NEWS ANALYSIS: RIM is reportedly launching new BlackBerry 10 devices later this year. However, these RIM smartphones will need several features in order to be successful.
Research In Motion was once the company that all others compared themselves
to in the mobile space. RIM was the firm that understood how to appeal to
enterprise users, found a way to target consumers through the office and, along
the way, dramatically improved the way in which those customers interacted with
their smartphones. Without RIMs lessons, it might have been extremely
difficult for Apple to have delivered the iPhone.
But unfortunately for RIM, Apple did deliver the iPhone. And now, Apples
smartphone, as well as Android-based handsets, is dominating the mobile space.
RIM, meanwhile, is left to hope that it can turn things around with its
upcoming software launch, BlackBerry 10. That operating system, RIM says, will
carry the company well into the next several years.
Although its hard to know exactly what BlackBerry 10 will look like or what
features it will ship with, RIM
does plan to provide prototypes to developers in May
. This likely paves the
way for a launch later this year. But for that operating system and the devices
running it to be successful, several things must first fall into place.
1. A solid design
Want to know the secret to Apples success? Design. The company knows how to
build software and hardware that people want to useand show off to others.
RIM, meanwhile, doesnt do anything of the sort. For BlackBerry 10 to be successful,
it must work well and be stylish, and run on devices that deliver the same
2. Big displays
RIM has historically made the odd decision to offer up devices that come
with very, very small displays. The Torch and Storm2 are the only exceptions to
that rule. With
BlackBerry 10 devices
, RIM must forgo the past and deliver devices with big
displays. At this point, a 4.3-inch screen should be the companys minimum
3. Ditch the physical keyboard
As much as RIM executives dont want to believe it, the physical keyboard is
a major issue for consumers and enterprise users who are considering buying new
devices. The physical keyboard is a relic of the past and something that most
customers dont want any longer. And yet, RIM continues to deliver it. With
BlackBerry 10, RIM must wake up and realize that its going about the mobile
space all wrong.
4. Responsive software
One of the biggest issues with RIMs BlackBerry 7 is that it lacks the kind
of responsiveness found in Apple iOS. Like it or not, RIMs BlackBerry
operating system cannot match Apples platform, and unless
BlackBerry 10 achieves that feat
, expect RIM to continue to slide in the
mobile space. BlackBerry 10 is a make-or-break offering for the mobile firm.