Friday, September 14, 2012

BlackBerry 10 - Fingers Crossed

With a lukewarm and underwhelming launch of iPhone 5, all the eyes are now on the first quarter of 2013, for BlackBerry 10 release. iOS 5 or iOS 6, it did not revolutionize the smart phone market. Even the newly launched iPhone 5 is not a revolution at all. Enough about iOS and Android, now lets get back to BB10, well it is still in development, was expected to be rolled out in 2012 but has been pushed to 2013 first quarter release. It may or may not work in favor of RIM but what is expected from them is a revolution, a change that is needed in smartphone market. We have hell lot of eclairs, froyos, honey combs and ice cream sandwiches, and reasonable amount of updates in iOS also, but none of them brought the revolution time and again.

BlackBerry is still the king when it comes to physical QWERTY keyboard, the main reason of RIM declining sales isn't due to lack of innovation in company, its rather the changing global market which is now inclined more towards the touch. RIM did have some touch devices up their sleeves like torch, storm which are good enough phones but again lack on many fronts. What they want is a new, a complete makeover, and a completely new device, which is their expected BlackBerry 10 L Series which is impressive at a resolution of 1280 x 720 at 356 ppi and a 720 x 720 resolution for the QWERTY BlackBerry with same pixel density. What is appreciable here is the fact that RIM, despite that the global market is going viral for touch screen phones still kept their biggest strength QWERTY in the league. They are not getting out there with BB 10 to get high on numbers, they are looking to bring out a change, a much needed change in smartphone industry. Following is an excerpt from RIM CEO Thorsten Heins

"You're right that market share overall is declining. The reason is the growth is in touch. QWERTY is pretty stable, it's a stable segment, growing slowly. The growth is in the full touch device business, and that's where we will see growth. There is a loyal segment of BlackBerry users in the U.S. I think you will see the shrinkage of the BlackBerry market come to a halt. I think we've bottomed out on this one. Not that I'm satisfied with it, okay? That's why I'm building BlackBerry 10 to fight that back."

With already delayed release, layoffs and falling stock prices, everything is going in wrong direction for RIM, but what could be in their favor is that instead of a Q4 release, which is a holiday season, RIM CEO feels that "Q4 is mostly a prepaid quarter anyway and they want to focus on a Q1 [2013] launch and make this a major launch in Q1?" well, fine enough.

Leaving apart the situation of the company, as per the bloggers and reviewers, the BlackBerry 10 looks impressive and slick at same time. A blogger, Joshua Topolsky said "in a RIM BlackBerry 10 demo, software feels very much like what had already been seen in official demonstrations and on the BlackBerry Dev Alpha device. I disagree. The software is far more polished now than ever before."

Other reviews based on the Dev device are:

BlackBerry 10 software is smooth and snappy
Camera app froze momentarily, but it's expected to be fixed(of course, its a Dev device)
and most importantly, the BlackBerry 10 software feels unique and it doesn't feel like iOS or Android or Windows Phone. It feels like, BlackBerry 10. That uniqueness is refreshing.
Gestures are also particularly important to BlackBerry 10

RIM came up with some cool new ways for users to interact with the devices, apps and the touch-screen keyboard using simple gestures.
Some of these gestures are different than anything that's available today. But the gestures are well thought out, and they should eventually become second-nature to users who learn and use them.
The software is still being tweaked so some minor issues are expected. Moreover, the 2 Dev device versions looks pretty impressive. I haven't put them here because I don't know if they are original or not, but the touch one for sure is better looking. QWERTY is still under cover.

Only time will decide the fate of BlackBerry and we will see if RIM survives or will repeat palm. But I am eagerly waiting for its launch to see if the QWERTY king can reign the touch market and I am waiting to join the conversation on BlackBerry 10, and hope it will change the entire smart phone league, because the ACTION STARTS HERE. Fingers crossed.

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