BlackBerry has launched its biggest ever training programme among front line staff and call centre workers to try and make its new BB10 devices a hit.
The manufacturer said it has its sights firmly set on maintaining its position as the third platform of choice, putting it head to head with Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8. BlackBerry has been bolstered by each of the UK’s four operators, plus Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4u, throwing their weight behind the devices.
Stephen Bates, regional MD for Europe at BlackBerry, said the manufacturer was playing ‘the long game’ in trying to build the company back to its former glories as a smartphone pioneer. He said: ‘As we can see from the references for BB10, we have a really good alignment with both carriers and retailers. We want to continue that with some major campaigns and activities. We will have hero launches with some of the partners but we are working to ramp BB10 up across the channels.
‘We are training thousands of staff in stores and call centres with a campaign happening throughout February. By the end of the month, every person will clearly understand the benefits of BlackBerry 10.’
Meanwhile, BlackBerry raised a few eyebrows on the other side of the Atlantic when it announced it was launching the Z10 in the UK first.
The device went on sale in Britain within 24 hours of its unveiling, beating BlackBerry’s native Canada to the punch by a week and the US by over a month.
BlackBerry will initially throw its weight behind signing up existing customers to the new BB10 platform. With around 8 million subscribers in the United Kingdom, a figure that has stayed broadly flat during the past two years, this comprises just over 10% of BlackBerry’s global subscriber base. With Android and Apple carving up around 85% of the smartphone market between them, Bates said it will be striving to be the third operating system of choice. He said: ‘Our main aim is to establish ourselves as the third platform. We want to first reach out and engage with our existing business and BlackBerry customers. If we can stay true to those customers and then deliver what they like about BlackBerry after our reinvention, we will be on the right track.’
Author: Graeme Neill