The announcement Wednesday of two BlackBerry smartphones, the Z10 and the Q10, gave the company now called BlackBerry a chance to renew its fortunes after seeing its smartphone share drop to less than 5% globally. This, from a company that used to sell so many handhelds that heavy users called them CrackBerrys.
And three of the industry's brightests analysts were there to shine a light on all the drama. They pulled out their handy and worn copies of "Glossary of Ill-Begotten Metaphors for Wayward Technology Analysts" and came up with comparisons that included spawning salmon, twin demons and--who could resist?--the SuperBowl.
Bob O'Donnell, analyst at IDC said at the New York event on Wednesday: "Is this [smartphone announcement] strong enough to drive them forward? It depends on marketing. Are they big enough salmon to jump back to the spawning ground?"
Jan Dawson, analyst at Ovum wrote Monday: "RIM continues to face the twin demons of consumer-driven buying power and a chronic inability to appeal to mature market consumers. There is nothing in what we've seen so far of BB10 that it will conquer the second of those demons and the first is utterly out of RIM's control."
IHS, in a Thursday statement partly attributed to analyst Ian Fogg with this stirring introduction, possibly penned by editorial senior manager Jonathan Cassell: "It’s the fourth quarter in the Smartphone Bowl, and the company formerly known as Research In Motion (RIM) is up against bigger, tougher competition as precious seconds tick down to the end of regulation play. However, while the odds against success may be long, the company this week improved its chances of pulling off a last-minute upset with the introduction of the BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system and the Z10 and Z10 smartphone models."
Actually, these wordsmiths gave me an excellent opportunity to comment upon BlackBerry's fortunes as well, (with a little mixing of the metaphors for effect): "BlackBerry has canned its old name RIM and promoted two rising young stars to lead the old vessal beyond deeper waters to a distant shore where Sisyphus is breaking his back pushing that damn boulder up the steep hill that iOS and Android built just to be able to point and laugh at their enemies."
Oh, mercy. Stop me now.