Can BlackBerry bounce back?
- Published: 27/09/2012 at 03:03 AM
- Online news:
Demonstrations at the BlackBerry Jam event show that there is still plenty of life and innovation left in the RIM smartphone.
The next generation of BlackBerry handsets promises a balance between business and pleasure.
To borrow a phrase from Mark Twain, reports of the BlackBerry's death may have been greatly exaggerated. While analysts and commentators continue to focus on Research In Motion's next quarterly earnings report, the Canadian firm has been busy impressing apps developers and leading tech journalists at its BlackBerry Jam conference with new features and specifications regarding its much anticipated BlackBerry 10 handsets and platform.
One of the most original aspects of the new range of devices is that they are aimed at work and play. RIM wants to capitalize on the fact that more and more of us are bringing our own devices to work and with a new feature called BlackBerry Balance: owners can switch effortlessly between their work and leisure profiles so that the handset is essentially two phones. In work mode it complies with your company's IT and security protocols, and only business contacts are visible as well as the apps you need to do your job. Switch to personal mode and you can see all of your friends, family and photos and catch up on Facebook.
In keeping with this simplicity, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Linkedin are built into the new operating system so there's no need to launch apps or open folders to stay connected. This integration also means that you can view all of your messages and notifications simultaneously, in one place, just by dragging a thumb up the screen, a feature RIM is calling Peek.
Despite these major new features, BlackBerry's critics will point to the fact that its apps store is way behind those of Apple and Android, and it is with this in mind that the company is doing a lot to stimulate its ecosystem and show loyalty to developers. It has pledged to pay developers up to $10,000 for apps that are approved by RIM, are ready before January 13, 2013 yet fail to make more than $1000 in revenue over their first 12 months.
However, the best news of all for die-hard BlackBerry fans is RIM CEO Thorsten Heins's pledge to continue building handsets with keyboards as well as developing 100 percent touchscreen models.
And while many tech journalists at the San Jose, California event went out of their way to press RIM for a launch date for the new handset, there was no official statement. However that has done nothing to stop rumors that the BlackBerry 10 could be released as soon as January 2013.
About the author
- Writer: AFP
Position: News agency