ThoughtPiece: How Successful Will The Pearl Be?

Comments

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.

Paris Hilton, duhBG also may underestimate the Pearl’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 “push email” 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 “Pearl.”

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, I’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)

  • http://www.yista.com/ George Burnett

    I am in complete agreement with you on the marketability of the BB Pearl! This device at first glance is a Sidekick competitor… a toy that isn’t to be taken serious amongst the BB Fanboys of the world. Yet a second glance at this device uncovers a certain “glamour / business” appeal. “RAZR vs. 7130e”

    Once the younger generations pic up on the functionality of todays BB devices and mix it with celebrity icons & RAZRish style this device could be a real hit!

    As a late 20′s 8700c user I am seriously considering purchasing a BB Pearl myself.

  • http://www.yista.com George Burnett

    I am in complete agreement with you on the marketability of the BB Pearl! This device at first glance is a Sidekick competitor… a toy that isn’t to be taken serious amongst the BB Fanboys of the world. Yet a second glance at this device uncovers a certain “glamour / business” appeal. “RAZR vs. 7130e”

    Once the younger generations pic up on the functionality of todays BB devices and mix it with celebrity icons & RAZRish style this device could be a real hit!

    As a late 20′s 8700c user I am seriously considering purchasing a BB Pearl myself.

  • dp

    Not sure why I need this device. If I want a REAL camera I use a sony 7.2 Meg T10…real pictures, not play pictures. For Video/Audio playback I use a 60GB Ipod..for the amount of content one starts to have phone’s/pda’s don’t cut it.

    If one wants a combined phone/pda/sync’d cal/email and a real “usualble” keyboard then the 8700 is the right answer now in the mkt….never understood the value of music/audio/pictures in the same device.

    5 years from now, if I can get a phone/pda device that also has the same resolution mega-pixel wise with the latest/greatest digital camera’s and the same storage capacity as an ipod video/mp3 player then I would buy the device in a second. The pearl, just like other pda/phones in the mktplace is wanting on storage and camera mega-pixel levels….maybe someday they will get there…but not now.

  • dp

    Not sure why I need this device. If I want a REAL camera I use a sony 7.2 Meg T10…real pictures, not play pictures. For Video/Audio playback I use a 60GB Ipod..for the amount of content one starts to have phone’s/pda’s don’t cut it.

    If one wants a combined phone/pda/sync’d cal/email and a real “usualble” keyboard then the 8700 is the right answer now in the mkt….never understood the value of music/audio/pictures in the same device.

    5 years from now, if I can get a phone/pda device that also has the same resolution mega-pixel wise with the latest/greatest digital camera’s and the same storage capacity as an ipod video/mp3 player then I would buy the device in a second. The pearl, just like other pda/phones in the mktplace is wanting on storage and camera mega-pixel levels….maybe someday they will get there…but not now.

  • Thought

    George and dp: thanks for your thoughtful comments.

    dp: certainly, as it stands now, cameras in cell phones don’t come close in quality to those of stand alone digital cameras. However, personally I do find it convenient to have a camera in a cell phone at times. Why? Because I don’t always carry around my nice Sony digicam (good to see another Sony fan here!). So sometimes the best camera is the one you actually have on you at the time. Also, it is nice to be able to snap a picture and by virtue of it being in your cell phone, be able to send it to someone else immediately, without having to wait to get home and load the picture in your PC.

    It’s interesting that far more pictures are taken with cell phone cameras than with stand alone digicams. That speaks to the convenience factor.

    The same goes with music. The iPod is great, but sometimes it’s more convenient to have a few songs in your cell phone than to carry a separate device. And let’s not forget that if you have a 1G memory card, for instance, you have as much storage as an iPod nano, which amount to about 250 songs. That’s plenty for a lot of people in most situations.

    Also, with regards to the Pearl, regardless of these extra features, what is so striking is the size. Just to have a smartphone with BB email in that size is a huge advantage, IMHO. The size alone might justify its purchase by many, many people.

  • Thought

    George and dp: thanks for your thoughtful comments.

    dp: certainly, as it stands now, cameras in cell phones don’t come close in quality to those of stand alone digital cameras. However, personally I do find it convenient to have a camera in a cell phone at times. Why? Because I don’t always carry around my nice Sony digicam (good to see another Sony fan here!). So sometimes the best camera is the one you actually have on you at the time. Also, it is nice to be able to snap a picture and by virtue of it being in your cell phone, be able to send it to someone else immediately, without having to wait to get home and load the picture in your PC.

    It’s interesting that far more pictures are taken with cell phone cameras than with stand alone digicams. That speaks to the convenience factor.

    The same goes with music. The iPod is great, but sometimes it’s more convenient to have a few songs in your cell phone than to carry a separate device. And let’s not forget that if you have a 1G memory card, for instance, you have as much storage as an iPod nano, which amount to about 250 songs. That’s plenty for a lot of people in most situations.

    Also, with regards to the Pearl, regardless of these extra features, what is so striking is the size. Just to have a smartphone with BB email in that size is a huge advantage, IMHO. The size alone might justify its purchase by many, many people.

  • Thought

    George and dp: thanks for your thoughtful comments.

    dp: certainly, as it stands now, cameras in cell phones don’t come close in quality to those of stand alone digital cameras. However, personally I do find it convenient to have a camera in a cell phone at times. Why? Because I don’t always carry around my nice Sony digicam (good to see another Sony fan here!). So sometimes the best camera is the one you actually have on you at the time. Also, it is nice to be able to snap a picture and by virtue of it being in your cell phone, be able to send it to someone else immediately, without having to wait to get home and load the picture in your PC.

    It’s interesting that far more pictures are taken with cell phone cameras than with stand alone digicams. That speaks to the convenience factor.

    The same goes with music. The iPod is great, but sometimes it’s more convenient to have a few songs in your cell phone than to carry a separate device. And let’s not forget that if you have a 1G memory card, for instance, you have as much storage as an iPod nano, which amount to about 250 songs. That’s plenty for a lot of people in most situations.

    Also, with regards to the Pearl, regardless of these extra features, what is so striking is the size. Just to have a smartphone with BB email in that size is a huge advantage, IMHO. The size alone might justify its purchase by many, many people.