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RIM hopes to bounce back With BlackBerry 10.

Olawale AdeyinaJan 25, 20135min

The makers of BlackBerry devices, Research in Motion, are gearing up for a fight they can’t afford to lose.

On January 30 at a press event in New York, the company is expected to finally unveil its new smartphone operating system, BlackBerry 10, and a pair of new handsets — one with a physical keyboard and another that’s all touchscreen.

blackberry 10 phonesBut are there enough BlackBerry fans left out there to embrace a new kind of smartphone from a company that has fallen woefully behind the competition, both in sales and innovation? (Yes, there are a lot of  Blackberry fans  in Africa) Many BlackBerry users in the United States are stuck with the device because it is issued by their employer, which has led to a cumbersome trend of people carrying two devices: a work phone and a personal one.

To succeed, RIM must persuade die-hard BlackBerry fans to upgrade to something radically new. BlackBerry also must woo corporations by emphasizing security and support features while distinguishing itself from the leading smartphone platforms, iOS and Android, and the other new kid, Windows Phone 8.

“They need to get everything absolutely right, from the design of the hardware to the UI (user interface) of the hardware to the number of applications to the price of the applications,” said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Gartner.

“They need to get everything absolutely right, from the design of the hardware to the UI (user interface) of the hardware to the number of applications to the price of the applications,” said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Gartner.

Unlike Microsoft, which cut its teeth on Windows Phone 7 and sunk huge amounts of money into polishing and marketing Windows Phone 8, the troubled RIM needs its new platform to be a success the first time out.

It has been a rough couple of years for the Canadian company. Unable to keep pace with the rich app store selections and slick design of iOS and Android devices, the financial impact was brutal. Over the course of a year, RIM’s sales volume dropped 51%, according to the company’s third quarter 2012 earnings, and in July, RIM announced plans to cut 5,000 jobs.

RIM is expected to cover its bases next week by introducing two devices — one joining the mainstream with an all-touchscreen display and another keeping the keyboard. The release dates for the new products haven’t been announced, but Michaluk thinks RIM could make a touchscreen phone available first in an attempt to convert the curious keyboard faithful.

The BlackBerry 10 operating system will still emphasize work productivity with a BlackBerry Hub feature that collects e-mail and other messages in one spot. A voice assistant will do its best Siri impersonation, and mobile payments will get a boost with built-in NFC.

App selection is another key area that BlackBerry must address. BlackBerry App World, its online store, has about 100,000 apps, compared to more than 700,000 each for Android and Apple. Historically, the company has been known as an inhospitable place for small outside developers. But as part of its internal shakeup, RIM has drastically revamped its developer relations program.

Source: CNN

Olawale Adeyina

Jesus Boy, Tech Enthusiast, Team Lead: TechCityng.com, GreenStreetMedia.Ng


2 comments

  • Sayo Alagbe

    Jan 25, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Cannot wait for the BB10. How much do you suppose it will retail for in Nigeria?

    • TechCity

      Jan 30, 2013 at 6:42 am

      We can’t say for now, until it is officially launched.

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