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Five things that doomed the big and brilliant BlackBerry 10

So long, and thanks for all the emails

4. Alicia Keys

No. Really. Cast your mind back to this day.

Alicia will work closely with app developers, content creators, retailers, carriers and the entertainment community to further shape and enhance the BlackBerry 10 platform, and inspire creative use through its remarkable capabilities and functionality.

From music to books, to film, to apps, Keys will lead the charge of enhancing entertainment consumption and distribution, through the power of BlackBerry 10.

We are excited she will be bringing to us her enormous capabilities, as well as a vast network of relationships in the entertainment, social media and business communities, to help shape our brand and grow our business

So said BlackBerry President and CEO Thorsten Heins, in a joint press release, 29/1/2013.

Reason No.4 is not Alicia Keys herself, who in a flurry of air-kissing was appointed "Global Creative Director" at BlackBerry, as RIM became known that day.

The appointment was one of those then-fashionable arrangements where a celebrity received a phoney job title for their expensive endorsement. Two weeks later Keys was Tweeting using an iPhone (she claimed she was hacked).

No, it wasn't Alicia. It was the vanity strategy that deemed her necessary. The strategy that targeted consumers, in the assumption that they would come flocking back to BlackBerry in early 2013.

As we've seen, many had left two years earlier, in the "annus horribilis" of 2011. During 2011, BlackBerry's market share dwindled from 14.6 per worldwide to 8.8 per cent according to Gartner.

It would have been very difficult to regain consumer mindshare with seven out of eight consumers already using other people's platforms, and would be even harder with one in twelve, no licensing partners, and only $2bn in the bank.

Then in October, came the global network outage, leaving BlackBerry owners capable of doing little more than make and receive calls for three days. It reminded many of those who'd chosen their own phones that it was time to move on.

Kelkoo surveyed BlackBerry owners after the network outage, and found that two-thirds were considering switching to an iPhone. They'd had enough.

Next page: 3. BB10 was too big

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