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Blackberry And Sony Have One More Shot At Smartphone Success

It appears that both Blackberry and Sony have moved into the last chance saloon, as far as their futures as smartphone manufacturers is concerned. Both see 2016 as a make or break year: make a profit or abandon the market.
Sony's new Z5 is probably one of the few premium phones with the name and capability to challenge Apple and Samsung for premium smartphone sales. However Sony's longstanding and absolute inability to understand how to manage the mobile market, marketing and carrier relationships suggest that the Z5 will be no more successful than the handsets that preceded it. Any profit that Sony makes is unlikely to be sufficient to keep it in the game.
For Blackberry things might be a little different. After years of trying and failing to keep its user base with a new OS and iPhone-alike handsets the company is heading into 2016 with the promise of something new: Android.
The Blackberry Priv looks to draw on the strengths of Blackberry - strong hardware and security - whilst integrating the benefits of Android - flexibility and huge software support.
If the company can prove that it does security better than plain Android it may be on to something.
Much will depend on how it deals with the Android bugbear: upgrades. If Blackberry can keep its handset patched and upgraded to a similar level of consistency that Apple manages with the iPhone it may be onto something.
If, on the other hand, it allows Google and the carriers to water down that process it will have nothing to offer over any other Android OEM and then it will be in a race to the bottom as price becomes its biggest selling point.
One way or another 2016 is going to see some significant changes in the smartphone market...


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