For Research in Motion (RIM) CEO, Thorsten Heins, it will be a hard nut to revamp the insecure image of Blackberry in the market. RIM sees a golden opportunity in the launch of the BlackBerry (BB) 10. The latest offering by RIM has been developed keeping in mind BlackBerry’s social media lovers. Heins contemplates that if BB 10 does not make it to the expectations this time it could be taken over by some other major giant like Amazon. The BB 10 platform is expected to be released at the end of January 2013, and the tech pundits are keeping their fingers crossed for something special this time.
On the first look, the BlackBerry 10 device will grab your eyeballs. BB10 is a 5-inch device with swipe interfaces and no buttons. Unveiled at the BlackBerry Jam developer conference, the BB10 platform has an Alpha setup.
With the launch of BB 10 quite close, the million dollar question is whether BlackBerry 10 will restore RIM’s lost place in the hearts of its users? We will just have to wait and watch. Information about the BB 10 devices and the platform has leaked consistently in the last six months, and we have a hazy idea of what we can expect this time. Let’s take a look at twelve central features of the BlackBerry 10:
1. BB 10 has an intuitive typing feature using auto-text.
2. BB 10 supports several tools like Native SDK, HTML 5 WebWorks and Java.
3. BB 10 may be renamed with a stylish new name as Z10 (Zee 10 or Zed 10).
4. RIM will release a QWERTY keyboard device alongside the touchscreen device.
5. BB 10 platform will get a speed upgrade as it will offer a 4G PlayBook. The 4G PlayBook will come with either a 7 or 10-inch display. It is confirmed that BB10 will come with a 1.5 GHz dual core processor.
6. BB 10 OS will see a fusion with Evernote (a productivity service).
7. BB 10 will have the support of two handsets. The first handset will have a touchscreen device named as the L-series. Its expected screen specs are: 1280×768 pixels, 55 mm wide, 356 ppi. The second handset will be more like a QWERTY keyboard called N-series (N for Nevada). Its screen specs will be 720×720 pixels, 52–53 mm wide, and pixel density at around 330 ppi.
8. BB 10 will feature a Messenger app. The app is intended to reduce battery consumption by using OLED screen.
9. BB 10 will include a BBM video. RIM added to this feature following the huge success of BBM voice.
10. BB 10 will be a dual-camera smart phone. 8MP rear camera with LED flash and 2MP front camera.
11. BB 10 or Z10 is rumored to launch around 30 January 2013 along with BlackBerry 10 OS. RIM is planning to launch six BlackBerry 10 devices.
12. Other BB 10 features will include 4.2 or 4.3- inch display (1280 x 768 resolution), 16GB or 32 GB of internal storage, micro SD support, 2GB of RAM, 1800 mAh removable battery, NFC Bluetooth 4.0 and micro HDMI- out port. BB 10 will be powered by TI OMAP 4470 1.5GHz Dual-Core Processor, Quad-band LTE.
RIM Hopes for a Miracle with BlackBerry 10, Stock Rises 10%
For smartphone developers RIM has announced two concrete plans: Built for BlackBerry and the $10K Developer Commitment. Developers get to take part in the Built for BlackBerry program. For a price, developers will have to submit BlackBerry 10 WebWorks and BlackBerry 10 Native apps for free. The reward is a “Built for BlackBerry” badge which can be displayed on various websites.
RIM claims to have an expert developer community in the market. This community will review submissions from other developers. If a developer app submitted earns $1,000 USD in net revenue on its own, but less than $10K USD, RIM will pay the difference between the revenue earned and $10K USD.
Only time will tell if all the efforts by RIM will lead to a resurgence in BB 10 development. For now, we know that investors are loving it. The good news is that Verizon, AT&T and Sprint have promised to support BB 10 Smartphones. Alongside, RIM has received 15,000 app submissions from developers towards its $10K Developer Commitment strategy. Investors foresee steady growth of BB 10 due to iPhone’s slowing pace. Strikingly, BB 10 rumors have nearly doubled the stock of BlackBerry from under $8 to nearly $14.95 all because of pre-sale orders.
It will be exciting to see BB 10 giving tough competition to Apple, Samsung and Nokia. As the sudden success of iPhone has shown the world, the success of a single device can turn things for a mobile company. Will 2013 the be the year of RIM, or will it be known as the year BlackBerry died? The next few weeks will answer this question.