began eating away at Blackberry’s market share.

A recent report from analyst firm Gartner listed the worldwide market share (from Q213) of mobile operating systems to be:


  • Android: 79.0%

  • iOS: 14.2%

  • Microsoft: 3.3%

  • Blackberry: 2.7 %

  • Other: 0.9%


“Every major smartphone platform from early 2007 has become a practical non-entity since the rise of Android and iOS.” – Washington Post

On Friday, Blackberry announced it would stop selling consumer products. That same day, Apple opened sales for its new iPhone 5S and 5C devices.

Monday, Blackberry reached an agreement to go private in a deal estimated at approximately $4.7 billion. Meanwhile, Apple issued news that it sold over nine-million iPhone 5S and 5C units after just three days on the market, alongside claims that more than 200 million iOS devices are running the latest upgrade (iOS 7) – in stark contrast to the staid adoption rates of the new Blackberry 10 launch this past spring.

Blackberry changed the course of workplace culture. Apple changed consumer expectations of smartphones. Android made the technology accessible to the masses. And the BYOD trend took over – driving device implementation by user preference.

ShoreTel continues to be dedicated to making communicating easier for you, and we’ll continue to watch the market space, developing our ShoreTel Mobility solution for the products people love the most. While the recent news definitely appears to be sad for Blackberry, we are looking forward to seeing what the future brings.

See here for a complete list of ShoreTel Mobility supported devices.