BB10 goes Live

20130130-112930.jpg

The cats out of the bag, finally! Thorsten Heins unveiled BB10 in a global launch from New York City this morning. We watched live from IBM Connect13 and impressed is the best way to sum up the thinking

Firstly Thorsten shared how challenging the year had been, how risky BB10 was and he honoured his predecessors Jim Balsallie and Mike Lazaridis for all their work in helping build the future company. This new company will be called Blackberry was also announced, no more RIM, one brand globally for all aspects of the company.

The devices then appeared from the floor on poles, gliding up slowly, the Z10 (touchscreen) and the Q10 (Physical Keyboard) It’s a difficult challenge these days to create a differentiator with hardware, rectangular, no buttons lots of screen, how different can it be? Blackberry have done pretty well here, with glass weave lightweight materials, contoured easy hold and different colours available, well we saw white.

The Z sports a 4.2′ screen, 8mp camera and allegedly will retail sim-free at £480.

Thorsten handed over to Vivek to deliver some demos and this is where it got good…..

  • Blackberry Flow, if you have used expose on a mac its like that, seamless switching between apps one thumb.
  • Blackberry Hub, very cool all your collaboration in one place. Email, Twitter Facebook, Linked in …. You can post tweats or Facebook updates directly from Hub, no need to switch to the apps. While watching a movie you can slide from the left to peak at your incoming messages.
  • The Smart keyboard, is able to work out what you meant to type and even learns what mistakes you make over time, rumoured to be the best touchscreen keyboard ever, type away when the word appears you want simply swipe up to accept, neat! There is the Q series with proper keyboard for those die hard crackberry fans.
  • Blackberry Balance was featured in the demo, this is already out there on existing BB devices and sits well on the new platform, it’s like having 2 devices in one, personal and work and you switch between them.
  • Blackberry Reminder, this is a new feature and allows you to save all types of content into one place, a folder for a project for example. It could be pictures, emails, bookmarks anything.

  • Many other aspects where shown and overall it was a good launch of what looks to be a great product. Available from tomorrow in the UK and not until March in the U.S, the UK consumers must feel special.

    In reflection then, is it about the device? not really no. its about the apps with 70,000 expected and 100,000 within a month, not a bad start.

    Will it save them? Lets hope so, time will tell, with Microsoft investing heavily its going to be tough for RIM and its to close to call IMHO. If it is about investment Microsoft will surly win that one so lets see how loyal the fans are, and how appealing the device is to consumers of other platforms, many of which are bored and looking for a change, and therefore a shift.

    So is patience a virtue?

    Shares in Blackberry were down after the launch.

    A big day tomorrow for RIM, the most important one in their history?

    20130129-111744.jpg

    This was a real tweet, I liked it!

    One day to go before RIM start the journey to their survival! Here at IBM Connect 2013 you don’t see many Blackberry users, plus I have not seen a single Playbook! As we are in North America it may be slightly skewed in comparison to Europe but its bad none the less.

    BB10 devices I have seen look great, feel great and the interface is excellent, Blackberry Hub looks good so lets hope for all of us they can survive and make a comeback.

    We need RIM as they keep Apple, Google and Microsoft on their toes, we enjoy the benefits of hefty competition everyday in the devices we use.

    Attending an event tomorrow that will stream live the New York show, more to follow on this story.

    RIM loses a million subscribers in a month (ouch)

    20121224-095105.jpg
    RIM, Research in Motion headquartered in Waterloo Canada and the company who makes Blackberry have reported 3rd quarter results, and they make miserable reading, the first decline of this significance in its history

    So in Q3 they lost a million subscribers and revenues fell by 48% to $2.7bn from $5.2bn this time last year, all this a month before the launch of the BB10 products, which RIM hopes will reverse its fortunes. This leaves them at a measly 4.3% market share compare that to iOS at 14.9% and Android at 75%!

    We believe the company has stabilized and will turn the corner in the next year,” Thorsten Heins, the chief executive, said in a conference call with analysts. “We are realistic about our competitors, but we know that customers in this industry demand and respond to innovation.”

    The new BB10 device pictured above looks great and we hope all their incentives and promotions in the developer community have paid off, making sure the must have apps are ready on day one.

    Vodafone, O2, EE and 3 have all confirmed they will be offering BB10 devices in 2013.

    BB10 run Rim’s own operating system originally known as QNX and acquired in April 2010, it was first seen on the Playbook which has had a bumpy ride but is now a good buy at c£100.

    Source : New York Times

    BBM gets a voice, but cooler still you can type and talk!

    20121211-233222.jpgRIM has added voice call capability into its popular Blackberry Messenger Application, something that should have come sooner, a theme we have seen quite a lot recently with the Canadian company.

    What is funky in this update is the ability to text chat while you talk, so speakerphone chat and text message them, or presumably someone else simultaneously. In a world where we rarely do one thing at a time this is nifty we can do even more multitasking.

    The future of this platform is still within a Blackberry only community, this doesn’t seem sustainable as people move over to products like WhatsApp so they can interact with non-Blackberry friends and colleagues. A gateway service or even opening up the platform would be great. If BBM and WhatsApp were somehow connected then users on both sides of the divide would be able to keep their favourite platform while still cross platform collaborate, come on RIM why won’t you open it up you have c60million users and you don’t want them voting with their fingers.

    This update is going to be available back to version 6 and is expected in BB10 when it finally shows up.

    RIM sets a date for BB10, about time to!

    20121115-230352.jpg
    RIM has published 30th January 2013 for the global launch of its new platform, BB10.

    The launch will include 2 new handsets and its server platform, putting an end to the ongoing speculation as to when it would show up to the smartphone party.

    Originally due in the Summer BB10 is even missing a trip in the Coca-Cola Truck for its January debut. There has been speculation that RIM delayed as autumn is a busy time and that January will allow them to grab the headlines with a simultaneous global launch, or maybe it’s just not ready?

    Device-wise they will be launching 2 handsets, a touchscreen and a qwerty device, both top of the line and they will be introducing more budget handsets later in the year.

    Time will tell if this is the saviour the Waterloo based company is hoping for.

    RIM closed up 3.41% today