By Aaqib Raza Khan
RIM the maker of iconic brand BlackBerry producing mobile hardware and software is eager to make its hold in the market much more firm with their future set of releases, beginning later this week. RIM is trying to pull off a sort of comeback of the company struggling to make its way in the already chaotic smartphone market.
BlackBerry, which was one of the leaders in the smartphone market, has recently seen its market share erode to the competitive hardware-software war and players like Apple and Google eating into its pie. The battle is expected to grow fiercer with the slowly rising Windows Phone, and both RIM and Microsoft may well be vying for the third place as of now. Google’s Android and Apple’s iPhone own 65 percent and 21 percent of the global market share, respectively.
RIM is pinning its hope on its forthcoming BlackBerry 10 Series of devices and BlackBerry 10 operating system to be launched on Wednesday in New York. The move is being touted as a one of make-or-break for the company. Analysts figure it to be BlackBerry’s best chance to remain in business and hope that the company gives it their best shot. The market is getting clogged with new entrants and it is necessary that they are able to attract some attention towards them.
“The importance of this launch cannot be overstated”, said Ramon Llamas, an analyst at the research firm IDC. He also added that a lot of work needs to be done to earn back the respect which the company once commanded. RIM’s stock market valuation has gone to be one-eighth of its value in 2008, will be spending significantly to market its BlackBerry 10 devices with launch events world over. The company website is also signaling the new change with the message, “The BlackBerry Experience. Re-designed. Re-engineered. Re-invented.” RIM is calling the new update as a big change in smartphone technology.
BlackBerry 10 devices have been under tests since some time, with the company handling out more than 8,000 devices to developers and 150 telecom carriers from all over the world.
Under the BlackBerry 10 Series two models are expected to be launched simultaneously, one with a full touch-screen interface and the second with the BlackBerry’s traditional full-screen. The availability of the phone in the market is expected to take some time after the launch. The company will provide updated BlackBerry 10 Software Development Kits to developers for its testing devices on the day of release.
The updated BlackBerry system has some interesting features such as BlackBerry Hub which lets a user bypass home-screen to shuffle between apps saving precious time and processing. The Blackberry hub collects and organizes all the emails, text messages, BBM update messages, and social network feeds, all in one location which can be accessed right from any of the opened app, without the need to close it down.
RIM is banking heavily on its corporate partners, the primary reason behind the stature BlackBerry achieved in the cellular market. RIM has partnered with 120 global companies to test BlackBerry 10 services. BlackBerry’s corporate services are a big revenue source for the company and it is important that the company taps this sector.
Apps play a crucial role in deciding the market today. Apple is an emperor, Android a King and others are vying for a piece of the crown. Apple has undoubtedly the largest and the best quality of apps, Android is next with a large selection of paid and free applications. Microsoft has pumped in a lot of money and developers to help increase its app store. RIM knows the challenges of this crucial point and has been actively helping developers port their apps to BlackBerry 10. RIM has been conducting “Port-A-Thons” in which, the company says, it has helped port more than 40,000 apps, which means a fertile bank of applications await BlackBerry 10 users.
RIM has got a window to fly out of the struggle the company is facing, both on the brand and economy front. Now it only remains to be seen if the company is able to sustain the interest of the users and analysts alike and live up to the expectations and quash all the rumors of a company dying a slow death. Over to BlackBerry 10 now.