In my estimation the market for the Pearl extends far beyond the teenage to 25 market that is attracted to the Sidekick. I would say that a large segment of the market for any new smartphone is largely in the 25 to 50 age demographic. The Pearl will compete not only with the Sidekick, but with the Treo and the Q, and the army of rather generic Windows Mobile devices on the market. In fact, we now know that the new Desktop Manager 4.2 software for the Pearl will easily allow a user to switch from a Palm or WM device.
BG also may underestimate the Pearlâ€™s status symbol appeal to the younger, teen/college-age crowd. We know that the Blackberry has become a must-have device among celebrities; even the afore-mentioned Paris Hilton is seen more with a Blackberry than the Sidekick these days. I also believe that many younger people might just want to own a brand that is associated so heavily with adult professionals. So sure, if you mention â€œpush emailâ€ to a teen, she will just yawn, but she might want to carry the same brand of device used by celebrities, doctors, lawyers, and business executives, especially if it is packaged in a very sleek looking, slim device called the â€œPearl.â€
I must add that I am very reluctant to disagree with Boy Genius; undoubtedly he knows more about mobile technology than I do. The world in which he circulates must give him a breadth of experience and knowledge that surpasses mine. In most instances, if I had to bet on BG or myself being right, Iâ€™d bet on BG. But no one is perfect, and I do believe that sales of the Pearl will exceed his predictions.
There are other issues to cover in analyzing the success potential of the Pearl, but alas, thoughtful reader, those will have to wait for my next article.
(images via Engadget Mobile and CelebrityBlackBerry.com)