RIM is trying fairly hard to keep the BlackBerry brand intact. With a large number of its customers leaning towards other alternatives (Android, Windows Phone etc), the Canadian manufacturer has failed to a certain extent. It must be noted that BlackBerry is still fairly popular in Canada as well as certain markets of Asia. And one such key market is India where low end BB devices are a huge seller. So in order to woo Indian BlackBerry customers, RIM along with Indian BlackBerry community site BBIN, has partnered with SkyPark Cafe in Hyderabad, to bring the BlackBerry experience to its customers. It is the country’s first BlackBerry equipped café. Visitors will find a wide range of BlackBerry PlayBook tablets in the café. Needless to say, customers can browse the web using the tablet and do a lot more while hanging out with a bunch of friends. The idea basically is to attract more people into this new establishment and give them a hint of what BlackBerry has to offer. It’s not a bad idea really, but one that should have made way a long time ago.
The waiters in the café will take orders using the PlayBook which serves no real purpose really, but I guess that’s how excessively they want to make a point. There will be NFC stickers on the walls which will let visitors check-in via popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter or FourSquare. NFC is a feature that made way with the recent crop of top end BlackBerry smartphones, so people with low end BB smartphones might find themselves at sea with this one. There will be dedicated music stations, allowing customers to play music via the BlackBerry Music Gateway. And to top it all off, there’s free Wi-Fi too. So regardless of what device the visitor owns, he should spend a fun time there.
BlackBerry is keen towards the Indian market as it has a huge mid-range consumer base. With low end BB smartphones making their way since the past year or so, RIM has managed to gain a steady fan base in the country. But when it comes to high end smartphones in the country, it is Samsung, HTC and the rest of the Android gang all the way. The recently launched Galaxy S III is selling fairly well, so the excessively priced Bold series of smartphones (notably the Bold 9900) has very few takers.
Unfortunately for RIM, the PlayBook tablet failed to impress too. The tablet saw the same fate throughout the world, with RIM getting so many things wrong with the initial release of the tablet. It is however believed that the company will make a strong comeback with the BB 10 OS. Fans still have some hope with the OS as it is supposed to mark a revival for the company. Early builds of the OS have shown promise and the entire tech sphere is eager to see how much of an impact it will make when it hits the markets early next year. Android, WP and iOS fans wouldn’t have anything to worry about though as BB 10 still looks like a work in progress.