BlackBerry 10: BlackBerry’s road to redemption?

BlackBerry 10: BlackBerry’s road to redemption?


Diwash Gahatraj

January 30, 2013 - All BlackBerry fans marked this date in their diary because this day the much-awaited and updated operating system (OS) BlackBerry 10 sees the light of day at last. Research In Motion, which is now formally BlackBerry, showcased its news operating system, which is a make or break opportunity for the company trying hard to make a comeback.

A flashback image of the mobile industry a few years ago will show BlackBerry (BB) standing a league ahead in the smartphone market. Almost every other corporate guy was seen with a BlackBerry device.

But the scene has completely changed today.

The smartphone world is buzzing with new and interesting inventions. Apple iOS and Google’s Android muscled phones with their multifunctional and affordable options have swept the market completely, leaving RIM with no air to breathe.

RIM’s CEO, Thorsten Heins had once said, “We believe Blackberry cannot succeed if we try to be everybody’s darling and all things to all people.” Was Heins wrong and too ambitious to say this? Because BlackBerry’s target customers - ‘the business community’ - seem to have forgotten the device which was the original wireless, handheld computer-gadget with multiple communication channels.

The target customers followed the rapidly evolving technology market and opted for other smartphones with cutting edge technology. RIM somehow forgot to change to stay ahead.

But with BlackBerry 10, will there be a change of fortune? Will people buy the new phone? What are the features in the new platform that can reinvent the company’s brand?

The most interesting feature of the BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 is that it is compatible with Android and iOS devices. The software, which is available for download now, is available to government agencies and corporate clients.

BlackBerry 10 will come with a recently rebranded BlackBerry App World just like ‘BlackBerry World‘, for new apps, music and other digital content.

The Canadian firm is launching the BlackBerry 10 operated devices with many interesting multi-tasking options. BlackBerry Hub is one such cool feature that lets the user access often-used functions like messages, notifications, contacts and calendars without switching between apps.

Similarly, BlackBerry Flow is a feature that enables users to go back to what they were doing and return to their current task with a simple swipe of the screen. Now, there will be no need to go to the homescreen to view the running apps.

Another feature to boast about is BlackBerry Balance which will help easily switch between work apps and personal apps.

A feature that shows RIM is finally catching up with the changing tech trend is video calling. Users with BlackBerry 10 enabled phones will be able to make video calls and also share their screen with others.

With many other interesting features like the onscreen keyboard that predicts what you're typing and camera that takes multiple shots in a group photo and allows user to select the best photo for individual faces, the new OS seems very promising.

For the sure success of BB10, pricing will be a major factor. Android phones are coming with many options that are affordable. RIM has to be very balanced with their pricing. If pre-launch leak reports are to be trusted, BlackBerry Z10, the all touch phone that will run on BlackBerry 10, is priced at 480 pounds. Price in India is not yet known so far; hope the new phone is pocket friendly.

Now the big question is, will this software give a fitting response to the Android and iOS operated devices or will it act as the last nail in the company’s coffin. Being an ardent BB fan, hope it works out better this time.