Several years back Blackberry (RIM) was known for a world renown cell phone. Now they have gone by the wayside. Apple and Android phones have pushed Blackberry out the door, but on Jan 30th, 2013 Blackberry hopes to change that!
RIM has redesigned and reconfigured their handsets, to include new features and security measures. RIM must woo corporations with this new radical set of handsets. They need to get everything absolutely right, from the design of the hardware to the UI (user interface) of the hardware to the number of applications to the price of the applications. RIM a Canada based firm needs this to be a hit right out the door the first day.
Here is one area in which the troubled firm needs to look at, Real vs. Virtual Keyboards. Blackberry tried this a few years ago but never caught on. Blackberry customers liked having a "real" keyboard to use. Most users will admit I like having a "real" keyboard but they also liked having features.
When the first iPhone debuted, a common criticism was that it couldn't be taken seriously as a work device because it didn't have a "real" keyboard. There was a sharp learning curve, and typing required getting used to the autocorrect features that were supposed to compensate for stray fingertips.
Eventually the the new school of touchscreen smartphones won out, thanks to powerful features the BlackBerry couldn't touch, such as stocked app stores, stunning games and full Internet browsers.
What's coming next week
RIM is expected to cover its bases next week by introducing two devices -- one joining the mainstream with an all-touchscreen display and another keeping the keyboard. The release dates for the new products haven't been announced, but RIM could make a touchscreen phone available first in an attempt to convert the curious keyboard faithful.
The BlackBerry 10 operating system will still emphasize work productivity with a BlackBerry Hub feature that collects e-mail and other messages in one spot. A voice assistant will do its best Siri impersonation, and mobile payments will get a boost with built-in NFC.
App selection is another key area that BlackBerry must address. BlackBerry App World, its online store, has about 100,000 apps, compared to more than 700,000 each for Android and Apple. Historically, the company has been known as an inhospitable place for small outside developers. But as part of its internal shakeup, RIM has drastically revamped its developer relations program.
Stay tuned for updates on Jan. 30th, 2013!