Research in Motion (RIM), the maker of BlackBerry, held a special launching event on Wednesday January 30 in New York where the company brought in a new operating system called ‘BlackBerry 10’ for their two new phones. Given that the plummeting market share had kept BlackBerry on life support, the company did not hide the fact that the new operating system and phones should be good enough to breathe life into the declining community.
Apart from launching the phones, the CEO Thorsten Heins declared the re-branding of RIM as BlackBerry. He Said that now BlackBerry would be the only brand for which their employees would work, which their shareholders would own, and which their customers would use. The stock symbol of the company has also changed from RIMM to BBRY.
Let’s take a look at the launching event at a glance:
The company brought tow new phones called Z10 and Q10 running on BB10 operating system. They showed hands-on demonstrations of the phones’ key features. The demonstrations proved the superiority of the BB10’s new features to previous BlackBerrys.
A single thumb is enough to operate the new touch interface and all the important functions are just a swipe or two away. The predictive keyboard seemed to be the best on any mobile platform. However, the hands-on demonstrations did not include any major apps. So, it is not clear what apps will be available for the phones. However, hints were given about the availability of Twitter and Facebook apps.
As expected, the display of the new phones was not large. The Z10 has a 4.2-inch display, which is nice, but BlackBerry should work on big handsets too.
A vital element of the launch event could be the announcement of a shipping date. However, it was not announced except Canada and a few other countries. All the four major US carriers announced their support for BB10 but instead of giving a specific availability date, the company said it would be obtainable in the US market in March. This uncertainly dropped a lot of points of the company in the US market. The shipping dates were announced for the Z10 only while the Q10 was said to be available in April.
The company even did not disclose any information about pricing. They only said that the Z10 would be available in Canada from February 5 at $149 with a three-year contract.
The phones looked to be good for both the consumers and the enterprises. The RIM brought a balanced OS that can easily be switched from work to play modes. By embracing the BYOD or bring-your-own-device movement, the new OS makes it easy for keep separate the private data from corporate data.
The launching event was pretty good and had some ‘wow’ moments but it was as not astounding as needed to create a rousing success.
RIM entered the smartphone market in 2003, long before Apple’s iPhone or other popular smartphone makers burst on the scene. Those companies took the hold of the market with their more user-friendly smartphones. However, if the new ‘BlackBerry 10’ fails to impress the consumers, Rim will be in trouble to survive in the competitive market heralded by Apple and other companies.