An article on ‘How Amazon Works Around iTunes’ in last Friday’s Wall Street Journal http://on.wsj.com/dJ9SWW made me think about how Apple has done such a great job with their retail stores and how Blackberry hasn’t. If you are wondering (as I was) about whether or not Blackberry even has retail stores – they have a few. All I could find out was that there is at least one that opened in 2008 in the Atlanta-Hartsfield Airport, a few others this year including the Philadelphia and Minneapolis Airports and one in China. There would appear to be room for expansion.
But what exactly would be in the Blackberry retail store? A bunch of Blackberry’s and cases and power cords. My sense is it would be nothing like the experience of going into an Apple retail store.
As a dedicated BB user I like everyone else know that the BB App store is lacking in choices. So if it is an experience anything like that found online I would have no reason to ever go there. In fact I am often unpleasantly surprised at the fact that there are fewer apps for my BB Storm 2 than there are for older models. Why would a BB retail store be any different?
The maker of Blackberry – Research in Motion (RIM), reported solid performance for Q3 2010. The Canadian mobile phone maker had nearly $ 4 billion in revenue which represented an 11% increase over Q3. The company reported that more than 10 million Smartphones were shipped in Q3 2010 http://bit.ly/7rAAzQ .
Oftentimes my somewhat smug Apple iPhone users snicker at my mention of any difficulties with the BB platform or the phone itself. As if Apple could do no wrong. We all know that’s not really the case but when it comes to innovation and user-friendliness Blackberry still has a way to go. They have even further to go when it comes to putting out useful applications. RIM continually notes new developments such as the release of the Blackberry 6 platform http://bit.ly/95owkw which supposedly will make it easier to develop applications. I am still waiting to see the improvements.
Blackberry has already lost its overall dominance in the smartphone market to the combination of Apple and the Google Android platforms. A Blackberry retail stores could be cool, but likely won’t be.
Have you ever been in a Blackberry retail store? Would you go in there if you saw one?