Next week RIM CEO Thorsten Heins will unveil the company’s new BlackBerry 10 mobile platform, and the hardware that will run it as it looks towards reaffirming its position as a true contender in the smartphone market.
The long awaited announcement has been on the cards since it was showcased at BlackBerry World Orlando last year, but problems with its development has led to delays with the official launch.
After several months the software and rumoured BB10 devices are now ready to take centre stage, and it looks to be one of the Canadian firm’s biggest propositions to date.
The manufacturer has pulled out all the stops to bring users its most intuitive platform yet, but it remains to be seen whether this will be enough to turn the company’s fortunes around.
Whatever happens, RIM must use this as an opportunity to keep its current BlackBerry users-most of whom are still using the somewhat unpredictable BB6 and BB7 OS.
Over the past few years RIM has faced much criticism and it’s no secret that its market share has seen a steep decline as its competitors Android, iOS and Windows Phone bring more wares to the table.
It won’t be easy for RIM to compete against such strong influences on the smartphone market, but if it manages to lure current dissatisfied users onto the new platform it could slowly start to claw its way to the top.
We carried out our own research to find out if this success is possible and whilst the majority of our respondents don’t currently own a BlackBerry handset, 38% of our audience are still fans of RIM’s products and would consider BlackBerry for their next device.
Promoting device performance will be a key component to RIM’s success, because as you’re probably aware, the current BlackBerry software can be hugely unreliable and cause many problems for users.
Facebook follower Mike Smith took to the Dialaphone Facebook page commenting that despite currently owning a BlackBerry he doesn’t intend to for much longer. Another, Ben Tanguay, says he only has a BlackBerry for work, opting to use an Android device as his personal choice of OS. It becomes clear from the other comments that they are not alone in this view.
Since RIM launched its first BlackBerry in 1999 the company’s portfolio of devices has proved to be a huge hit with business users, possibly a result of their aptitude for corporate use and the way in which they have been marketed. This could well continue with the launch of BB10 with the added bonus of ensnaring a wider user-base through the strength of the new features set to be introduced.
Having had a hands-on with the software, it’s clear to us that RIM has put everything into producing intuitive software and hardware, positioning itself as a manufacturer that provides a device suitable for both business and personal use.
The way in which RIM markets its new OS will affect the uptake of the platform. But, judging by what we’ve seen so far and the confidence RIM has shown in its latest venture, the omens are good and BB10’s launch bodes well for the start of a successful new chapter for the Canadian firm.