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BlackBerry bounces back: is smartphone competition finally getting serious?

BlackBerry bounces back: is smartphone competition finally getting serious?

BlackBerry’s announcement that it shipped one million units of its new Z10 smartphone in its first month on sale is nothing but good news for the smartphone industry.

For a company that has been close to becoming a mainstream irrelevance since the arrival of the iPhone and latterly Android, this is a major breakthrough.

The figure is particularly impressive when you consider that the Z10 only hit US shelves at the end of March and that this was just a few weeks after going on sale here in the UK.

Doubtless those numbers will ramp up as BlackBerry continues to boost its marketing spend and looks to push itself harder against a series of emerging devices, including the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4.

Blackberry Z10 White

More importantly, this much-needed success for BlackBerry should be seen in the wider context of the ever-developing smartphone space.

It appears that after years of average devices and desperate attempts to play catch- up, a host of once-great manufacturers are finally turning the corner.

Nokia Lumias are surging in China, with two million activations, and that’s after Espoo flogged 4.4 million of its Windows-backed devices in the fourth quarter of 2012.

HTC’s One is enjoying huge pre-order interest across The Pond thanks to a series of positive reviews.

And Sony’s Xperia Z is doing well, too, anecdotally at least, with reports of the phone selling out in Japan and key territories in Europe. OK, we’re not talking the tens of millions of iPhones Apple sells each quarter.

Sony Xperia Z display movie official

Or even the similarly hefty number of Galaxy devices Samsung has managed to shift in recent years.

But it’s indicative of the fact that the once poorer-selling end of the smartphone sector is waking up.

This turn of events has the potential to create some serious competition, which in turn can only mean better phones for all of us. Until now, Apple and Samsung have had it all their own way.

That’s down to hefty marketing budgets and, in Apple’s case at least, much better, nuanced design.

Samsung vs Apple in armour

But things are changing fast, as the lead which Apple carved out in an instant back in 2007 has finally been eroded away.

Now the challenge for BlackBerry, HTC and Nokia is to take the fight for your smartphone buck to the next level.

Obviously none of the above can match Apple and Sammy when it comes to ad spend.

But if they can keep up with software updates, roll out new phones within weeks of their announcement and develop devices that make iOS and Samsung users reconsider their existing brand loyalties, then next year should see us handling an even more impressive array of smartphones.

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