Can the Blackberry 10 recapture past magic?

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The original "CrackBerries" worked at Wall Street firms, where more than a few investment bankers got addicted to the wonderful charms of the early BlackBerries, which seemed then to have created a grand new market.

But the BlackBerry on Wall Street became a classic example of how other companies can overcome the first mover advantage so to speak, with better technology optimized not for the industry but for consumers. The rise of the iPhone and iPad --- not to mention all those Androids --- in the financial services enterprise has been nothing short of phenomenal, driven in part by high ranking executives who made BYOD a reality for the entire firm.

So will the industry will re-embrace the BlackBerry?

Mobile Banker suggests that it has a chance, given the strong enterprise management tools it has always offered and given the spate of news announcements that more enterprise-worthy apps are coming.

Some new features are eye-catching.  One new feature "is BlackBerry Balance, which lets IT departments separate work data and content from personal information. They can exert controls and security on the one while offering employees a level of freedom and privacy on the other. This could help employees who carry around multiple devices for personal and business use pare down to one."

Some banks will likely give the new phone a shot. But in the end, the consumerization of the enterprise may prove to be too powerful a movement. Many have gotten accustomed to their iPhone and Androids and will not easily want to switch. Some banks have moved too far away from the BlackBerry Enterprise Server to go back now. Hopefully, the new phones will make more than a mere splash, but it will be hard.

Perhaps, the most we can hope for is for it to become a niche player in financial services, even as it rebounds in the consumer market and stays strong in the government market. -Jim

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