Blackberry must gain ground in smartphone battle – Dan Wagner, CEO, mPowa

mpowaThe launch of the latest Blackberry devices to exemplify need to empower business users

Tomorrow Blackberry will release its latest handsets and operating systems in what is seen as the last roll of the dice for the smartphone manufacturer.

RIM, the company behind Blackberry, has lost market share to rivals Apple and Samsung and is now hoping that its new Blackberry 10 operating system and new smartphones will help the Canadian firm to gain ground.

According to Dan Wagner, CEO of mobile payments firm mPowa, the battle will be lost or won in how well the new devices and operating system will engage the business market.

He said, “In its quest to gain a larger slice of the consumer market, Blackberry mustn’t lose sight of the core business customer base that it initially built its products around. Business has evolved drastically since the launch of Blackberry’s first smartphone in 2003, and business users now want to do more with their hand-held devices, effectively turn them into mobile offices with which they can do far more than merely access their calendars and emails. Many have jumped ship and have opted for rival devices which have much more compelling offerings. Blackberry needs a dynamic platform that supports additional services that make businesses more efficient and mobile – if it is to hang onto its customers.”

mPowa has launched as a point of sale device that enables credit and debit card payments to be made on the go. Its app is available on all platforms including Blackberry, but Dan says part of Blackberry’s problem is that not all app developers have this approach.

He continued, “It was important for us that our service was available to all users, and as a result, we developed for Blackberry devices too. We therefore have a product that enables a wide range of companies to accept card payments wherever they are.

“For Blackberry, an improved operating system is just one part of the journey; the major task Blackberry has is persuading app developers that there is value in investing in its infrastructure. In comparison to iOS and Android, Blackberry has a tough game of catch-up to play when it comes to apps. There is huge growth potential that can be exploited, but Blackberry should be a more future-proof organisation that opens the door for relationships with other innovative companies.”

About mPowa (

mPowa is a point of sale device that enables credit and debit card payments to be made on the go. It consists of a mobile phone app for iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows or Blackberry devices, and a card reader. The reader is a Chip & PIN device which connects to the mobile device via Bluetooth. It is the first service of its kind in the UK.

mPowa was created by multi award-winning serial entrepreneur Dan Wagner. Dan set up mPowa as the mobile off-shoot of his ecommerce and web publishing platform for small businesses called Powa Technologies. Previously, he established Venda – the world’s largest ‘on demand’ ecommerce provider – and Locayta – sophisticated search and profiling technology – both are now global leaders in their fields. Dan has been described by the Financial Times as a ‘lone ranger with a mass target’