What made Heins' decision to release the BlackBerry Z10 first a possibly fatal error, is that once again the company was demonstrating nothing more than a "me-too" reaction to the large number of touch screen Android and Apple iPhone models that were stealing enterprise business away from BlackBerry, especially in the BYOD niche of that market. Instead of playing to its strengths and offering a model with the physical QWERTY keyboard that the company is known for, the Canadian manufacturer ended up trying to compete in a game it just cannot win. Instead, had it released the Q10 first, it could have differentiated itself from the pack.
Hopefully for the company, it is not too late as pent up demand for the BlackBerry Q10 helped drive strong sales in Canada and the U.K. With T-Mobile making a last second U-turn and deciding to offer the device when it launches in the U.S., there must be something that the carrier's executives saw that made them decide to offer the device.
Meanwhile, a poll taken of 1300 people at this past week's BlackBerry Live conference in Orlando found that 64% of those former BlackBerry users who switched to the Apple iPhone or an Android handset, are tempted by the BlackBerry Q10 to return to the platform. Of over 1200 current BlackBerry users, 76% of them said that the BlackBerry Q10 is enough to keep them loyal to the platform.
The two poll results should put a smile on Thorsten Heins' face this weekend even if he sits back to ponder whether or not he made a mistake by launching the BlackBerry Z10 first.