With a brand-new smartphone – and a new brand – BlackBerry (neé Research in Motion) has embarked on a critical reboot aimed at restoring the fortunes of the company that sparked the mobile revolution.
Editor’s note: This piece was originally published at PandoDaily.com.
Remember Antennagate? Back in the summer of 2010, the brouhaha over reception glitches in the iPhone 4 dominated tech headlines for weeks and led to a class-action lawsuit and a $15-per-user settlement. In retrospect, the controversy seems meaningless, which is why I thought of it amid the current flap over Apple Maps.
Thousands of people will be “the first” to get the new iPhone 5 today. I won’t be among them. I’ve had every model of Apple’s revolutionary handset since it was first unveiled five years ago — upgrading even if my phone contract hadn’t expired yet — and, like the first-time parent of a toddler in a public place, am in a state of panic the moment I don’t know where my iPhone 4S is.
Revolutions can be exciting, but sometimes evolution can be even more powerful. With the curtain drawn back today on what exactly the new iPhone will do (and will be called), Apple is entering a period of consolidating its lead. Its next trick is to outflank smartphone competitors as deftly as it has in the tablet wars.
We do everything with our smartphones now: reading, writing, photography, music. And, to paraphrase that old American Express commercial, we never leave home without it. But the one smartphone function that hasn’t exactly exploded yet — and really should have already — is paying for things.
While Google made no secret of the fact that it is buying Motorola Mobility for its patents, the remaining unanswered question is what it does with the handset business. Now that Sony is planning to take full ownership of its mobile joint venture with Ericsson, its behavior may provide some clues as to what “Googorola” should do.
Razr is back. After being criticized for depending on the four letter brand for too long, Motorola is hoping to draw some more blood from the stone with the new Droid Razr in the U.S. market. It will be called plain old Razr in the rest of the world.