Jim Balsillie seems very eager to encourage the consumer side of BlackBerry by stating recently that they’re going “music 2.0.” Although he clearly stated that the BlackBerry is not competing with iPhone, it seems that recent moves are aimed at making the BlackBerry more competitive in the same market. While in Cannes at a music industry conference, he had the following to say about their upcoming Application Center:
“We’ve moved to [music] 2.0, where music is undergoing a radical transformation and it creates a remarkable new opportunity for content owners to monetize their content… [BlackBerry is] already very music centric, what were talking about now is our platform.
We’re ingesting apps now and it goes online in March… [It has] a billing engine and is a channel for developers – you’ll see dozens of music apps.”
The shift to on-device billing of apps and media has been a long time coming. It is said that BlackBerry now caters to somewhere around 50% consumers and this iTunes-like store will be a great revenue generator for all those new customers. At the same time, I feel a lot more can be done for enterprise first, their niche market where they can still make a lot of headway.