Struggling phone maker hopes for comeback with BlackBerry 10
The makers of BlackBerry devices, Research in Motion, are expected to unveil its new smartphone operating system, BlackBerry 10, and a pair of new handsets on January 30 in New York.
The question that arises here is whether there are enough BlackBerry fans left out there to embrace a new kind of smartphone from a company that has fallen woefully behind the competition, both in sales and innovation, says a CNN report.
To succeed, RIM must persuade diehard BlackBerry fans to upgrade to something radically new. BlackBerry also must woo corporations by emphasizing security and support features while distinguishing itself from the leading smartphone platforms, iOS and Android, and the other new kid, Windows Phone 8, the report said.
Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Gartner said they need to get everything absolutely right, from the design of the hardware to the UI (user interface) of the hardware to the number of applications to the price of the applications.
The troubled RIM needs its new platform to be a success the first time out. It has been a rough couple of years for the Canadian company. Unable to keep pace with the rich app store selections and slick design of iOS and Android devices, RIM has hemorrhaged users in the United States.
The company's public image has suffered, as chunky BlackBerry phones became a popular target for mocking by the press and iPhone owners in coffee shops, bars and meeting rooms.
Over the course of a year, RIM's sales volume dropped 51 percent, according to the company's third quarter 2012 earnings, and in July, RIM announced plans to cut 5,000 jobs.
BlackBerry 10 is set to battle it out with Windows Phone 8 for the No. 3 smartphone operating system worldwide in 2013, behind Android and Apple's iOS.
While its grip has slipped in North America, BlackBerry has maintained a strong presence in such far-flung places as Indonesia, Nigeria, South Africa, Mexico and some South American countries.