The news is fairly surging out of RIM this week as the company prepares for the launch of the Blackberry 10 platform and devices that will decide its future in the marketplace.
Going All In With Business
Among a battery of stories coming from RIM, not including the latest leaks of its new devices in action, the company has shown off its business credentials with some 1,600 enterprises announced as getting in early to try out the preparation services in the "BlackBerry 10 Ready" scheme.
Those businesses will be all ready to get up and running with the new infrastructure, services, devices and apps when they launch in February. Similarly, BlackBerry Enterprise Server 10, has been in beta testing with over 130 enterprises and .gov agencies, across the North American continent.
While consumers will be need to be sold on the hardware and ecosystem (and the pretty new Titanium Samsung Galaxy SIII will be tough to top), business users will look to services and infrastructure as key investment points.
The business press is playing with the devices ahead of the launch and the Economist.com's Tom Standage just tweeted, "Played with a BB10 device and it's… rather lovely. Lots of beautiful little touches. The word that springs to mind is 'classy'."
Building Up An App Head of Steam
Of course, no one will be buying BB10 devices if there are no apps to go with the OS. RIM is already getting up to speed on this front, having announced that some 15,000 apps have been submitted via a porting bounty scheme, subject to approval.
Many of these are ports of Android apps, an OS that RIM has targeted to make converting over apps as easy as possible. This easy source of fuel for the BB fire will help the app store get up and running, but while Microsoft was claiming around 46 of the top 50 iOS apps on its Windows Phone 8 store, we wait to see how many RIM can claim at its launch. However many there it, it will likely never reach the heights of Apple's 20 billion app downloads. RIM is claiming some 70,000 apps in total will be available at launch.
Beyond those we'll also be looking for unique apps or services, especially for business users that the BB10 ecosystem will offer. Enterprises will definitely be able to make use of BB 10's NFC service (where pay points exist) as the company's Secure Element Manager (SEM) been approved by VISA, another of RIM's recent news pieces.
SEM offers cloud-based software and server infrastructure that is managed by RIM, like the communications infrastructure, something that rivals lack or could struggle to match as NFC continues to make a shaky start in life.
Hyper Active Leaks
All of this activity has seen RIM's stock price approaching a 12-month high, and if the launch goes well should see the company consolidating its third place (which Microsoft is chasing down with increased Nokia WP8 sales) in smartphone market sales, and perhaps start working its way back up to Apple and Samsung.
Fuelling the interest are leaks of images, video and documentation of the phones, with a training manual for telcos the latest document to be spread around the web. In the document, RIM describes its typical user as hyperconnected, multitasking and highly organized, and has designed the OS around fulfilling this user's needs.
For the rest of us, there's 20 million songs to listen to and Time Shift Mode and BlackBerry Story Maker to help turn your social events into memories worth sharing. All we need now if the devices themselves (with up to six launch models a possibility) and the marketing blitz to remind the public that BlackBerry is going places.
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