MWC 2017: Nokia and BlackBerry as dead as ever; here’s why smartphone innovation has reached a full stop

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Updated: February 27, 2017 12:26:25 PM

BlackBerry and Nokia are back in the business with new phones, and they were on display at the Mobile World Congress at Barcelona, Spain. But are they offering something new? Probably not so much.

nokia 3310 mwc, nokia 3310, nokia mwc 2017, blackberry keyone, mwc blackberry, blackberry keyone mwc, blackberry mobile world congressnokia mobile world congress, nokia mwc live, nokia facebook live, nokia mwc event, nokia 3, nokia 5, nokia 3310, nokia 6, mwc 2017 schedule, mwc 2017 timing, mobile world congress, mobile world congress schedule, mobile world congress timing, mobile world congress events, mobile world congress event dates, mobile world congress dates, mobile world congress 2017, mwc 2017, mobile world congress smartphones, mobile world congress smartphone events, mobile world congress samsung event, mobile world congress nokia eventMWC 2017: At the event, BlackBerry started the event and unveiled its latest smartphone, the BlackBerry KeyOne. Meanwhile, the most anticipated phone came from Nokia, where is dug up the grave of 3310 handsets. (Source: Reuters)

BlackBerry and Nokia are back in the business with new phones, and they were on display at the Mobile World Congress at Barcelona, Spain. But are they offering something new? Probably not so much. At the event, BlackBerry started the event and unveiled its latest smartphone, the BlackBerry KeyOne. Meanwhile, the most anticipated phone came from Nokia, where is dug up the grave of 3310 handsets and showcased a new version of it at the world’s biggest event for phone makers. But, these launches show that instead of threatening the competition and rival companies, Nokia and BlackBerry are taking the whole industry backwards. Meanwhile, so many phone launches later, the world still can’t see a truly innovative device.

The smartphone market is an industry which has reached a saturation point as of now. Major companies like Samsung and Apple has nothing new to offer, especially in the value addition to the consumer sector. Now that Nokia and BlackBerry are trying to enter the market with phones which were historically famous, goes on to show why innovation and future of smartphones have reached a dead end. However, Nokia has still tried a bit with its new Android devices to woo the young consumer who has no idea what Nokia phones were. Nokia is starting from the scratch and in order to become the leader in the business again, it has to look ahead and not bank on the Nokia school of design only. The only good thing, though, is the ‘pure Android’ experience, but that will only be showcased once people start using it.

Nokia 3310 has risen from the ashes and comes in a variety of colours and a little different design. Nokia also unveiled the Nokia 3 and Nokia 5 smartphones, alongside the worldwide release of Nokia 6. Nokia has finally re-launched the classic 3310 handset which was once the most loved and resilient phone. The Nokia 3310 was first unveiled in the year 2000, and it had paved way for a new generation of devices with sturdy bodies and bigger batteries. The launch event was watched all over the world, as Nokia, which was once a pioneer in mobile technology, now has a second chance into the smartphone market, especially after the debacle with Microsoft.

Also read | MWC 2017: Iconic Nokia 3310 makes a comeback, but does it have a future?

BlackBerry has always been known for its security features and physical keyboards, and that is what the company is bringing back. The KeyOne is manufactured by BlackBerry in partnership with TCL. The manufacturer has also added many security features and that makes it better than other smartphones in that segment. This will be the last phone by BlackBerry as TCL will be manufacturing the phones by the brand name.

Also read | MWC 2017: BlackBerry launches all new KeyOne smartphone: specs, features and price

Once the world’s dominant cellphone maker, Nokia missed out on the transformation of the mobile market to smartphones. Thereafter, Nokia chose Microsoft’s Windows operating system for its “Lumia” range. After the Nokia-Microsoft deal in 2014, Microsoft continued to sell cheaper basic phones under Nokia’s name and Lumia smartphones by its own name but abandoned both the businesses last year. Meanwhile, HMD last month took over the Nokia feature phone business and bagged the deal of Nokia brand (phones and tablets) for the next decade.

Meanwhile, once a market leader BlackBerry now virtually has a zero percent share. According to the market research firm Gartner, out of more than 431.5 million smartphones sold last year, about 200,000 were BlackBerry devices that were running on its own operating system but that gives it less than half the unit volume of the ‘other OS’ category.

Meanwhile, even if we ignore a truly new technology, consumers still do not get to see a smaller battery with more life, better camera, more network and connectivity options.

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