More pictures of the test version of BlackBerry's BB10 smartphone are now out in the wild, as RIM's boss Thorsten Heins and other troops are sent out to butter up the press ahead of next year's launch.
A Glimpse of the Future
If you believe everything you read on the Internet, this is a snap of one of the upcoming BlackBerry 10 evaluation models, codenamed London. While it looks pretty much like most other smartphones, it represents BlackBerry's future along with the more traditional Bold keyboard model.
While this might not be quite how the final product looks like for the February launch, it shouldn't be too far from the truth, as RIM lacks the funds for highly exotic designs or materials. While the company's executives can't show any new product, they are busy reminding buyers, telcos and CSPs that RIM is still a name to be reckoned with.
Talking the Talk
CEO Thorsten Heins has been chatting with The Verge and declared that the company has "one shot" with BlackBerry 10, that could easily be read as last shot. But he's confident and is pushing hard to get 100,000 apps in to the BlackBerry store. He says that he expects laptops to be reduced in use more and for mobile devices to take over more of the work, emphasising the company's enterprise focus.
Overseas, RIM's VP of marketing for EMEA, Rory O’Neill has been talking to South African site ITWeb, about plans for the global launch. "If we think of the continent of Africa, it is the number one fastest growing smartphone market. Nigeria is the number two fastest growing smartphone market worldwide (after China). So there’s no debate. We’re totally committed to the continent and its markets."
So, there is lots of direction and hope coming out of RIM, and while it might not see Apple-like numbers at launch, there is plenty of reason to expect a decent comeback. However, with the recent news that it is approved for secure .gov use dampened by the fact that the NTSB has just dumped them for iPhones, it is still touch and go in how the world will perceive the launch come 2013.