New BlackBerry 10 devices impress - but can they save RIM?

By , CIO |  Consumerization of IT, BlackBerry, blackberry 10

Again, I can't get into too many specifics, but one of RIM's main goals when creating BlackBerry 10 was to eliminate some of the steps that modern smartphone users have to take when launching and switching between apps, to speed up and streamline the processes. At the heart of this effort is a unified inbox that serves as a central hub for checking all of your various notifications without ever stopping what you're doing.

Gestures are also particularly important to BlackBerry 10, and RIM came up with some cool new ways for users to interact with the devices, apps and the touch-screen keyboard using simple gestures. Some of these gestures will take some getting used to because they really are different than anything that's available today. But the gestures are well thought out, and they should eventually become second-nature to users who learn and use them.

Why Great BlackBerry 10 Hardware, Software Might Not be Enough to Save RIM

After I told my Twitter followers that I was getting a BlackBerry 10 demo, I got a response from a reader (@khalmarri) that made me smile:

"Just tell (us) if it is gonna fly or die. Black or White. No mid option."

I know just how he feels. And I know millions of BlackBerry users feel the same way. Unfortunately, it's just not possible to at this point to say if BlackBerry 10 will save RIM.

Most of my opinions stated above are positive. That's because I'm honestly impressed with BlackBerry 10. I left the demo feeling optimistic for RIM's future. But it's my job to be realistic.

As impressive as the BlackBerry 10 software is, and regardless of how much I like the QWERTY device, RIM is facing an up-hill battle in reviving the BlackBerry brand.

The number one challenge for RIM: Apps. Regardless of whether or not the average smartphone user really needs even a fraction of the mobile apps available on RIM-rival platforms, including iOS and Android, the users think they need them. And in this case, perception has become the reality.

It's a fact that RIM has fallen behind its rivals when it comes to app quality and selection, and this is a huge reason why RIM decided to release a brand new OS instead of improving on its old foundation. The current BlackBerry OS is difficult for developers to work with, and BlackBerry 10 should be a lot simpler for developers.

RIM's future isn't just about the BlackBerry 10 hardware or software; it's about developer support--and not just independent developers but the big-name developers that have shunned BlackBerry in the past. The Netflixs. The Amazons. Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks. Instagram.


Originally published on CIO |  Click here to read the original story.
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