After Apple launched the iPhone, the market went crazy with pretty much every handset maker jumping to make an all-touchscreen smartphone. In the meantime, RIM continued to push its “candybar with a full QWERTY keyboard” phones and even managed to increase its market share. Now that the Interweb is all about the Android and iPhone, smart handset makers should launch devices ideal for BlackBerry converts, featuring the familiar form factor.
Some companies have already figuring this out and soon enough there will be an array of choice for those looking to switch boats from BlackBerry to Android — among the devices users will be able to choose are Motorola Pro, Motorola XPRT, Motorola Titanium, Facebook-centric HTC ChaCha (not a business phone per se), Samsung Galaxy Pro, Samsung Galaxy Y Pro and Samsung Galaxy M Pro. So aside from HTC, Motorola and Samsung – other handset makers doesn’t seem interested to pursue this potentially very lucrative market opportunity. If I were at Asus, Acer, Sony Ericsson, Huawei or ZTE – I would definitely want to get a piece of the action from the demise of BlackBerry (and the rise of Android). A device with a solid QWERTY keyboard beneath a touchscreen is what it takes to get some of the BlackBerry users to the Android bandwagon. Alternatively, a model like the BlackBerry Torch (or HP/Palm Pre) could also help, offering a sliding keyboard along with a bigger screen.
I can’t be the only one seeing this opportunity. It’s a common sense – many BlackBerry users are looking to switch to Android but they don’t want to give up their keyboards for an all-touchscreen form-factor. Why not offer them an alternative? What do you think?