Will the BlackBerry 10 Turn Around RIM’s Fortunes – It doesn’t Seem Likely
The BlackBerry 10 platform was unveiled by Research in Motion (RIM) at the BlackBerry World 2012 concluded recently. This new operating system paves the way for various BlackBerry 10 based devices by the year end. RIM has all its hopes pinned to this operating system, which has been modeled on the QNX Playbook OS 2.0 along with BlackBerry 7 OS, to turn the tides in its favor.
However, it didn’t generate much excitement amongst the investors, developers and users although they were awaiting its launch eagerly. Let’s see why.
Features of BlackBerry 10 in a Nutshell
Merging some of the features of the QNX based Playbook OS 2.0 and BlackBerry 7 OS, the BlackBerry 10 will provide touch screen based devices multi-tasking, virtual keyboard and advanced camera functions. In fact, DevAlpha – the prototype device given to developers by RIM, looks like a mini-version of the Playbook having touch screen capability along with these features and functionalities.
In a move to introduce multitasking on BlackBerry devices, the new OS has naturally integrated apps, which allows users to shuffle between the applications quite easily. Also, there is a virtual keyboard that helps in swiping the suggested words to construct sentences, instead of painstakingly typing out each letter. It is so smooth, that it’s almost magic.
RIM has also tried its best to make the camera more advanced. Not only can you click anywhere on the screen to take a photo, but also go a step back and forth from the moment captured. This gives you an option to select the best image that you can cherish forever.
The biggest news is however, is its set of software tools. The development kit of the BlackBerry 10 is yet at its Beta stage and contains Native SDK, WebWorks SDK and API. These might allow the developers to create many a feature-rich native app that are similar to those on the iOS and Android platforms.
Although BlackBerry 10 OS does bring in a lot of features previously unseen in the older versions of the operating system from RIM, it does not give us any features to be immensely thrilled about. Similar features and even better have been incorporated in its competing devices.
The Road Ahead is not Smooth, Yet
BlackBerry will have a tough time ahead competing with its counterparts. There are a number of reasons why it is so.
First of all, a BlackBerry device is perceived mostly as a corporate device and not much of a consumer-centric device. No doubt that email, call and messaging are an essential part of a smartphone, but users like to use various engaging apps on their smartphones, which give them a more personalized experience.
Also, RIM’s earlier legacy operating software – a propriety system, discouraged the developers from developing apps on the BlackBerry platform. Thus, there was a dearth of apps for BlackBerry App World as compared to Apple’s iTunes or Google Play app stores.
At present, there are operating systems like Android 4.0, iOS 5.1 (with iOS 6 soon to be released) and the Blackberry 10 needs to stand up to them with consistent upgrades in the coming time. It is too early to state that its features may not impress developers for now, but maybe in future it can do so by following the examples set by its competitors. We can only wait and watch till then.
The second factor is the touch-screen capability of the BlackBerry device. It is evident from past records that the BlackBerry devices which were accompanied by a physical keyboard, have had better market penetration and have been more accepted by the users rather than the ones sporting touchscreen. This might be one of the major hurdles, which the devices running on BlackBerry OS 10 can face.
Apart from other factors, the fact that RIM decided to launch the BlackBerry now, is a decision that can prove to be erroneous. This is due to the fact, that there are already a number of competitive Android and Apple devices like the new iPad, Galaxy S3, Galaxy Nexus, Sony Xperia S out in the market with speculations of the iPhone 5 release in the same year. This can make the BlackBerry 10 based devices look a bit outdated. Maybe, had it been launched a year ago, it would have made an instant impact on the users.
To conclude, it can be said that the BlackBerry 10 OS is not a bad deal, but it’s certainly not the best deal either. Until or unless, there are some really ground-breaking features, upgrades and sufficient apps, the future is mostly bleak for the Canadian based smartphone company.
Alicia Carter is mobile app developer with PerceptiveMobileApps – A Smartphone application development company. She has extensive experience of working on the Android and iOS platforms and keeps herself updated about latest mobile technologies. She loves writing about what she comes across and shares her ideas on various blogging sites and other similar platforms.
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