RIM, makers of the once dominant BlackBerry smartphone ecosystem, is ready to launch its new device lineup, and it looks like it will at least have some apps to show off when it does. Unfortunately for RIM, it won't be enough. There's always a bit of excitement over a new smartphone, and because RIM has such an extensive smartphone history, it's for sure the case with the BlackBerry 10 imminent launch.
Apps Ported to BlackBerry 10
BlackBerry developers took up a recent RIM US $100 offer to partake in a marathon-style porting party, and the company says it approved 15,000 apps for the new system in one weekend. That's impressive. When the system debuts on Jan 30, there will at least be a tidy stockpile of apps to play with when the phones go on sale.
In the US, all the major carriers have said they plan to carry BlackBerry 10 devices, and several new devices there will be. Additionally, there are rumors that Skype will be available on BB10. Previous BB devices lacked the front facing cameras Skype needs, a problem rectified with the rumored BB Z10 smartphone launch.
This product refresh has been a long time coming, so while it won't likely bury the company, we doubt it will be much of a hit with consumers. RIM's strongest supporters, however, are a powerful group indeed. Enterprise apps have always been the core of BlackBerry devices, and as long as companies in the finance and tech sectors snap them up for their workforce, it should at least buy RIM time to really wow new buyers.
Even Wall Street is getting a little excited about the launch. RIM stock prices shot up by nearly 10% this week. If it keeps going up during the last few days before the BB10 launch, RIM will indeed have something to celebrate.
Need more rumors to keep your interest? There are some new leaked images of forthcoming QWERTY keyboard phones running the new BB10 operating system. Up until now, the focus has been on the touchscreen devices leaked.
Specifically, a phone like the as yet unannounced Z10, has been the main focus of so much speculation. That's because it has a larger screen than any other BB phone yet, and the fact it has no physical keyboard like so many popular phones like the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S3.
How Can BlackBerry Succeed?
We see several possible scenarios out there for BlackBerry. It will be a runaway hit (not a chance), it will be successfull enough to keep the company afloat (most likely) or it will bury RIM (still a chance, sadly). Could another company still be eyeing RIM for a takeover despite how the launch goes? It's certainly not unthinkable, but that is veering off into far out speculation.
Given how much RIM has put into BB10, it ought to do well enough to keep the company going even if it does not preclude an orgy of new customers buying the devices. In a way, it's not unlike the Microsoft Windows Phone system. It's not breaking sales records, but the system keeps Microsoft in some consumers' minds anyway. RIM is not nearly as financially well off as Microsoft, of course, so it's not exactly the same situation.
It will take a couple years to really see the impact on Android and iOS device sales for either BB10 or Windows Phone 8, but at least for RIM, a hot start would really be a big boost.