Much has been made of the role played by BlackBerry’s instant messaging service during this month’s riots. Within this debate, some voices are calling for access to such technology to be curbed, although this ignores the force for good it can be. After all, the #riotwombles used similar techniques to the rioters as they mobilised street cleaning efforts.
But will Blackberry’s brand be tarnished in the longer run by association with those on the wrong side of the law? It’s unlikely given BlackBerry’s established perception as the corporate choice and the widespread awareness of alternative free messaging services. More pertinent is how BlackBerry maintains the ground it’s gained in the mobile phone space, particularly the corporate market, while also competing in the rapidly growing tablet market. In this context, Google’s purchase of Motorola Mobility looks more threatening to the makers of the BlackBerry.