Posted 09/28/2012 at 10:51 AM
Posted 4 years ago
Thorsten Heins, the chief executive of BlackBerry took to the stage 9/27/2012 at the BlackBerry Jam Americas conference to deliver a keynote speech and introduce the upcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system – the OS to save RIM.
In his speech, Heins revealed to those in attendance that 80 million people around the world now use BlackBerry – up two million from earlier in the year. It was also revealed that these 80 million users were in some 170 different markets and that total app downloads for 2012 had already surpassed the total amount for 2011, with unique downloads in 2012 growing 54% over 2011.
The message being delivered by Heins was clearly aimed at developers, who have traditionally found it hard to develop on the platform. Heins mentioned that the hard days for developers were behind them, with BlackBerry 10 providing a more flexible platform. Many of the developers in attendance seemed to be impressed with what Thorsten was saying; the Dev Alpha B handset that was shown off has been produced specifically for developers to test out new programs, and RIM has also recently announced a $10K Developer Commitment program to help developers bring their best apps to BB10, as reported by e27.
The new OS
The new BB10 operating system is far removed from the corporate devices that have become so familiar. The new sleeker and lighter design is far more consumer friendly and focuses on what RIM do best – productivity, reliability, multitasking, and of course the keyboard. A new feature called BlackBerry Flow, Peek and Hub has been introduced, allowing users to easily move between applications without having to navigate back to the home screen or scroll through menus. RIM says that this is done to make apps more readable, accessible and sharable.
BlackBerry App World – it has to be said one of the worst things about BB phones – is getting an iTunes-style makeover with a whole range of entertainment downloads available. Facebook has also built a dedicated app for BlackBerry and RIM is working tirelessly to ensure key applications are available when the new App World for BlackBerry 10 opens on 10 October 2012.
While the new BB10 OS looks the part and Thorsten Heins’ delivered a speech to impress, the troubles the RIM is in are still clearly evident. At the same event last year, a 2,000 seat hall had standing room only; this year Research in Motion barely managed to fill a third of a 1,500 capacity venue – a stark reminder that plenty of hopes are pinned on BlackBerry 10.
To make matters worse, later today RIM will announce financial results, and as Matt Warman writes in The Telegraph:
“…analysts widely expect to simply be another milestone on the company’s long and sharpening decline. With 90 per cent of its stock market value already gone, many analysts expect the results to be the last time that the company will post a rise in its subscribers for years to come. And even the most recent rises have seen growth in low-profit, developing markets offsetting falls in profitable Western Europe and America.”
Will BB10 prove too little, too late as Wired suggest, or is RIM capable of coming back from the brink? BlackBerry has brought so much to the smartphone market; I sincerely hope BB10 is a huge success.