When cell phones first started to gain mass popularity, Nokia and BlackBerry were some of the biggest names in the industry. But with the introduction and development of smartphones, these two brands were somewhat forgotten and began to be remembered on nostalgic whims. But neither company is going anywhere and have already released two well-regarded devices, the Nokia 6 and the BlackBerry Mercury.
The iPhone was first introduced by the late Steve Jobs in 2007, a debut that changed the platform of communication. But since then, tech giants like Apple and Samsung have mastered the technology and have therefore dominated the market. Nevertheless, Nokia and BlackBerry never really disappeared - and this year is estimated to be both companies' comeback year.
As C|Net notes, the Nokia 6 and the BlackBerry Mercury are both expected to launch globally at the Mobile World Congress in February. The event has been an annual staple that showcases the most exciting and most modern items and technology. It might also work well for the companies as the units will get the necessary media attention without the pressure of a stand-alone launch.
Nevertheless, the publication continues on to point out that neither Nokia nor BlackBerry is actually stamping their names on the handhelds. The Nokia 6 is technically licensed by HMD and manufactured by Foxconn FIH Mobile. Meanwhile, Blackberry still has control of its software like the BlackBerry Hub, but TCL owns the license to manufacture the phone. The pressure of a successful smartphone is thereby not carried by one company alone.
Another change that is coming to the Nokia 6 and the BlackBerry Mercury is that both tech companies have welcomed Android as an operating system. At the beginning, Nokia partnered up with Microsoft to launch the Lumia line while BlackBerry used its own OS. The Nokia 6 will be the company's first foray into Android territory, but the BlackBerry Mercury will run on a combination of Android and the company's own security software.
The similarities, however, seem to end there as both handhelds cater to different target audiences. While the Nokia 6 is considered to be a midrange phone, the BlackBerry Mercury is targeted to compete with higher end models. Nokia's flagship sells for about US$250 in China. The price for BlackBerry's contender is still unknown at this point, but TCL does have plans in place for a range of devices that hit all ranges, with Mercury topping it all off.
Nokia's smartphone branding has always fought against other mid-range devices, but this does not mean it will succeed in doing so. However, adopting the Android OS is sure to boost its popularity from the onset. Meanwhile, BlackBerry looks to be holding on to past strengths as it reintroduces its classic QWERTY keyboard.
As Mirror UK notes, the both devices were announced at the recently concluded Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas. But while the Nokia 6 will be released in China exclusively, very little was actually divulged about the BlackBerry Mercury. More is expected to be learned at MWC 2017.