For many of us BlackBerry enthusiasts there are 2 questions on our minds these days:
1) When will I be able to get my hands on a BB Pearl?
2) Just how successful will the Pearl be in the consumer market?
Depending on your geographic location, choice of carrier, and your budget, you may already know the answer to question 1, but letâ€™s try a bit of analysis on question 2.
The early reaction among technophiles who have read about the device has been almost unanimously positive. Many of the diehard BB fans have been won over already. Of course, early adopters are a small percentage of the overall market, but can be very influential in establishing positive word of mouth.
I also take it as a positive sign that the person most in the forefront of supplying us with information on the Pearl, the estimable Boy Genius, has had mostly very kind comments on the performance and design of the unit. Hereâ€™s one comment by BG on BlackBerry Forums that sums it up:
â€œIf you can deal with SureType it is the best Blackberry so far…if you can’t deal with SureType, then…itâ€™s still pretty hot.â€
The Boy Genius Analysis
I must admit that I had this article mostly composed when some of my thinking was challenged by an article that Boy Genius posted on Endgadget Mobile with his analysis of the sales potential for the Pearl. After reading all of his high praise for the device over the past few weeks, I was surprised to read something like this:
â€œI just think that for the people RIM is targeting with this device, they won’t see results like RIM hopes.â€
If it had been anyone else I would have dismissed it, but the Boy Genius has earned such great credibility that his remarks deserve consideration.
If you read that article you notice that BG positions the device mostly as going for the younger market against the Sidekick in terms of competition for customers. In a continued discussion of the article on BlackBerry Forums BG further explains:
â€œHow can you convert a 16 yr. old girl who uses a sidekick to buying a blackberry with no direct marketing towards that age group? She saw Snoop Dogg and Paris Hilton in a commercial and then was like hmm, itâ€™s cool, itâ€™s cute I want it.â€
I assume that BG believes that the target market for the device is largely the teen to early 20â€™s market, where instant messaging is more important than email. BG asserts that the Pearl will not do so well with this market, due to a lack of marketing towards that age group and a lack of a good built-in IM client.
I believe the best response to BG is supplied by â€œshaun76â€ on Blackberry Forums who replied:
â€œI think there is a large number of 30 somethings that will love this phone, and be waiting at tmob’s door on the 12th. Just my opinion that RIM is going after us instead of the sidekick generation.â€
Read on in that thread and you will see that most agree with Shaun, and that brings me to my point.