As we come ever closer to the launch of Blackberry 10, it seems more and more like RIM is finally getting a handle on things. People have now witnessed the true power of the BB10 platform, and because of that there has been a substantial improvement in platform interest. All over the world, Blackberry People are counting down for the launch- and rightly so, considering there are now only 26 days left.
RIM’s real customer support though is comprised primarily of the enterprise world. To this day, the Blackberry brand has been known for its solid security, and effective measures. Hell, even President Obama is still using a Blackberry.
So it stands to reason that RIM has the most to lose in the enterprise market. That is, after all, their primary forte.
It would seem that a true contender for RIM has emerged, in a most unlikely fashion. Canonical recently announced the Ubuntu smartphone, which, for lack of a better phrase, is not just a smartphone.
What is the Ubuntu Smartphone?
Instead of summing up this exact question myself, I will let developers to do the talking. This video features Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth as he explains the mobile strategy of the company and the ideas they have settled upon.
The most intriguing idea presented in the video, is that Ubuntu is proposing consumers could carry only one powerful device in their pocket. The Ubuntu smartphone would provide a comprehensive and unhindered desktop experience when connected to a mouse, keyboard, and monitor. Essentially, we could keep one device in our pocket, the Ubuntu smartphone, that could act as an ultimate computer.
Imagine storing all of your personal and work content all on one device. Does that sound familiar? It certainly does, because RIM is working towards that very thing with the Blackberry 10 platform, albeit without the full desktop experience.
Why is Ubuntu After the Enterprise Market?
“We expect Ubuntu to be popular in the enterprise market, enabling customers to provision a single secure device for all PC, thin client and phone functions. Ubuntu is already the most widely used Linux enterprise desktop, with customers in a wide range of sectors focused on security, cost and manageability” said Jane Silber, CEO of Canonical. “We also see an opportunity in basic smartphones that are used for the phone, SMS, web and email, where Ubuntu outperforms thanks to its native core apps and stylish presentation.”
It makes perfect sense, right? Owning one tool that transcends environments (between work and personal) would be the ultimate convenience for anyone in the enterprise world. In fact, one of the biggest things that decrease productivity in the workplace is the use of multiple devices to achieve one goal. Just like it takes manpower and time, to use a device, it also takes the same resources to train company employees on how to use them. That’s not even factoring in the overall security of the platform, which needs to be strong enough to protect information and data from all corresponding environments.
There’s no denying the appeal in the Ubuntu mobile OS, nor is there any way to ignore the incredible convenience it would provide if implemented properly.
So Why is Ubuntu Mobile More of a Threat to Blackberry than Android?
Many speculate that an Ubuntu mobile platform would rather be a bigger threat to Android. This is because Ubuntu has always been more for tech enthusiasts and the technical minded alike. To this day, one of the only ways to install the Ubuntu OS on a PC, is to download and install the platform yourself. Thus, we reach one of the drawbacks of open source software. Open source can often be overlooked by many, especially in the case of Ubuntu where it’s not widely used by the average consumer. Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule.
In the case of an Ubuntu mobile platform, it would be more widely adopted by tech enthusiasts. Provided some enterprise businesses embrace the platform as well, we’re looking at a extremely niche market impact. This could in turn lead to more enterprise use of the software, which would have a sweeping impact on Blackberry 10 and RIM, who are largely locked into the enterprise market.
There’s no denying the allure of offering one complete device to your employees.
I’m sure, however, this is something RIM has also looked at for the future of Blackberry 10. Considering there are still over 20 days left until the platform launch, RIM could have a few surprises yet up their sleeves.