Stranger things have happened in the mobile marketplace
Here at GoMo Towers we’ve been mulling over the various unholy [unlikely] alliances that have sprung up in the mobile space of late. One of these is the link between BlackBerry and Microsoft. Formerly arch rivals, BlackBerry finally did Microsoft a favour this month [August 2014] by releasing a client for its instant messaging [IM] service – BBM, which works under Windows Phone 8 [WP8]. That event was some six months after GoMo News had predicted it would happen here. Now Skype (which is owned by Microsoft) already offers a software client which will run on BB10 devices. But GoMo News feels that it might also produce a version for legacy BlackBerry devices which would, of course, include BlackBerry’s original tablet – the PlayBook.
The fact that an IT giant like Apple can over come its insular nature and entertain the thought of 100 apps created by Big Blue (IBM) on its hardware shows that the world has changed radically.
If you are going to out-flank your rivals, you need to do so by forming pacts with your competitors’ enemies.
Now here’s the problem. It’s become increasingly obvious that major growth in the mobile/cellular sector will come from the Indian & Asia Pacific regions.
And in certain specific markets – the classic one being Indonesia, BlackBerry has a huge following.
So if you are an ally of BlackBerry – which Microsoft is, you’d want to promote your services in those regions with a little help from your friends.
So you want to push OneDrive as your mobile cloud solution and the other service you’d want to promote would be Skype (which Microsoft happens to own).
But it’s no good promoting a service to emerging markets that only works on the very latest hardware – such as Windows Phone 8 and BB10.
Hence, you need to introduce client software for older devices such as BlackBerry’s Playbook – which basically bombed from its lack of Skype support as far as GoMo News is concerned.
Now it can’t be very difficult for Microsoft to introduce a legacy version of Skype for BB7 devices.
As we pointed out here, Telkomcel was able to offer its customers (Verizon in the USA being the only other exception) a version of Skype that ran on legacy BlackBerry devices.
We think it is now only a matter of time before the likes of Microsoft and BlackBerry fully appreciate that the focus on mobile hardware is outmoded.
What you’ve got to focus on its software services. And such software services are no use at all in the emerging markets if the majority of the population can’t afford the latest device to run your software client.