By James Bourne | Developer Tech
It was first announced back in 2011, was expected to be launched in 2012, but its various setbacks meant that 2013 was the earliest time a rollout of BlackBerry 10 could be expected.And the BB10 launch today, simultaneously in Dubai, Johannesburg, London, New York, Paris and Toronto, threw up a few surprises as well as some expected features.
The key pieces of news following the BlackBerry 10 launch were:
Research in Motion changes its company name to BlackBerry, in order to promote a single brand theme
Two smartphones are unveiled: the Q10, with the BlackBerry trademark QWERTY keyboard; and the Z10, a touchscreen device
The BlackBerry Z10 will hit stores in the UK from January 31, Canada on February 5 and the USA in March, with 70,000 apps on launch
RIM’s stock goes down from $16.62 a share leading up to the launch to $14.41 – a loss of 6% for the day
Other features of the nascent platform includes BlackBerry Flow, which enables apps and features to flow seamlessly together; a more intuitive keyboard which learns frequent words a user types; and BlackBerry Balance, which separates work and personal content and smartly hits BlackBerry’s traditional enterprise user base.
“Today sees a reinvented BlackBerry launching an entirely new mobile experience,” said BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins in a prepared statement. “Every feature, every gesture, and every detail in BlackBerry 10 is designed to keep you moving.”
This is a view supported by Adam Leach, principal analyst at Ovum, who states that BlackBerry 10 is “a differentiated user experience in today’s crowded and homogenous smartphone market.”
“BlackBerry has rightly focused on ensuring that the BlackBerry 10 devices have a large catalogue of content and applications which is now essential for any modern smartphone, and achieving 70,000 applications at the launch of a new platform is a good start,” notes Leach.
“However, Ovum believes that despite a well-designed BlackBerry 10 platform, that will certainly attract short-term interest from existing users, the company will struggle to appeal to a wider audience and in the long-term will become a niche player in the smartphone market,” he added.
David Akka, of Magic Software, agrees with this viewpoint, stating: “With the launch of BlackBerry 10, RIM will be looking to make an imminent impact on the enterprise and bring the fight to Microsoft, building upon their legacy of secure and reliable devices in an attempt to win back favour amongst the CrackBerry faithful.”
DeveloperTech asked back in June ‘RIM RIP?’, and has ultimately been proved right – but only in terms of the company name, it seems.
But how will the markets react to the former Research in Motion now being called BlackBerry, and will BB10 mark a return to dominance in the OS wars?
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