RIM Success Depends on Sound Production Models

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2012-05-02 Print this article Print


Because of this, the keyboard software will present a choice of anticipated next words over the keyboard so that the typist can simply swipe the entire word on to the message being generated. The idea, according to Thorsten, is to retain the BlackBerry€™s famous thumb typing, but to make it faster and more efficient. €œYour time is precious when you€™re mobile,€ he said.

The device that Thorsten used in his demo was a fairly generic touch-screen phone, and while it was an attractive device, it€™s not the product that will actually be shipped as the first BlackBerry 10 device. Unfortunately, despite the combined efforts of the eWEEK team on-site in Orlando, we couldn€™t squeeze details of the actual device out of RIM€™s employees.

Thorsten did say that RIM would reveal more about the BlackBerry 10 devices in a few months, and more about the full operating system around the same time. But the close resemblance to Windows Phone 7 is a little uncanny. The first words voiced by some of the highly experienced tech media contingent at the event were, €œIt€™s Windows!€ But that wasn€™t the case. The good news is that BB10 isn€™t yet another iPhone clone. Whether there€™s bad news remains to be seen.

And that, of course, is the big question for RIM. The first glances at BB10 are encouraging. But as Forbes writer Brian Caulfield pointed out during a conversation in the BBWC pressroom, it€™s not the basic idea, €œit€™s the execution.€ Right now, with the prototype phone and the developer€™s alpha software, the execution looks like it may have potential.

But there€™s another question beyond that. Will BB10€™s potential be realized well enough by the production versions of the operating systems and smartphone models to enable RIM to hit the market home run that Caulfield says the company so desperately needs? Right now, it€™s too early to tell.

The company has shown some tantalizing details, including its next-generation keyboard software and a new camera application that showed up in a fleeting demo. There is also the promise of multitasking that will enable users to slide app screens around to access other apps in real time. But there€™s more to a smartphone than a bunch of cool details.

RIM, of course, knows this and even released a video glimpse so we can see just how cool the company thinks BB10 actually is. But the videos and the assurances that RIM has sound plans for the future don€™t really matter nearly as much as how smartphone buyers react when the new BlackBerry is released near the end of 2012.

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Wayne Rash Wayne Rash is a Senior Analyst for eWEEK Labs and runs the magazine's Washington Bureau. Prior to joining eWEEK as a Senior Writer on wireless technology, he was a Senior Contributing Editor and previously a Senior Analyst in the InfoWorld Test Center. He was also a reviewer for Federal Computer Week and Information Security Magazine. Previously, he ran the reviews and events departments at CMP's InternetWeek.

He is a retired naval officer, a former principal at American Management Systems and a long-time columnist for Byte Magazine. He is a regular contributor to Plane & Pilot Magazine and The Washington Post.

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